HS 480 - International Health

Course Outcomes

  1. List credible/valid sources that provide information relating to travelers and global health.
  2. Identify Aid Agencies and what they do to help citizens of the world.
  3. Identify the root causes of illness in developing countries.
  4. Articulate the major maternal/child health issue facing countries in the world.
  5. Describe the pros and cons of different health care delivery systems throughout the world.
  6. Identify political/policy issues that inhibit improved health around the world.

Course Description

There are two types of international health that we will discuss in this course. The first is what is commonly referred to as travelers’ health, issues that individuals from one nation or region should consider when traveling to other parts of the world. The second approach to international health is frequently referred to as global health. Global health work focuses on the factors that allow poor health outcomes to occur. Global health identifies how cultural differences influence poor health, why lack of education and poor economic conditions lead to a greater risk for poor health, and how healthcare systems change the outcomes of some diseases. The majority of this course will focus on global health issues, instead of a list of diseases and locations.

It is easy (and common) to think of international health as stuff that happens “somewhere else”, but many of the health issues that occur globally, are likely to occur within the nation in which you live—regardless of what nation that may be.

We will be exploring public health/health care issues from a global perspective trying to figure out the root causes of poor health throughout our global community. We are all children of our God, and He wishes the best for us. He also wants us to care for one another. So, we will do our best to examine these issues through the lens of the commandment, “Love one another” (John 13:34). We will learn through case studies,

videos, a textbook, selected readings from organizations that participate in international health relief, and the scriptures.

Course Expectations

This course will provide valuable experiences for you, if you are willing to put forth the effort to fully engage in the designed activities. As with most things in life, what you get out of this course will depend upon what you put into it. The following are recommendations for success in this class:

Online Learning at BYU-Idaho and the Learning Model

It is important that you, as a student understand the approach to online learning that is used at BYU-Idaho. Familiarize yourself with this by viewing the Orientation to Online Learning at BYU-Idaho.

As in all BYU-Idaho courses, this course will utilize the BYU-I Learning Model. It incorporates the following elements in coursework: prepare, teach one another, and ponder and prove.

Prepare: This will occur each week as you read the provided materials. As you read, consider how the content in the materials relates to the activities you will engage in during the lesson. Take notes for yourself and write down questions you may have. You may pose questions in the discussion board found in each week's Notes from Instructor page.

Teach One Another: This will occur in two primary ways in the course. First, you will be part of a group of three or four students as you work on a semester-long assignment, the International Health Project. Second, most lessons contain a discussion board in which you will discuss a topic with your peers. In some cases, you will first complete an activity on your own, then share your experiences and insights via a discussion board.

Ponder and Prove: The two major assignments of the course will be the International Health Project and the Book Review. These are described below. Additionally, you will engage in a number of activities that will help you understand global health issues and what it is like to live in different regions of the world.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Required Materials

How to Purchase the Custom ebook

Custom ebook: HS 480 International Health – A Survey

Approximate cost: $30

To purchase the e-book, complete both steps below.

Step I - Purchase Access Code

There are two places from which you may purchase the access code. Choose ONE of the following options:

Option 1

Purchase access code through JBLearning. You will need to search for the e-book. To find the text, use the search box in the upper right of the web page and enter this ISBN: 978-1-284-00493-9

Option 2

Purchase access code from the University Store. This option is slightly more expensive than Option 1 above, but is useful for students with scholarships or other situations where working through the University Store is advantageous. To find the text, use the search box in the upper right of the web page and enter this ISBN:


Step II - Redeem Access Code

Redeem the access code on the Publish web site.

Grading Policies

You will be graded on a linear scale (not curved). An “A” is a merit that will require dedication to coursework and mastery of subject matter. Just completing the minimum expectations does not denote “A” effort. You will need to take the time to study, apply, and understand these topics (such that you could teach a section of this course on your own) in order to get an “A”.

Grading Scale

This course will use the following standard BYU-Idaho grading scale:

Grading Scale
A 93 - 100%
A- 90 - 92.99%
B+ 87 - 89.99%
B 83 - 86.99%
B- 80 - 82.99%
C+ 77 - 79.99%
C 73 - 76.99%
C- 70 - 72.99%
D+ 67 - 69.99%
D 63 - 66.99%
D- 60 - 62.99%
F 0 - 59.99%

Grade Components

Grades will be determined as follows:

Reading Quizzes (12) 210 points
Assignments (6) 90 points
Discussion Boards (11) 220 points
Book Review (4) 65 points
International Health Project (7) 250 points
TOTAL:  835 points

Due Dates

All due dates are based on the time in Rexburg, Idaho (Mountain Time). Be sure to set your time zone in I-Learn to allow you to view due dates relative to your own time.

Major Projects

Book Review

You will read a book related to international health (see the book list below). You will then complete a book review where you will summarize the work and then critique it using material learned in every lesson. Note that a book review is not the same as a book report.

Book Selection

Below is the list of available books to use for your book review with accompanying links to online resources where you can access and read the book online if available. Please be aware that books 5 and 6 allow an unlimited number of consecutive readers while all other books will only allow one person to access them at a time. This is a kind of digital checkout system so if someone is already reading that book they have it checked out and you will either have to choose another one or wait until it becomes available.

