International One Health Leadership Program

This unique training opportunity is an initiative developed through partnerships with the Royal Veterinary College (London, England) and the University of Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa). The University of Pretoria has constructed a field-based platform, the Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station, located next to the Orpen Gate at Kruger National Park. This platform provides both research facilities and accommodation for researchers affiliated with projects in the park or the adjacent Mnisi community. This location is exceptionally positioned to help students understand the interface between livestock, wildlife, companion animals, humans, and the natural environment. This program will increase students’ understanding of the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health and will help them define their roles as veterinarians in human health outcomes (public health).

Description of the course: This three-week study abroad program is designed for three to six veterinary students who will partner with students from the Royal Veterinary College and the University of Pretoria for the duration of the program. Students will participate in designing and conducting a research project that addresses issues that occur at the human-animal interface. Lectures and small-group learning projects will also be conducted by faculty from all three institutions. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a short-term clinical internship at the Hluvukani Animal Clinic, which is embedded in the Mnisi community.

Where this course fits into the curriculum: Students in the first three years of the Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program would participate in this program as an international study abroad/volunteer experience. For these students, the exchange will count as elective credits for their degree. For students in their fourth year of the DVM program, this will count as an elective clinical rotation and will not extend the duration of their DVM degree program.

Outline and timeline of activities: We anticipate this program will operate every summer from late May to mid-June, corresponding to block two of the clinical rotation schedule. Students will be housed at the Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station and the accommodations will be shared between three students, one from each participating institution. During their first week, students will participate in lectures and activities designed to enhance their understanding of the concept of One Health and introduce them to regional issues directly relevant to the human-animal-environment interface. Students will work together to develop research and engagement components that will address specific health topics. In the second and third weeks, students will actively participate in field research, engage in clinical rotations at the Hluvukani Animal Clinic and affiliated livestock "dip tanks," interact with ecologists and state veterinarians, as well as medical students from the Wits School for Public Health. In their spare time and on free days, students will take tours through Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves.

Faculty members responsible for activities: Dr. Audrey Ruple, Assistant Professor of One Health Epidemiology, will lead the program and be responsible for securing grants to support research endeavors associated with the study abroad program.

Estimated Cost: 

  • Flight: $1300- $1600
  • Housing: $500- $700
  • Meals: $300 - $500
  • Extra Spending: $300 
  • Estimated Total:  $2800 - $3200
  • Estimated Scholarship: $1000 - $1500 

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