International Health Studies

Are you a Faculty of Health Care student looking to broaden your horizons? Do you want to become an internationally trained health care professional? And are you keen to acquire intercultural skills? International Health Services (IHS) is for you!

Welcome to HU

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Students sitting on the grass at HU Campus

This intensive programme gives you a solid theoretical basis on the latest insights into intercultural health care provision, which you will apply in a ten-week internship/project of your choice. You will have lectures, tutorials and assignments, and work on a portfolio, a personal development plan and a final report. You also give presentations to your fellow students, anchoring your learning experience.

Useful to know

Start date February, September
Number of ECTS 30 Dutch Education System
Programme level Minor
Programme code GKO-IHS-15
Language of instruction English
Year of study Year 3 or 4
Practical Matters Housing and Immigration
Location Utrecht Science Park

Course content

What do you need to enter this programme? And what can you expect when you apply? In this section you'll find all you need to know!

The exchange programme International Health Studies (IHS) is a 20-week programme aimed at improving your intercultural awareness and intercultural communication skills, making you a more rounded health care professional. An intensive internship/project is part of the programme.

The programme looks at intercultural (health care) models, interacting effectively with people of a variety of backgrounds and understanding culture-specific concepts of perception, thinking, feeling, and acting. In collaboration with the IHS team, you are required to secure your own internship, which has to be in place and approved at the start of the minor programme.

Our exchange programme IHS is open to all Faculty of Health Care students. Students studying a Health Care related topic at other universities of applied sciences (national and international) are also welcome to join, but please contact the coordinator before applying and check the information below.

Please note that a motivational letter is part of the application process.

Would you like to know more about this programme or do you have a specific question? Please contact the programme coordinator, Edwin Hagenbeek.


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be quite difficult to find internship placements within the Netherlands or abroad. Therefore, we can replace the internship part of the programme for a project in the Netherlands. You can develop your own project or participate in an existing project.

Special programme for international students

If you’re an international student, we can offer a special programme of 10 or 13 weeks (both 15 EC). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the possibility of a practical placement is unfortunately not always available. Are you interested in this special programme? Before applying, please contact the programme coordinator, Edwin Hagenbeek, to discuss the course content and the possibilities of participating in this programme.

The programme takes place during one semester (two blocks) and consists of the following courses:

Course code





Aware and Prepare

Healthcare Systems and Culture



Theory and Plan of Approach


Personal Elements and Reflection



Home Sweet Home

Services and Products


Theoretical and Professional Comparison


Logbook and Reflections


The programme starts with a theoretical part, lasting six weeks. Afterwards, you will leave for your project or traineeship/work experience, for ten weeks or a minimum of 40 days. The programme finishes with a four-week theoretical part. All classes are on weekdays.

In our Course Guide you can find all relevant information about the programme in one practical document. Download it here for your convenience.

  • You must have the propaedeutic diploma.
  • This programme is open for undergraduate students of
    • Nursing
    • BMH
    • MiZ
    • Physiotherapy*
    • Cesar Therapy
    • Skin Therapy
    • Dental Hygiene
    • Optometry
    • Orthoptics
    • Speech Therapy
    • Applied Pharmacology

* The numbers are fixed and connected to availability of internship places

English CEFR level B2.

Please note: If your English language ability proves to be insufficient to participate actively in (parts of) the courses you have chosen, we cannot be bound to the Learning Agreement, neither can we guarantee to offer you the required amount of study load (EC’s). Teachers might request you to take a diagnostic test at the start of the course to check if your English language ability is sufficient to successfully participate in that specific course. In all cases it is up to the programme manager to decide if your English language ability is sufficient to be eligible for the programme/course.

Practical information

When you move to a different country to study, there are lots of things to arrange. For instance, where will you live, how much are the costs? Visit our practical information page to help you prepare your stay. It is also important to start arranging a living space as soon as possible. Our housing pages will help you on your way. A student living in the Netherlands needs about € 800 - 1000 a month to cover living expenses, such as housing, food and transportation. This includes insurances – health insurance is mandatory.

Find out how to apply

Ready for an international adventure?

why choose hu?

  • Become an all-round international health care professional

    Completion of our minor programme International Health Services provides you with a solid theoretical and practical foundation to be the health care professional of the future. You will feel confident working in a diverse environment, at home or abroad.

  • Inspiring international setting

    HU supports your ambitions. Our lecturers will tutor and assist you in making the most of this international programme. During your time in Utrecht, you will meet students from all over the world and make connections to last a lifetime.

  • Utrecht Science Park Campus

    Studying at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht means you get to enjoy all the benefits of our modern campus, Utrecht Science Park (USP). A miniature city with the universities' buildings, student housing, restaurants, cafés, a sports centre, and much more, it enjoys excellent transport links to Utrecht and beyond.

  • Vibrant university city Utrecht

    Beautiful Utrecht has lots of young people and excellent facilities for student life. It has a mediaeval city centre which is small enough to explore by foot or bicycle. Enjoy a drink next to the quaint canals or dine in one of the converted wharf cellars.

Exterior Padualaan 99 and 101, Utrecht Science Park

Interested in our International Health Studies programme?

Want to know more?