International Initiatives and Global Health

“We owe it to inspire our students…to recognize that they are not to act like inhabitants of a village, nor like beings of the hour, but like citizens of a world.”

Timothy Dwight the Elder, who would later be Yale’s president, described this obligation to our students in 1776. Yale has been working on internationalization as long as any university in this country. Benjamin Silliman ventured abroad two hundred years ago to learn how to improve and expand the science curriculum for our students here in New Haven. And Yale has been a beacon for those from abroad for nearly as long: in 1850, when the first Chinese young man ventured to study in the West, he came to Yale.

Educating leaders for a global society

Yale is among the leading institutions in the world in terms of its international curriculum, overseas study and internship opportunities offered to students, faculty support, and the programs that bring global distinction to Yale.

For Yale to pursue its historic mission of educating leaders in the world, we must continue to develop additional curricula in global and regional affairs so that our students can equip themselves with the knowledge required of global citizens and leaders. We must provide undergraduates, as well as graduate and professional students, opportunities to work or study abroad to broaden their appreciation of cultural differences as well as the globalizing forces at work today. And we need to open our doors to a sufficient representation of international students and scholars, both to have a direct stake in educating the leaders of other nations and to give U.S. students the opportunity to develop personal ties across a range of national cultures.

Setting the standard

With the momentum gained in the first decade of this century, Yale can set the standard for a university in service to the world. It is encouraging that the success of some of Yale’s initiatives—such as the World Fellows Program, need-based aid for undergraduate international students, and the commitment to support all undergraduates in an experience abroad—have helped Yale to be perceived as an international leader. The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies has emerged as a focal point for research and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs now plays a key part in internationalizing the curriculum. Continuing work to recast our mission in global terms and actively encourage the international activities of students and faculty will further strengthen Yale in coming years.

Collaborating to improve global health

Yale University is a world-class research and educational institution that attracts and trains top scientists and educators, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, and engages broadly with the local, national, and international community. With its research capacity and culture of collaboration, Yale has the opportunity to dramatically improve the health of individuals and populations by accelerating scientific breakthroughs to address complex global health problems and the capacity of health systems to provide high quality care and prevention. To maximize the potential of Yale to impact the health of individuals and communities around the world, the Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine launched a new university-wide center, the Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH). The YIGH will be the focal point for global health at Yale, bringing together expertise and knowledge from across campus with partners around the world. The Institute will serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary global health research and a center for the development of innovative educational programs. By actively collaborating across disciplines and seizing opportunities for innovation, YIGH will aim to speed the translation of new scientific discoveries into better health for all.