International Student Training & Exchange Program

Welcome to the International Student Training and Exchange Program (iSTEP) where TUFH member institutions can participate in an intersectoral exchange with their students.

Each institution can provide students to participate in one of the three courses below. All students will work in groups with other international and intersectoral students guided by a tutor.  All tutors and students will be required to attend ALL sessions related to their specific course. Please see schedule below.

Innovative Cities & Health Course



Patterns of urbanization and land use transformation are one of the most impactful human influences on global ecosystems and human health and wellbeing. For example, climate change and urban heat island effects have been shown to increase volatility and duration of heat waves and precipitation, with direct and secondary effects evident in increased flooding, disease vectors, food and water shortages and others. More distant, tertiary effects are consequences of these events and changes, such as depression, drug addiction, and impaired childhood development in failing communities. Many of these effects demonstrate disproportional and unjust impacts on ecological and social communities throughout the world.

The education curriculum of health workers, engineers, architects and others needs to start including the consequences of climate change as an increasingly prominent issue in wellness. This course will examine the interconnected social, physical, and ecological systems of the contemporary city that influence people’s health and wellness. Students will learn about innovative approaches to these systems through a series of weekly readings, facilitated discussions, and independent field studies.

Communication: Talking with Partners, Patients, and Communities Course 



Professionals in all sectors need to communicate effectively with individuals and their communities to be able to offer innovations and care to improve wellness. Building relationships with vulnerable individuals and communities is particularly challenging especially when there has been a history of mistrust. While healthcare relationships form a special case of an uneven power interaction, the skills required in all sectors share common features.

During this course students in health, engineering, architecture, arts, and other domains will learn how to build trust, to act with empathy, and to communicate effectively. The international and intersectoral context of the course will encourage exploration of personal issues of bias and hidden assumptions. We will explore the unique and common elements of relationships focused on individual and community wellness. Communication across cultures and backgrounds will be emphasized.

Social Determinants of Health Course



Health Equity requires that “everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier” by “removing obstacles to health such as poverty….. lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality of education and housing, safe environments, and health care.” Achieving health equity requires effective solutions by both investing in systems that are designed to improve social and economic conditions including housing, transportation, education, income and employment assistance, child and family supports, and legal and criminal justice services and integrating these investments into often disconnected medical and public health programs tasked with improving health. The course Social Determinants of Health is based upon the World Health Organization’s Framework. The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. The topics utilized by WHO are 20 employment conditions, social exclusion, public health priorities, women and gender equity, early child development, globalization, health systems, and measurement and evidence. Through exploration of each of above mentioned topics students will understand what are social determinants of health and how they interact in daily life, leading to better or worse health outcomes.

iSTEP editions



TUFH Institutional Members can register students for free – just provide 1 faculty tutor for every 10 students registered. Not a member yet? Join TUFH with 50% downpayment of the institutional fee and pay the balance later.

For further information contact

  • Institutions sign an MOU agreeing to provide 1 tutor for every 10 students.
  • Institutions are responsible for providing credit and time for students and faculty to participate.
  • We monitor attendance. Tutors or students who miss more than 2 live sessions without explanation will be dropped and we will communicate with the institution.

Individual students:

Students can register through their SNO membership.

The timeline for the next program :

June, 2024 : Confirm participation

July 31, 20234: Provide list of students and tutors

October 2024 – May 2025 : Courses (once a month)

Innovative Cities & Health

2-4 PM UTC

  • Introduction : Oct 3, 2024
  • Module 1 : Nov 2, 2023
  • Module 2 : Dec 7, 2023
  • Module 3 : Jan 4, 2024
  • Module 4 : Feb 1, 2024
  • Module 5 : Mar 7, 2024
  • Module 6 : Apr 4, 2024
  • Closing + Feedback  : May 2, 2024


2-4 PM UTC

  • Introduction : Oct 12, 2023
  • Module 1 : Nov 9, 2023
  • Module 2 : Dec 14, 2023
  • Module 3 : Jan 11, 2024
  • Module 4 : Feb 8, 2024
  • Module 5 : Mar 14, 2024
  • Module 6 : Apr 11, 2024
  • Closing + Feedback  : May 9, 2024

Social Determinants of Health

2-4 PM UTC

  • Introduction : Oct 19, 2023
  • Module 1 : Nov 16, 2023
  • Module 2 : Dec 21, 2023
  • Module 3 : Jan 18, 2024
  • Module 4 : Feb 15, 2024
  • Module 5 : Mar 21, 2024
  • Module 6 : Apr 18, 2024
  • Closing + Feedback  : May 16, 2024


iSTEP Institutions Promotional



iSTEP Students Promotional