Poverty amidst plenty in Florida, USA 2018

Ref: HLS-R2-004-2018


This interdisciplinary/interprofesional  trip is open to Health Studies, Medical Science, Sociology, Nursing, YCD and Education Studies students, who are enrolled on Health and Disease in Communities (HEST 2119 Level 5), Health Promotion and Public Health (HEST 3127), Clinical Perspectives 1 (MSCI2001), Feminisms and Masculinities (HEST 3402), Dissertation (HEST 3401), Professional responsibility (NURS 2000 2 Level 5), Professional responsibility 3 NURS 3000 Level 6), Working in partnership with service users (NURS 3020 Level 6), Anti-Oppressive Practice (ASCS 5301), Contemporary Social Issues (ASCS 5807), Mental Health (ASCS 5808), Teaching Diversity International Perspectives (EDUC2224 Level 2) and Education and Equality; Class, Race and Ethnicity (EDUC3312 Level 6).

The maximum number of places is 30 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is five. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


Florida, as America’s “Sunshine State”, is a major destination for British tourists and yet seldom is it thought of as a poverty stricken and deprived area. However, perhaps surprisingly, central Florida has higher rates of poverty, unemployment and other health and social problems than the rest of the state and levels way above the national average for the USA.

This trip will give students the opportunity to look beyond the facade of the “American Dream” and to analyse the reality of American society and its contrasting conditions, including healthcare systems, community responses, ideology, political and culture with that of the UK.

This field trip will explore health, social policy and medical policy agendas around poverty and health inequalities and look at both the state’s and community’s responses to dealing with these issues. It will provide an excellent opportunity to explore the links between poverty and health and wellbeing from an interdisciplinary perspective. There will also be an opportunity to explore and reflect on how the differing philosophies and approaches to service provision within the US and UK seek to address the issues arising as a result of poverty. Developing a dialogue between disciplines helps provide a common vocabulary for talking about the kinds of global learning that students need to thrive and survive in the 21st Century – a vocabulary that works across the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts.

Students will attend classes on health and seminars on health and social care policy with American students at the University of Central Florida, where they will present papers on their findings. Students will be expected to apply sociological, ideological and professional practice perspectives and models to the agencies they visit and the activities in which they are engaged. Students who display excellence in their writing and delivery could be offered the opportunity to co-author a paper, based on their original work, with a member of academic staff, to be submitted for publication to a conference or an appropriate journal.

In addition, students will visit a range of local organisations and agencies working with people who are experiencing severe financial hardship, socially excluded or experiencing mental health problems on issues such as homelessness, subsistence (food banks), addiction and education. There will also be a trip to a local labor union. Students will observe a range of interventions and approaches to health inequalities and poverty-related issues and be able to question practitioners as to why they have chosen specific methods.

Cultural activities

Students will have the opportunity to take a canoe trip through the mangrove swamps adjacent to Cocoa Beach, where they could see manatees, fresh water dolphins and other wildlife. There will also be an airboat ride to see alligators and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Trips to theme parks will not only offer leisure activities but also the chance to speak to employees (after meeting representatives of Unite Here Local 362) to compare terms and conditions between those on union contracts (Disney) and those unorganised (Universal).

Travel and accommodation

Flights for this opportunity will be booked independently by the student and accommodation will be booked by the Faculty.

Contact details

Visa information

To take part in this trip you must meet US immigration requirements. All students will require an ESTA or some kind of visa to travel to the USA – all accepted students will get more information and advice on how to apply. If you have any questions, email dmuglobal@dmu.ac.uk. You are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements to ensure you receive your visa prior to departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Saturday 24 February 2018
  • Return date: Thursday 8 March 2017
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £790
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, vehicle hire, fuel, food and drink and visa (if applicable)
  • #DMUglobal bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 30 October 2017 9am