Summer School on refugee & migrant health


When: 29th of August – 9th of September 2022
Where: Bern, Switzerland

All healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, public health specialists, humanitarian aid workers, …), as well as students at the end of their master’s degree / PhD, who are already working with refugees / migrants or who intend to do so in the near future. Furthermore all professions (e.g. social workers,,..) from various sectors (NGO, governmental, private…), working within the medical healthcare of migrants and refugees, who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge within the field of public & global health care. We welcome participants from Switzerland and all over the world.

Given the ongoing migration around the world, it is not surprising that we are increasingly treating patients with a direct or indirect migration background in medical practice as well. This poses special challenges for the health professionals involved. 

The Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health offers a unique opportunity to impart specialist and background knowledge in the field of migration and refugee healthcare and to prepare health professionals for the challenges and special features in the treatment of patients with a migration background. Moreover, we encourage networking and multidisciplinary exchange between peers and experts, in order to bring people together and thus to create synergies and bundle resources. Participants will learn firsthand through lectures and exchange with national and international experts within the field of refugee and migrant healthcare. Additionally, innovative learning scenarios support the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice in the field of clinical work and the management of public health projects. Through challenge-based learning, participants will be able to acquire and use their own skills to face some of the most pressing problems and to find potential solutions by formulating specific action / project plans to overcome challenges in the provision of healthcare to refugees and migrants.

Course outlet: 
1st week (clinical focus): Introduction to healthcare of refugees and migrants, sensitisation for transcultural competence and the importance of interdisciplinary team work and cooperation. The multi-dimensional aspects and main health problems in the healthcare of refugees and migrants will be presented in the different disciplines (e.g. dentistry, paediatrics, dermatology, infectious diseases, psychology, general medicine, sexual and reproductive and emergency medicine). Knowledge and skills are imparted in a very practical manner by national and international specialists and through participation in case studies and simulations / exercises. In addition, there are accompanying breakout-sessions with the experts, in order to network and to be able to ask questions and apply what has been learned.

2nd week (public health (research) project planning): The second week of the Summer School focuses on the planning of public health projects within refugee and migrant healthcare. Participants will learn how to plan a project by applying project cycle management. In seminars, the participants are instructed to formulate their own project objectives, plan a budget, apply logic framework, define monitoring and evaluation criteria and indicators and instructed how to conduct a needs assessment and a stakeholder analysis. Finally, a short project protocol on the chosen topic in group work will be established and presented in front of an expert panel, which will provide feedback on the project idea, plan and feasibility. The best project will win a prize. This course will be co-organized with the MSc Global Health and Disaster Medicine-School of Medicine-National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)-Greece, that has develloped the basic curriculum design and has been running a similar course in Athens for more than a decade. Civil society, International NGOs, UN bodies and Governmental Organizations have been an integral part of this course by providing facilitators and sharing their operational experiences. Trying to simulate this ecosystem, a number of external speakers have been invited and a module (external evaluation and advocacy) is supported by MSF Greece.

Swiss Symposium on Refugee and Migrant Health:
All participants of the Summer-School can participate in the Symposium and Workshops. 

Innovative Design and Activities:
– Interdisciplinary setting & networking with peers & experts from Switzerland & globally

– Innovative, interactive learning scenarios:
-> hands-on seminar (including VR glasses): to understand the refugee journey including living in transit countries  and to detect SDH of refugee and migrants
-> case studies & simulations / exercises
-> project development accompanied by experts and concept-pitch to real stakeholders from the field
-> flipped classroom with prerecorded sessions by international experts and life Q&A sessions
-> lectures by national and international experts

– Participation in workshops and program of the Swiss Refugee and Migrant Health Symposium

Overarching learning goals:
– Gaining competencies in the medical care of patients with a migration background
– Gaining skills in the management of public health projects

Learning Outcomes:
After the course you will be able to:

– recognise interdisciplinary challenges & interactions within the healthcare of refugees and migrants and have acquired the necessary skills and tools to be able to react to these. 

– apply these skills in your own clinical routine

– apply the concept of transcultural competence 

– have a conversation in a transcultural setting with an interpreter 

– plan PH/research projects in a structured manner

– recognize which resources are available and which actors are & must be involved for the success of the project (required cooperation of many interdisciplinary actors)

– develop a project concept proposal


Responsible for the concept and program of the summer school: Dr. Anne Jachmann

 Program may be subject to change (current version will always be displayed here):
You can find the detailed plan here.