You are welcome to use the links below to access the books or you may choose to purchase a copy from any physical or online retailer. To access many of these links to the books you will need to be signed into your BYUI student account.

If you wish to read and review books 3, 9, or 10 you will need to find other means in which to access them.

  1. Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder https://byu.overdrive.com/media/E1AF95A3-8090-4BCD-9D04-301A3CE53AE1
  2. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
    (Note: This book provides an excellent description of the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, a significant figure in global health work. However, it also includes profanity. Please be aware of this language prior to choosing Mountains Beyond Mountains for your book review.) https://byu.overdrive.com/media/CE7D9F98-7B9A-420D-AFF6-5F8F4AA4F61D
    (Audio version)
  3. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
    (Note: This book is not available as an e-book online.)
  4. This is Soul by Marilyn Berger https://byu.overdrive.com/media/01B3A7BA-D80E-4BCC-B9DD-47AF66AC7158
  5. The Hospital By the River by Catherine Hamlin http://web.a.ebscohost.com.byui.idm.oclc.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=2c80c3fb-e1db-42f4-9221-c53c3387e7f7%40sessionmgr4010&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=612329&db=nlebk
  6. On That Day Everybody Ate by Margaret Trost http://web.a.ebscohost.com.byui.idm.oclc.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=5ac09520-1877-455e-8b63-1feade171c4a%40sessionmgr4008&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=550806&db=nlebk
  7. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba https://byu.overdrive.com/media/93A943C2-BBEA-4631-BF56-E9D858D83609
  8. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof https://byu.overdrive.com/media/70B51CE1-BE9C-4E06-8B58-B61F61E3AC10
  9. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
    (Note: This book is not available as an e-book online.)
  10. The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan Katz
    (Note: This book is not available as an e-book online.)
  11. Smallpox: The Death of a Disease by D. A. Henderson http://web.a.ebscohost.com.byui.idm.oclc.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=f9ca6a27-c3d2-4aaa-ae74-d663257b25d7%40sessionmgr4009&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=731488&db=nlebk

International Health Project

The International Health Project will span the entire semester. Along with group members, you will develop a prototype item or idea to solve an international health problem. This will allow you to apply the principles taught in the readings and discussions to a scenario in a specific region of the world. You will complete a semester-long project. During the course, your group will provide three recorded presentations; one initial idea for critique and revision, one update, and a final presentation of the prototype. You will also write a written report.


Tutoring options for online students are available through the Academic Support Centers. There are tutors available to help you with writing questions and there may be course specific tutoring available. Check the details in the link provided.

Online Support Center

The Online Support Center (OSC) is available to help students with problems in online courses. If you have questions about this course, the instructor, technical difficulties, or your online learning learning experience, please contact the OSC before contacting your instructor.

OSC Contact Information

Phone: (208) 496-1800

Toll-free Phone: (866) 672-2984 Email: onlinelearning@byui.edu

Live Chat: To access the chat feature, please visit the website below.

Website: OSC

Honor Code

Following the Honor Code is of great importance as you strive to be a disciple of Christ. Your commitment to live the Honor Code will contribute to the overall BYU-Idaho community. Your actions should be respectful and should foster an environment where all can feel the Spirit.

BYU-Idaho’s Dress and Grooming standards apply to all students, including online students. By adhering to the Honor Code you will create a learning environment, “consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” For more detailed information, see the Honor Code webpage.

Good taste, common sense, discretion, consideration, and high moral standards are the watchwords for dress and grooming. Flagrant behavior or extreme dress and grooming at any time or in any place may result in a review of the individual's understanding of the expected behavior or grooming. Clothing is to be modest in fabric, fit, length, style, and appropriate for the occasion. Men's and women's dress should be reflective of their gender, while excessive or extreme styles should be avoided. For women, wardrobe selection should reflect modesty and femininity becoming a Latter-day Saint woman. For men, clothing should reflect good taste and masculinity becoming of a priesthood bearer.


Mutual Respect

Public health/medical issues can, at times, be controversial. Discussion of the pros and cons, ethics, and policy proposals may be discussed in this course. Purposeful and respectful debate in discussion boards help stimulate critical thinking and you are encouraged to help create an exceptional learning environment. It is also important to remember that academic debate does not necessarily reflect an individual’s personally held opinion of a particular topic.

Late Work Policy

Students should complete their work on time, and generally, late work will not be accepted. However, the instructor has discretion to accept late work or extend due dates in case of extenuating circumstances.

University Policies

Please visit the University Policies page to ready BYU-Idaho’s policies on student honor, students with disabilities, sexual harassment, and complaints and grievances.

Academic Honesty

BYU-Idaho students should seek to be totally honest in all their dealings. They should complete their own work and be evaluated for that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct. (BYU-Idaho Student Catalog, pg. 45, BYU-I Honor Code)

Please make sure you have read and understood the policies in the undergraduate catalog.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

Although the Academic Honesty section of the University Policies explains what constitutes each of the many forms of academic dishonesty as well as procedures and guidelines for handling such incidents, specific application of consequences are left up to each individual instructor.

In this course, instructors will be responsible for creating and applying their own policy regarding penalties for academic dishonesty. Penalties may vary from point deductions to receiving a zero on the entire assignment. In some cases, the instructor may report an incident to the University Honors Office. Cases will be analyzed on an individual basis and penalties applied according to the severity of the misconduct.