UF Faculty Department College
Sara Agnelli
Rania Gollakner
One Health Center of Excellence College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Partner Faculty Department Partner Institution
Iván Palacios School of Medicine Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador)
Living COVID-19 around the Globe
Project Description:

This virtual exchange project was an interactive collaboration between undergraduate and graduate students at University of Florida and Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Separately, UF students studied different social and behavioral science methods to understand the complexity of the current pandemic and learn about tools for resilience, preparedness, and management of the current pandemic as an investment for future global crises. USFQ students were attending the Global Health program offered USFQ School of Medicine in affiliation with Hospital de los Valles. In the collaborative session, students share their Covid-19 experience, discussing a variety of topics including “Public health systems in US and Ecuador”, “Challenges in times of Covid-19”, “Health, language, and minorities”, “Education, University life, and Covid-19”, “Family life and Covid-19”.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Global perspectives
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Collaboration and exchange of new information related to geography and culture
Participating Countries:
Number of Participants:
20 UF students and 15 students from the partner institution
Global Health
UF Course Code & Name:
ALS4932-COV1(28449) - The Circular Nature of Covid-19
Project Duration:
1 week
Activity Type(s):
Student-to-Student Dialogue
Virtual Guest Speaker
Time allotted to each activity:
Synchronous Activities: 1 hour
Asynchronous Activities: 2 hours
Local group activities: 1 hour
Individual Work: 2 hours
Technology Tools:
Videoconference: Zoom
Learning Management System: Canvas
Message Boards/Video Boards: Flipgrid
Sequence of Activities:

The project had two parts: guest lectures from faculty and one synchronous discussion among students. 

  • Lecture by USFQ faculty to UF class: COVID-19 in Ecuador: Interventions, Lessons and Impacts of the Pandemic
  • Lecture by UF faculty to USFQ class: COVID-19 in the US: Interventions, Lessons and Impacts of the Pandemic

Synchonous discussion between UF and USFQ students to discuss the following topics:

  • Public health systems in US and Ecuador
    • What is the process to see a doctor and receive treatment (e.g. choosing a doctor, making an appointment, wait times, cost and who is responsible for payment, prescription access, diagnostic testing)
    • If there is a government provided option, who has access?
    • What are the gaps and challenges for healthcare coverage?
    • Did the health care systems change before and after covid?
  • Challenges in times of Covid-19
    • Food access
    • Social interactions
    • Mental health
    • Economy
    • Employment
    • Housing and homelessness
  • Health, language, and minorities
    • Are there language barriers to communication as it pertains to administering healthcare, communicating health information, and executing interventions for COVID-19?
    • How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected minorities? Has it been the same or different from others?
    • Are there health disparities between different populations regarding general health, healthcare access, and COVID-19 affects?
    • Has xenophobia increased since the start of the pandemic? How are immigrants treated?
  • Education, University life, and Covid-19
    • Has COVID-19 affected your education? How? (e.g. ability to learn virtually, accessibility, feeling disconnected / isolated, difficulty in meeting and connecting with peers, social life, fears and concerns related to the virus on campus)
  • Family life and Covid-19
    • Has COVID-19 affected your family? How? (family members that have gotten sick, family at increased risk for disease, financial struggles and employment, distance and ability to visit extended family, marriage / relationship issues, children and childcare during the pandemic)
  • Politics, policies, WHO?
    • What are the political influences on how the pandemic was managed?
    • How were policies to control the spread of Covid-19 initiated and instituted? Locally? Nationally?
    • How do you feel about the WHO’s role in the pandemic? What could they have done better? What did they do well?
    • Has science and politics clashed? Are politicians listening to scientists to shape policies and interventions?

Final reflection: what did they learn, what did they walk away with, what were the notable differences, what else would you like to learn or to know (Written assignment)