1st week: 29th of August – 3rd of September (8:30 – 17:30)
Monday – Friday mornings: Training & Lectures
Monday – Friday afternoons: Exercises & Lectures

2nd week: 5th of September – 9th of September (9:00 – 17:00)
Monday – Thursday mornings: Seminars, workshops & group work
Monday – Thursday afternoons: Seminars, workshops & project presentation
Friday – Swiss Symposium on refugee & migrant health

Speakers (list is subject to change):
– Prof. Patrick Bodenmann, University of Lausanne/Unisanté
Prof. Aristomenis Exadaktylos, Emergency Department, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
– Prof. Daniel Paris, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
– Prof. Charles Agyemang, University of Amsterdam
– Dr. Valeska Padovese, Genitourinary Clinic, Maltese Ministry of Health
– PD David Srivastava, Department of General Internal Medicine, Hirslanden Bern AG, Salem-Spital Bern
– Prof. Adam Brown, New School for Social Research, New York
– Dr. Eleni Kakalou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Prof. Lena Verdeli, Columbia University, New York
– Dr. Julia Brandenberger, University of Toronto
Prof. Maria GavouneliNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Prof. Bernhard Schaller, Academic teaching practice of the Institutes of Family Medicine of the Universities of Basel and Bern
Dr. Irshad ShaikhWHO European Center on Preparedness for Humanitarian and Health Emergencies
– Prof. Teodoro Forcht Dagi, Professor of Neurosurgery and Enterprise Vice-Chari, the Mayo Alix College of Medicine and Science
– Prof. Yves Jackson, Division of primary care medicine, Geneva University Hospital and University of Geneva
– Prof. Anu Castaneda, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki
Prof. Anthony RedmondHumanitarian and Conflict Response Institute,
University of Manchester
– Dr. Afona Chernet, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
– Prof. Ines Keygnaert, University of Ghent
– Prof. Eva Cignacco Müller, Bern University of Applied Sciences
– Dr. Agis Tercidis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Dr. Anna Eichenberger, Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
PD Martin Müller, Emergency Department, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
– Prof. Emmanouil Pikoulis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Dr. Evika KaramagioliNational and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Anastasios Yfantis, Doctors of the World, Greece
PD Mirko Winkler, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
Prof. Claudio Bassetti, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, University of Bern
Dr. Fabienne Jäger, general practice in Muttenz, Baselland
– Christina Psarra, General Director of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Greece
– Xenophon Kappas, Director at Captain Vassilis & Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation
– George Karapanagos, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Greece

You can find the detailed plan here.


Apply now if you are not to miss this great opportunity.

You will be notified as soon as possible if your application has been successful. Your registration is completed and valid only once full payment has been received.

Regular Fee: 

– CHF 990 for the complete 2 weeks
– CHF 650 1st week (6 days)
– CHF 450 2nd week (4 days + Symposium)

Included in the price:
Fee for course (summer school, workshops, Symposium) and course material, lunches & coffee breaks 29th August – 2nd September & 5th – 8th September. The price does not include travel costs, accommodation or insurance.

Cancellation Policy:
For participants who have applied and been accepted to the course, but who subsequently withdraw:
Cancellations up until 31st of July 2022: We will refund the fee paid minus CHF 100 to cover administration and banking fees.

For cancellations after 31st of July 2022, there will be no refund.

Selection Criteria:
The number of participants is limited to 30. We aim to have a lively, international and interdisciplinary group of participants with a balanced number of different professions. Since this is an interactive program, we encourage people to participate in the Summer School  who enjoy to engage with peers and experts.


General information

Who may apply?
All healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, public health specialists, humanitarian aid workers, …), as well as students at the end of their master’s degree / PhD, who are already working with refugees / migrants or who intend to do so in the near future. Furthermore, all professions (e.g. social workers,,..) from various sectors (NGO, governmental, private…), working within the medical healthcare of migrants and refugees who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge within the field of public & global health care. We welcome participants from Switzerland and all over the world.

Level of English:
Given the interactive design of the course, an adequate level of English is expected. We do not require an English language certificate, but every participant should be able to follow the lectures, read scientific articles in English, to actively participate in the group work and discussions and to give a presentation. 

ECTS and Continuing Education Credits:
By participating in the summer school, you can receive the following continuing education credits & ECTS (amount for the complete 2 weeks, correspondingly lower share for fewer days):

SPHD (Swiss Professional Society for Public Health): 67 Credits
SGNOR (Swiss Professional Society for Emergency and Rescue Medicine): 68 Credits
SSAPM (Swiss Society for Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine): 40 Credits
SGC (Swiss Professional Society for Surgery): 12 Credits

ECTS (University of Bern): 4
Acknowledgement of the ECTS points in the study programs at home institutions other than the University of Bern is the responsibility of the participants.

There are several B&B, hostels, student accommodation and hotels near the Summer School venue. Upon request, we can assist in booking an accommodation.

Social/ Leisure time activities:
There are plenty of activities to do in Bern and its surroundings, including swimming in the Aare river, taking a hike in the alps or exploring Bern’s old city centre.

Bern is easily accessible by bus or train and has its own airport. Furthermore, there are direct trains from Basel central train station (15min by bus from Basel Airport) or Zurich and Geneva Airport to Bern’s central train station.  

Please make sure you have a valid health and accident insurance which will cover your stay in Switzerland.

Participants are responsible for checking whether they need a visa for Switzerland.

Public Transportation in Bern:
You can easily get around the city by foot or rent a bicycle. There are also buses and tram, which connect the whole city. Please explore options: 

For questions on the content or organisation of the summer school intensive course please contact:

Our sponsors & collaborators