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B.S. in Language & International Health

Welcome from Dre Martin, President, L&IH Society

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Former Presidents, L&IH Society: Meg O'Sell and Elise Dengler

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Meg O’Sell (

Hi everyone! I would like to welcome you to the Language and International Health page. I am Meg O’Sell, and I’m a senior L&IH student, as well as this year’s President of the L&IH Society. If you’re interested in either Chinese or Spanish and health, then you’re in the right place. The highlight of many L&IH students’ college experience is interning abroad. I spent four months in Costa Rica taking classes and interning at a medical clinic. I shadowed in the family medicine and emergency departments of the clinic, and I also went on house calls and to health fairs with the doctors. As a student, I was well respected by the doctors and nurses who were more than willing to answer all of my questions and help me to learn. In addition, I lived in a home with my Mama Tica and two other students. This gave me another opportunity to immerse myself into the language and the culture. I was able to experience so much during my time there. Knowing another language allows you to communicate and develop relationships with so many more people. With a strong background in both Spanish and health, I’m excited with the opportunities I will have upon graduating. I will be applying to medical school this year. I feel being a part of the L&IH Society will help me stand out. Other graduates have continued on to receive master’s degrees in health administration, to go to physical therapy school, and to teach English in different countries, for example. I invite you to check out the rest of our page and contact me with any questions.

Elyse Dengler (

Hello Students! I’m so glad you are interested in the Language and International Health Program!  My name is Elyse Dengler, and I am a recent graduate of L&IH. I was the president of the L&IH Society, and I am a student at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry. I encourage you to first take a look at our curriculum when making your choice of major. I can assure you that you will be well equipped for a career in the medical field if you should choose this course of study. I was able to complete the required curriculum and also take the extra science classes for dental school, all while graduating in four years. This curriculum is so practical for the medical field today. Knowing another language is a skill that will set you apart from other applicants and open up new opportunities for you in all aspects of life. We have students who have accepted a job in healthcare administration, who are pursuing a master’s degree in public health, and who are working with non-profit organizations. The required internship abroad is an all-around beneficial experience. I not only improved my Spanish skills immensely, but I learned about dentistry and about other cultures. It has been an experience that has helped shape me as a person and will continue to influence me throughout my life. This program was the perfect fit for me since I was interested in both Spanish and Health, so if those interest you as well then you should seriously consider this major. I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors, and go tigers!

L&IH Program

The Bachelor of Science program in Language and International Health is jointly administered by the Department of Languages and the Department of Public Health Sciences in the College of Health, Education and Human Development. Students acquire knowledge in public health theory and practice, including the history and philosophy of public health and medicine; the organization, management, and financing of health services; the social and behavioral aspects of health, epidemiology, health evaluation methods, and health communications. Students also acquire communicative competence in the target language and its culture, literatures, health environments, and multicultural issues. The program offers two tracks: Chinese and Spanish.

The L&IH major allows students to combine language classes with a strong background in public health. By encouraging students to enroll in a variety of culture, language, and health science classes, L&IH students are able to learn not only about the health care of the United States, but health care beyond our own borders, as well. These students complete an internship abroad consisting of 135 hours of international experience in the field of public health. Advanced language skills and international experience set L&IH students apart. Many continue on to pursue further training, including a master in public health, certification in medical translation, or enroll in professional health schools, such as medical, dental, nursing, therapy and physician's assistant programs. L&IH is truly unique in the opportunities it provides and in the students that it produces.

Students Share Their L&IH Experiences

For More Information

Please contact the L&IH Director, Dr. Graciela Tissera: 713 Strode Tower, 656-3493,