Participants in this study abroad program will examine the harm reduction model in a multinational, cross-disciplinary context, considering applications to a variety of social and health concerns and identifying barriers to and facilitators of the development and use of harm reduction strategies. Harm reduction is a health, social service, and public policy model that has gained a great deal of attention in recent years. Unfortunately, in the United States, politicians and policy makers have often chosen to address rapidly evolving and dynamic social concerns like drug use, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the spread of hepatitis with status quo strategies. In sharp contrast, Switzerland has been a leader on the international stage, adopting harm reduction as a central feature of its national drug policy, and developing and implementing innovative, cutting-edge, and often controversial strategies to combat such significant social and health issues. Over the past two decades in Switzerland, harm reduction has been integrated into social and public health services, criminal justice and correctional programs, and public policy. Switzerland is also a fairly small country with a stable government, a welcoming citizenry, and well-developed public transportation, making it safe, inviting, and easy to get around. In addition, the headquarters of the World Health Organization and UNAIDS are located in Geneva, which offers an opportunity for students to be exposed to harm reduction efforts on an even larger international scale. Thus, Switzerland offers a rich environment in which to examine and explore the meaning and use of harm reduction.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a high school graduate or above.
- Read, speak, and understand English.
- Provide documentation of sufficiently good enough health to travel and participate in a two-week study program.
- Must complete preliminary essay “What Will I Learn”.
May 1, 2018 – May 15, 2018