College Kids Take Global Outlook to Class

Interest in public health leads to skyrocketing course enrollment
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 3:22 PM CDT
Vaccination is becoming a hot topic among undergraduates studying public health.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In less than a generation, college students' international perspective has transformed many colleges' public health-related programs and courses. The AIDS epidemic served as a catalyst by opening young people’s eyes to the global character of disease, and the ease of worldwide travel and communication is spurring involvement abroad. The Washington Post looks at the transformation.

“It took something like HIV/AIDS to capture our attention and make us realize that there were such inequities in the world,” says one UCLA professor. Studying public health gives students tools to understand many global issues, from famine and poverty to SARS and STDs. “There is a very idealistic aspect to this," says one epidemiologist. "The drive is not just intellectual, it is passionate as well."