Global Health and Cultural Diversity: Responses to a Global Crisis

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Global Health and Cultural Diversity: Responses to a Global Crisis

  • Host University

    ISA Seville Study Center

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Global Health, Public Health

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    USF Course Code: HSC 385E

    Prerequisite: none; taught in English

    Students: ISA Students

    Contact hours: 45

    I. Course Description:
    This course describes and contrasts systems and models of health policies worldwide with a special focus on how migrations and diverse social practices influence the way that different countries face global challenges such as pandemics. Students will gain insights from a political, economic and cultural perspective. We are going to analyze the organization, management and outcomes of health services in public, private and working field covered by NGOs. The active participation of the students will be key for the successful learning-teaching process.

    II. Learning outcomes:
    This course will teach participant:
    1.    Cognitive insight in the field of health services and its management. Students will…
    a.    Critically understand what is health, health services and health systems. 
    b.    Conduct comparative analyses of health systems. 
    c.    Critically understand how culture identities and political processes influence the health sector and the response to crises. 
    d.    Describe the roles of the entities influencing global health: public, private and NGO systems.
    e.    Understand health care management: different functions, roles and responsibilities.
    f.    Critique policies regarding to ethical values in health services: legal framework; patient rights, medical mistakes, unethical behavior.
    g.    Analyze the sustainability of health systems worldwide.
    h.    Analyze transnational movements and the impact on population health, specially in the case of global outbreaks. 

    2.    Practical learning. Students will develop: 
    a.    Critical sense with regards to theory and practice in the field of health services 
    b.    Analytic insight in the different funding mechanism of health systems and the way they allocate their funds
    c.    Competency in analyzing and synthesizing
    d.    Appreciate and utilize diversity in teams
    e.    Communication skills that demonstrate respect for other perspectives and cultures
    f.    Team work

    III. Course Contents (order of content may be modified):

    1.    Introduction to health, health services and health systems in USA, Europe and other parts of the world
    2.    Overview of governance of the health sector, worldwide, within USA, within Europe, on country level
    3.    Policies and guidelines.
    4.    Cultural competence in Global Health.
    4.1.    Perceptions of physical and psychological wellbeing across cultures.
    4.2.    Habits and beliefs about perceived wellbeing.
    4.3.    Ethical practices in different societies. 
    5.    Who are the users of the different systems?

    1.    History and current organization.
    2.    The role of the WHO and the challenges during the Covid19. 
    3.    What is the UHC (Universal Health Coverage) and how to get closer (6 essentials).


    1.    The mission of the EU within Health Care and Cross-border threats.
    2.    Analysis of the Health Care situation in different countries of the EU. 
    3.    Solidarity principle.
    4.    Case Study: the management of the Covid19 outbreak in Spain. 
    4.1. A country in lockdown: policies. 
    4.2. Social and cultural determinants of the impact of the pandemic.
    4.2. The workforce behind the management of the crisis. 
    4.3. Statistics and conclusions.


    1.    The affordable Care Act.
    2.    How was the health system before “Obamacare”?
    3.    Current situation of the Health Care System in USA 
    4.    Health care after the pandemic. 


    1.    The government situation of African countries and their influence on health.
    2.    Ways to increase African resources for health.
    3.    Managing health and economic priorities during the Covid19. 
    4.    NGOs, their role and responsibilities
    3.1. Examples 
    3.2. Mission 


    1.    The legal framework for our work
    2.    Patient rights
    3.    Medical errors and its consequences
    4.    Unethical behavior and how to do thing right: organizational values, code of conduct
    5.    Managing ethical issues in pandemic outbreaks. 

    IV. Bibliography: 
    T.R. Reid. The Healing of America. Penguin Press. August 2010. 
    Radermacher, H. and S. Feldman (2017). Cultural Diversity, Health and Ageing.
    Purnell, L. D. Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care, FA Davis. 2014

    Complementary bibliography
    Per module you will receive more or less 3 mandatory and 6 optional readings (articles), all to be downloaded from the internet and we will refer you to do critical reviews of some web pages related to universal healthcare.

    V.I. How to succeed in this course
    Due to the amount of material covered in this course, come prepared to class. Listening to lectures, watching videos and participating in class activities and discussions is much more effective than reading someone else’s notes or watching a video later. Remember that active and meaningful participation is taken into account as part of the evaluation. Reading prior to the class sessions is essential to keep track of the course due to all the material that will be covered and the pace. 
    Becoming an active learner is one of the best ways to finish successfully this course: come always prepared to class: use the syllabus to be aware about will be covered or due in class, do all assignments before class, review before the class and be organized. 

    VI. Grading scale
    Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:

    Matrícula de Honor = 10
    Sobresaliente = 9 – 9,9
    Notable = 7 – 8,9 
    Aprobado = 5 – 6,9
    Suspenso = 0 – 4,9
    No presentado = Student attended class but did not complete the exams
    No asistencia = Student exceeded the maximum number of allowed absences

    Please find as a reference the following grading scale conversion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university or institution to determine the final grade equivalencies. 
    Matrícula de Honor = A+                                      
    Sobresaliente = A                                                    
    Notable = B                                                             
    Aprobado =C  
    Suspenso = F
    No presentado = Incomplete (attended classes but did not take the final exam)            
    No Asistencia = Incomplete (enrolled in the course but did not attend class)

    Grade dispute: 
    The deadline for claiming grades is 30 days from the receipt of the certificate at the university of origin.

    VII. Course policies

    VII.I. Attendance

    Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and reflected in the course attendance sheet. 
    An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section. 
    If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”. 
    Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class. 
    Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence. 
    Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.  

    Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

    VII.II. Conduct in class
    Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).  

    VII.III. Late work 
    One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded. 
    Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day.

    VII.IV. Make-up Exams
    If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the professor and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given.

    VII.V. Exam retention
    After exams are graded, the teacher will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The exams will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed.

    VII.VI. Academic Honesty
    Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

    VII.VII. Special accommodations 
    Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course.

    Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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