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Summer Study Abroad: Comparative Health Care Systems

For more than four decades, Emory Sociology has offered and continues to offer a five-week program focusing on issues and problems in health care delivery in Great Britain and the United States: "Comparative Health Care Systems" (SOC 390).

The emphasis of this program is on the comparative social organization of the two systems, contrasting the evolution and current state of the respective health care systems in both nations.


  • SOC 390 is offered for 8 credit hours (equivalent of 2 courses). It fulfills 2 electives for the Sociology major or minor, and it fulfills 1 elective for the Global Health, Culture, and Society minor.
    • Prerequisites: NONE


Atlanta Sessions:
  • Prior to the summer, students will have one or two pre-departure meetings.
London Sessions:
  • Classroom Lectures and Discussion: Classroom work includes seminars at University College in London. Emory University sociologists and British professors conduct these sessions. Daily seminars during the first week concentrate on the origins and description of the British National Health Service and the US health care system. Subsequent meetings pertain to various components of health services in Great Britain. Daily seminars during the last week integrate previous lectures and the research projects.
  • Survey Research Project: Throughout the course, we will work on a survey research project exploring British citizens' views of the National Health Service and the care that they receive. Students (in small groups) will conduct the survey at different locations in London. Then, working with faculty, students will analyze the results of the survey. During the last week of the program, student groups will make presentations integrating survey research results with their practical experience analysis and other course material.
  • Practical Experience and Analysis: Visits to health-related sites occur during the middle four weeks of the program. News media coverage of current health care issues will also be explored. Students will reflect on and analyze the site visits and media representations in light of the socio-historical and cultural context of healthcare in the UK.
  • Social and Cultural Activities: Special events include some cultural events (e.g., music, museums), walking tours, and day excursions to Cambridge and Oxford. Students have most weekends free for travel and sightseeing.


  • Emory Sociology have a rotation of faculty members who teach this course. Each summer, two professors lead this course, splitting the five weeks between them. They are greatly aided by a graduate assistant who is there for the entire five weeks.


  • This information will be provided by Emory College Education Abroad.
  • Consult ECEA for the costs regarding both the "program fee" and "Emory tuition." Program Fee includes: room (single dorm room), meal stipend (breakfast allowance), insurance, cultural activities and excursions. Emory Tuition includes: tuition for 8 credit hours.


  • The application will be available online at Emory College Education Abroad, during each fall semester.
  • Acceptance Process: This Emory Sociology program will review applications during the first and the last week of January. After these initial reviews, the applications will be reviewed during the third week of February and after the March 1st deadline.


  • Students currently receiving financial aid from Emory are typically eligible. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information about specific awards. The amount of the award depends on the number of credits and current financial aid package.