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Collaborative Programs with Global Partners

Outside of programs that are familiar to internationalization in higher education, the Faculty of Health has established several signature programs designed in partnership with global partners that uphold our values for social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. These programs act on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and further our commitment to contributing to positive change on a local and global level.

Grounded Project

Filming of "More than Migrants" on site in Costa Rica

Spotlighting Communities in Costa Rica

In collaboration with York’s Las Nubes EcoCampus, the Grounded Project is an innovative approach to providing international experiential education to York students, combining travel, globally networked learning and ethnographic research to create a ‘docuseries’ exploring challenges encountered by communities and partners in Costa Rica. The project raises consciousness about matters related to environmental sustainability, preservation of biodiversity, well-being, and human health in Costa Rica. Students participating in this project work with a team in Costa-Rica to create and showcase a collection of documentary films to shine a light on the lives of rural communities.

Visit the Las Nubes Grounded Project for more details.

Student Experiences

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Gurjit Toor: Bachelor of Science, Global Health
Specialised Honours in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention

During her studies in the Global Health program, Gurjit Toor participated in the Grounded Project  through York University’s Eco Campus in Costa Rica. Supported by a small team of Costa Rican students, Gurjit created a short documentary film entitled "Peasant Life: Struggle, Resilience and Wellbeing" which explored the lives of campesinos living in Costa Rica, delving into their identity and their deep-rooted relationship with farming and their land. The documentary showcases the everyday lives of rural farmers, shedding light on their struggles, livelihoods, and lifestyle needs.

“Working on this project taught me a lot about the research process needed to capture important information for my topic and film, the experience of creating a storyboard, and navigating the trial and error inherent in film and documentary making was very enlightening”. Gurjit is grateful for the close collaboration with the team in Costa Rica and for the stories shared by the farmers in the film. The Grounded Project allowed Gurjit to explore a new culture through others’ life experiences.  “The farmers enjoy and love what they do despite the hardships they face, showing their resilience. I want people to learn about the inequities farmers face not only in Costa Rica, but around the world”.

Michelle Wijesinghe: Bachelor of Science, Global Health
Specialised Honours in Health Policy, Management & Systems

Michelle Wijesinghe applied her community health promotion knowledge and diplomacy skills learned in the Global Health Program to a three-month field-placement in Costa Rica with the Grounded Project. Through her role in screening three documentary films created by the Grounded Project throughout the country and engaging communities in dialogue about the films’ content, Michelle gained insights into diverse perspectives and cultural differences influencing the perception of health among various groups of people.

“Our goal was to shed light on the identities and struggles of marginalized communities in an objective manner. It was incredibly fulfilling to work on promoting awareness and understanding of the diverse experiences and challenges people are facing”. This experience was a pivotal learning point for Michelle, as it taught her how to impact health on a global scale emphasizing the significance of storytelling and community collaboration in creating meaningful change in the field of global health. Michelle's involvement in the Grounded Project allowed her to develop a more comprehensive and empathetic understanding of global health issues, laying the foundation for her future endeavors in the field.

See the Films

We Walk the Earth (2022) is the third in the series of films produced by the Grounded Project. It recounts struggles in Costa Rica for Indigenous rights to land, to self-governance and autonomy.

"We Walk the Earth" - Official Trailer

All films can be accessed through the Las Nubes Grounded Project Site.

ASCEND Program

Dr. Catriona Buick with PhD Candidate Veronica Salia at the
University of Health & Allied Sciences in Ho, Ghana

Developing a Community of Canadian and West African Nursing Doctoral Students

ASCEND stands for “Advancing Scholarship and Capacity for Emerging Nursing Doctorates” and is a transformational scholarship program to help expand the capacity, quality and scope of nursing education programs in both Canada and West Africa.

Faculty from participating partner institutions (primarily in Ghana) earn their nursing PhD at York University, then – following their doctoral courses – develop and lead nursing-related research programs in their home country, pursuing sustainable approaches to strengthen both higher education and health systems in West Africa. This partnership helps ensure nursing faculty have the advanced credentials and experience needed to enhance the education of nurses and midwives graduating from their programs each year.

York’s ASCEND program is a global partnership focusing on good health and well-being, bringing West African and Canadian communities together to address the challenges and changing demands for nursing services globally.

PhD Experiences

PhD Candidate and ASCEND Scholar, Irene Torshie Attachie shares the impact of ASCEND on advancing nursing and midwifery and her work in Ghana.