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University of Kentucky College of Public Health students have an opportunity to take a deep dive into the public health issues facing Croatia in 2024. Led by Dr. Ketrell McWhorter, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, this international program promises an immersive experience that goes beyond the conventional classroom setting.   

This is an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in real-world global health settings. Students will learn how Croatia's history, diverse landscapes, and distinctive lifestyle practices have created intriguing public health challenges, especially concerning disparities in obesity, cardiovascular issues, and chronic diseases.  

“One of the concerns among the scientists at the Institute for Anthropological Research revolves around the variations in obesity prevalence between the coastal and continental regions of Croatia,” shared Dr. McWhorter. “They find it perplexing how distinct the lifestyles and morbidity outcomes are in these areas. This aligns with our focus in public health and epidemiology, as we’ll be investigating these differences and comparing them to similar challenges in the United States.”  

Students on the journey will engage in global collaboration by working with Croatians and peers from diverse backgrounds, apply classroom learning through hands-on fieldwork for practical experience, and gain invaluable insights from professionals in public and global health. 

Participating in this specialized course crafted exclusively for CPH students offers the chance to earn credits in CPH 365 (3 credits) or CPH 565 (3 credits). This faculty-directed experience aligns with CPH academic standards, striking a unique balance between classroom learning and hands-on insights into global health. Credits are earned by completing program activities and assignments and achieving UK GPA credits, and grades. 

The international journey takes place from June 7 through June 24, 2024, and welcomes undergraduate and graduate students across all academic disciplines.  


The program is divided into two separate weeks. Students spend the first week in the capital city of Zagreb, attending morning lectures at the Institute for Anthropological Research, Center for Applied Bioanthropology, including discussions on public health topics led by Dr. McWhorter. Because the itinerary was designed to offer a balance of learning, culture, and personal exploration, afternoons in Zagreb will be spent visiting institutes, museums, and local attractions such as the 13th century Trakošćan Castle.  

The second week, students will travel to the coastal city of Split to attend the 13th International Society for Applied Biological Sciences Conference and Mayo Clinic Lectures in Translational Medicine. This week offers academic sessions at the conference balanced with exploration, including visits to historical sites, markets, and optional excursions to Game of Thrones filming locations. Free days allow personal exploration along the shores and within the city, allowing for learning and cultural immersion.  

The program ensures an unforgettable experience, combining academic enrichment with a deeper understanding of public health and cultural discovery. 

Limited spots are available, and students are urged to apply now to be part of this incredible journey into the world of public health. The deadline to apply is Dec. 8. 

For more information about this program, click here.