Experiential and International Learning Opportunities


The School of Health Studies offers students opportunities to enhance their educational experience and explore additional learning opportunities with courses that include experiential learning. When students enroll in these courses, they get the chance to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-world environments. These courses could include independent research, a practicum, community engaged learning, or an international experience.

Community Engaged Learning Courses (CEL)

The following courses offered by the School of Health Studies integrates service to the community as a part of the course curriculum. Part of earning credit for the course will be participation in a placement or project for a community organization. Students will be able to gain hands-on practical experience and develop professional skills, and our community partners gain fresh, new perspectives and will have the chance to implement the work our students complete.

Health Advocacy - HS3141Y

Advocacy plays a key role in the development of health policy. The Canadian Public Health Association, for example, describes advocacy as a “core function” of public health associations. Effective advocacy requires both knowledge and experience, which students will develop by creation of an advocacy campaign that will impact local communities and beyond. (Note: This course is 0.5 course that runs the full year)

Prerequisites/Co-Requisites: Health Sciences 3101A/B; Health Sciences 3400A/B

Note: This course requires students to be in third or fourth year of Honors Health Sciences program with an 80% average or better. An application is required for this course.

Health Communication - HS3210A/B

This course will review health communication through an examination of theoretical frameworks, communication techniques and technologies that promote the health of individuals, communities, and populations. Topics may include health literacy, clinician to client communication, peer to peer communication, ‘edutainment’ communication, effective public health messages and mass media campaigns, risk and emergency communication.

Previous Projects Include: Literature review and communication plan to help older adults navigate available health and social services, creation of infographics to communicate health information to various target audiences in simple and concise ways, researched and evaluated mental health apps to determine which are best to promote

Gerontology in Practice - HS4711A/B

Gerontology in Practice is a Community Service Learning course in which small groups of Health Sciences students will work alongside community partners on projects targeting health and aging. By researching authentic, real-life problems identified by community partners, students are required to explore the theoretical factors behind the issue, discern and critically evaluate available solutions and come up with a proposal to advocate for change. Through reflection, discussion, video, presentation and preparation of an implementation document, students will learn through civic engagement and provide community partners with additional options to improve the lives of the elderly in our community.

Previous projects include: Working with the Age Friendly London Network to develop a Functionality Index to match the physical ability of older adult participants with appropriate physical fitness programs in the community; working alongside the Glen Cairn 55 & Better program to collect oral histories of older adults in the Glen Cairn/Pond Mills areas so to be able to share stories of life transitions with fellow older adults; Making suggestions to improve volunteer engagement in an emergency preparedness program at the Middlesex-London Health Unit assessing fall rates within the VON’s SMART program.

International Experiences

The School of Health Studies encourages students to take advantage of the many international learning opportunities that Western has to offer. Including an international experience as part of your undergraduate degree allows students to develop a global perspective and to apply theory learned in our classrooms in a challenging and exciting new setting. International Experiences can include exchanges, volunteer, or a faculty-led experience.

Students with an average of 80% or better and planning to participate in an international experience in Year 3 can also take advantage of the International Learning Award.

Aging Globally: Lessons from Scandinavia - HS3091B

Aging Globally is an international course that will introduce 25-30 students to healthcare systems, public health policies, homecare delivery practices, hospitals, long-term care homes, aging research and exemplary community initiatives in three Scandinavian countries: Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The objective of the course is to explore and identify what we can learn from arguably the best healthcare systems in the world when it comes to disease prevention, management of chronic disease, wellbeing and health-related quality of late life. The course will be offered as a third year, half course (0.5 FCE) elective in the winter term. It will start with seven bi-weekly two-hour mandatory lectures and conclude with a 10-day trip through Scandinavia in early May. While traveling, students will engage in continuous reflection, including blogging, journaling and nightly de-briefings. Course assessments will include pre-departure team presentations (3-4 students), in-trip team presentation (all students), ongoing reflections and individual e-Portfolios. Note: Students may qualify for funding from Western International, Student Opportunity Fund and other sources to subsidize the trip to Scandinavia.

Because of the travel, this course does have an additional cost to it.

Application: Registration in this class requires and application through the Student Success Centre. Log in to Western Career Central for the applcation.

Western International

Western International encourages students to take advantage of the many opportunities to engage in international learning. Whether you want to study, intern, research or volunteer, there are multiple opportunities for intercultural learning and global engagement.

Learn more about Western International.