There are many global public health opportunities for students and faculty at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Public Health Without Borders

Founded in 2013, PHWB is a student-­run organization supported by the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. PHWB aims to assess health disparities impacting disadvantaged communities around the world and create sustainable interventions to alleviate these disparities. Members include undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

PHWB members believe that we are strengthened by collaboration in community. With tiered mentorship and knowledge from community members, PHWB intends to create and disseminate public health material and interventions to improve the health of families in target communities. PHWB has traveled to Compone, Peru; Calaba Town, Sierra Leone; and Debre Birhan, Ethiopia to assess the health needs and priorities, then deliver workshops on topics such as oral hygiene, oral rehydration therapy, and first aid. To read about their experiences, visit the PHWB Facebook page or the UMD Public Health Meets EWB blog site. For more information on how to get involved, email PHWB president Precious Ross.

Syed Taban and Hannah Asmail teach oral hygiene in the classroom at the Abigail D. Butscher Primary School in Calaba Town, Sierra Leone


Children show off their hand-washing worksheets at the Abigail D. Butscher Primary School


Stephanie Olcese helps a child brush his teeth in Compone, Peru


Study Abroad Opportunities

The University of Maryland provides many international, academically-based experiences in support of students’ personal, professional and intellectual development. These programs are designed to promote cross-cultural competence, disciplinary scholarship and foreign language acquisition. Students become equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively engage with local and global communities and become culturally perceptive citizens. The School of Public Health provides several such experiences which can be explored on the SPH Study Abroad Opportunities page.

Additional Study Abroad experiences offered by the University can be found on the Global Maryland page and the Education Abroad page. Internationalize your UMD experience through a myriad of innovative and exciting global opportunities here and abroad!


Half the Sky Movement at Maryland

The Half the Sky Movement at UMD is inspired by the best-selling novel (which was a UMD First Year Book in 2010-2011) and the work of journalists Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn to turn the oppression of women into opportunity worldwide.  Hidden in the overlapping problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality, women are facing gender-based violence all over the world.  Half the Sky Movement at UMD is not only raising awareness of women’s issues, but also bringing together faculty, staff and students to share ways to get involved in opportunities to empower women. In 2012 and 2013, Half the Sky at UMD hosted screenings of the documentary with involvement of campus groups focused on global women’s empowerment.  In 2014, Half the Sky at UMD participated in the Students Rebuild Water Challenge by hosting “beading parties.” For every paper bead students made, the Bezos Family Foundation matched that number with a monetary donation to fund water sanitation projects in Tanzania. Half the Sky also sponsored Portraits for Social Change, an art gallery event exploring global injustices against women and celebrating leaders on the front lines of change. For more information about how to get involved, email Krishna Bhagat or click here to read more about the global Half the Sky movement.

Visual and written interpretations of the phrase “Women hold up half the sky” at a Half the Sky documentary screening

Using recycled magazines, students make paper beads for the Students Rebuild Water Challenge

Students enjoying portraits and biographies of women who have worked hard to inspire gender empowerment in the "Portraits for Social Change" gallery


Global Handwashing Day at Maryland

Each year, on October 15, over 200 million people are involved in Global Handwashing Day celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Promoted on a wide enough scale, handwashing with soap could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.  Every year since 2012, the School of Public Health has been celebrating Global Handwashing Day by visiting the Center for Young Children (CYC), a laboratory school on the UMCP campus. In 2014, we expanded the educational reach of global handwashing with a program on Maryland Day. Learn more about the Global Handwashing Day here.

CYC children show GPH Scholars students how to wash their hands!


CYC students decorate a Global Handwashing Day banner