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Global Health Education and International Internships in the Time of a Pandemic: A Real-Life Virtual Mobility Experience

Project summary

The Erasmus MC Minor Global Health (MGH) offers students from various bachelor’s programs at Erasmus University and TU Delft the opportunity to become acquainted with health and healthcare in another country, culture and environment. A permanent part of the MGH is an internship abroad, which has been canceled due to the current Corona pandemic. Our expectation was that the disappearance of the internship abroad would lead to less interest among students. Nothing could be further from the truth. Corona has sparked interest AND there appeared to be a ‘new’ group of students with an interest in the subject who would normally not (but now!) participate precisely because of the (now expired) internship abroad.


Internships abroad contribute to better intercultural communication, teach students to rely on their own eyes and ears and lead to better anamnesis and physical examination skills; it makes them better and also more socially involved professionals (1-4). Canceling internships abroad robs students of an excellent opportunity to grow as a professional. For this project, the MGH 2021 will be developed as a hybrid minor: students can opt for a real internship abroad (if travel is possible again) or choose to experience what working abroad entails from the Netherlands through virtual mobility. With this project I aim to get abroad, the foreign culture and the foreign health care in the student’s ‘virtual consultation room’ and to offer the student an experience in which he/she can gain the same valuable learning benefits as with a regular internship abroad.

More detailed information

Principal Investigator:

Jan Nouwen MD PhD

Role Erasmus MC:



Klinische microbiologie/intimicrobiologie

Project website:

Funding Agency: