Rural Health Program

Through coursework, community engagement, home stays and a rich cultural experience, the RHS Program aims at offering participants an understanding and appreciation of the health and healthcare realities in a mountain village in Transylvania, Romania. Cluj School of Public Health’s (C-SPH) Rural Health Program (RHP) is a 1-month intensive experience, blending the acquisition of basic public health concepts with real-world practice and skills development in isolated, mountainous rural areas in Transylvania, Romania. The program is offered by the C-SPH for groups of at least 5 international students, during the summer season, June and July of each year.

Educational objectives.

Students will learn various data collection and data analysis methods with which to conduct a Community Health Assessment and will subsequently conduct a comprehensive Community Health Assessment. Students will conduct a literature review under the supervision of faculty teaching staff and will synthesize this with the Community Health Assessment to develop a scientific report, policy brief, and layperson report. Students will present to local authorities an evidence-informed proposal for enhancing health in the population of the targeted village by taking into consideration behavioral, social and structural aspects involved in the community health (e.g. health literacy, economic development, etc.).


  • Scientific Writing
  • Applied Research Methods
  • Applied Research Ethics
  • Community Health Assessment
  • Community Engagement


Day 1 – Land in Romania. Accommodation & orientation – RHSP & socio-cultural aspects of Romanian culture in rural areas & Cluj-Napoca
Day 2 – Household initial mapping. Campfire – in the mountain village
Days 3-6 – Coursework + plan mapping – in Cluj
Days 7-10 – Household mapping exercise. Campfires – in the mountain village
Days 11-13 – Coursework. Data analysis. Team report – in Cluj
Days 14-16 – Coursework. Community mapping planning – in Cluj
Days 17-18 – Community mapping – in the mountain village
Days 19-21 – Data analysis. Scientific group report & lay brief
Days 22-23 – Presentation of the results in the community. Stakeholders meeting. Press conference
Days 24-27 – Social program – Castles adventure tour
Days 28-29 – Wrap-up & feedback
Day 30 – Leave for home

Eligibility & Requirements

To be considered for the Global Health Program, students must meet the following requirements:​

  • undergraduate or graduate students in health sciences or related fields
  • interest in the public health field
  • 18 years of age or older

Professional Skills:

  • good analytical and evaluative skills
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • good organizational skills, efficiency and flexibility
  • computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft products (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint), email software, internet searching engines, and other programs


Program fee is 3.250 U.S. Dollars/month.

The fee includes housing, mentoring & support, on-site orientation, accommodation during the mapping exercise and assistance throughout the application process. The fee does not include international travel, meals costs, personal effects, or incidentals.

How to apply

The applications can be submitted online continuously. Please send any additional inquiries to

The evaluation process will take place at the end of each month, the results being communicated to the students in the first week of the following month after the date of application. Students will have to confirm their participation in 2 weeks’ time after receiving the letter of acceptance, by sending an email and paying at least 10% of the program fee.

Please send any additional inquiries to


What prerequisites do I need to participate in this program?

There are no pre-requisites for participating in this program. All concepts and methods that will be applied during the program will be presented and demonstrated in a comprehensive manner through the coursework. Depending on the background of students enrolled in the program, there will be an undergraduate or graduate track. Students from public health, medicine, and all other fields are encouraged to apply.

How will I conduct fieldwork without speaking Romanian?

Each student will be paired with a Romanian student who will directly conduct interviews and another Romanian student who will translate in real time for the international students that will take notes. We encourage you to practice some colloquial phrases, but you are not expected to speak Romanian upon arrival.

What are the accommodations?

While in Cluj, all students will be housed in university dormitories located in Cluj-Napoca, right next to the Cluj School of Public Health headquarters. Students will stay with other program participants. While in rural areas, students will stay with homestay families in groups of two or three students.

What is the interaction like with the school’s other summer programs?

The rural summer program has its own coursework and is unique in that is has multiple excursions to rural areas. So, students will primarily spend time with other students in the rural summer program. However, while in Cluj, students are encouraged to interact with students from other programs as well, as there is great opportunity for all students to learn from each other.

Do I need any special equipment for the rural areas?

No, students are not expected to have specific equipment for the rural portion of this program. Students are encouraged to bring a camera and laptop. In regards to clothing, students should bring casual and comfortable clothes for rural areas that are fitting for the hot summer weather.

For more details and questions, do not hesitate to contact us at: