Through this course, students will learn how well-being, health and longevity stems from lifestyle and choices made along the life course. The Greek island of Ikaria was selected as the destination for this course because it is one of five areas designated as a “Blue Zone”, which is a place where people reach age 100 at rates up to 10 times greater than in the United States. The longevity of Ikarians is due in large part to their lifestyle, which centers around family, social connections, nutrition, physical activity and sense of purpose. Students will acquire unique insights regarding the Ikarian lifestyle through professional presentations, observation and dialogue with Ikarian residents. Outside of the scope of coursework, students will enhance their multicultural competency through site visits of historical, cultural, and contemporary significance. The travel component will also include three days in Athens, Greece.
This education abroad program is designed for students pursuing careers in healthcare and will bring them to the Netherlands, a country where, in comparison to the USA, life expectancy is longer, risk of dying before the age of 65 is lower, and a greater percentage of the GDP is spent on the health of its citizens. Counterintuitively, the people of the Netherlands enjoy personal freedoms that are deemed dangerous and unhealthy in the USA; namely the tolerated use of “soft” drugs like cannabis and sedatives, support services such as needle-exchanges for users of “hard” drugs, and legal but regulated prostitution. Students will learn how environmental factors, antibiotic resistance, and diagnosis can affect the spread of infectious disease in the Netherlands and the USA.