Geneva 2015 Summer for Development Undergraduate Study Abroad Program

The Payson Center has designed a topical, six week, summer study abroad program designed specifically for undergraduates who are interested in learning more about International Development (IDEV) in the European headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations: Geneva Switzerland. The Summer for Development program offers the unique opportunity to complete a four (4) credit summer course while also gaining field experience interning for three weeks at the esteemed International Centre for Migration, Health and Development (ICMHD).


June 15, 2015 to July 24, 2015


Beyond its stunning location in the European Alps and its wealth of amenities and public services, Geneva is home to one of the highest concentration of international organizations and non–profits in the world. The U.N. agencies spearheading programs for the main issues discussed in this course are headquartered in Geneva, be it the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for migration and refugees, or the World Health Organization (WHO) for public health. The International Red Cross Committee and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria also have their main offices in Geneva, as do dozens of smaller nonprofits and relief agencies.

For students, this is the ideal location to be exposed to the day-to-day organization and workings of international development actors, and to develop contacts with these agencies. In fact, field trips to many of these agencies are included in the curriculum.

Geneva is an international city, where students will enjoy ample opportunity to practice their language skills and increase their sensibility to multicultural environments. Optional week end visits in bordering France will complete this international experience with recreational activities.


The course offered is called Urban Resilience to Climate Change and explores the nexus between the contemporary processes of urbanization, resulting social, environmental and economic vulnerabilities and potential strategies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate changes

The “in class” portion of the course will last two weeks (June 15 – July 24, 2015) for five days a week, with at least 3 hours of class per day. Some of these class sessions will include field visits (travel time will not count as classroom time.)

The course will be hosted by and held in the offices of the International Centre for Migration, Health and Development (ICMHD) on 11, Route du Nant d'Avril CH - 1214 Geneva Switzerland. ICMHD is a non-profit institution established in 1995. Its mandate is to work on research, training and policy advocacy in all areas related to migration and health. ICMHD develops, in particular, databases and information that can provide the evidence on which policies and programs can be constructed to promote and protect the health and welfare of people on the move, the people they leave behind and those they come into contact with as they move. It undertakes rapid situation assessments and formulates responses in natural and man-made disasters that displace people. It develops and implements monitoring and evaluation of evolving conditions and the impact interventions have on the health and welfare of displaced people. It has a broad network of members and cooperating partners in all regions of the world, including humanitarian relief workers, UN personnel and policy makers.

Course Format

Each day of class will typically include:

  • An introductory lecture covering specific notions, issues and interpretative models exploring the relations between urbanization, health, climate change, vulnerability, mitigation, resilience and development.
  • Case studies drawn from IDEV literature and the experience of the course instructors and guest lecturers.
  • In class review and discussion of pre-assigned readings
  • Work groups presentations and discussion
  • Several field visits are also scheduled to maximize the students’ exposure to the realities of relief and development agencies’ interventions to mitigate urban vulnerabilities, climate change effects, public health crisis and complex emergencies. Students will visit:


Immediately after completing their coursework, the students will conduct a three weeks internship (July 6 – 24, 2015) at the International Centre for Migration, Health, and Development (ICMHD).


The course will capitalize on the scholarly expertise and practical involvement of its instructors in International Development (IDEV) projects focused on urban vulnerabilities, mobile populations and health.

Dr. Manuel Carballo, director of the International Centre for Migration, Health, and Development (ICMHD) is a long-time United Nations (UN) field expert for expert in public health events during refugee crises and complex emergencies. Dr. Carballo’s work experience extends across the world, from the former Yugoslavia to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iraq.
Colin Crawford Professor Colin Crawford is an urban and environmental law professor whose work has in recent years concentrated on urban resilience to climate change, including questions of community participation; his work largely focuses on the Americas.
Elke de Buhr
Dr. Elke de Buhr is a Payson assistant professor. Her research focuses on the rights and protection of children, and the health and well-being of people of all ages. Dr. de Buhr has worked on projects financed by the US Department of Labor, CDC, UNDP, UNICEF, UN-OCHA, UNAIDS, the World Bank, Reprieve UK and the European Union, Fairtrade International (FLO), National Medical Foundation (NMF), World Vision International, and Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), among others.

Travel, Lodging, Meals & Local Transportation


Students will be responsible for their own airfare to Geneva International Airport (GVA).  We will arrange pick-up and transfer to the course site for you once we have received your travel/flight information. Please check the Geneva Summer for Development Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding travel.


Accomodations are being finalized and information will be posted as soon as available.

Local Transportation

A Geneva Transport Card which can be used for the length of the program is included in the cost of the hostel.




  • Tuition (4 credits)
  • HTH insurance
  • Accommodations
  • Coffee breaks and some meals
  • Local public transportation
  • Class field trips

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Comprehensive medical & emergency insurance
  • Telephone calls (send/receive)
  • Meals not specified
  • Transportation other than specified
  • Personal travel
  • Course books & materials


An online application with instructions is open on the Tulane University Office of Study Abroad Website. The application deadline is March 11, 2015; we will continue to accept applications until the program is full.


Subscribe to our Summer for Development mailing list to receive further communications about the program.

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