Brown & the World

Brown makes a distinctive contribution to global research, service, and education

The Brown community forges an original relationship with the world and makes a distinctive contribution to global research, service and education. 

The Office of Global Engagement articulates and implements Brown’s strategy for global activity, leads efforts to raise the University’s international visibility, oversees the University's wide array of international partnerships and programs, and works closely with faculty and administration to ensure that new initiatives serve to enhance Brown’s global standing and research mission.

More than 500 Brown students study outside of the United States each year through numerous international partnerships offered by the Office of International Programs. Students can be found in classrooms, laboratories, libraries and research sites around the globe, participating in academic programs offered by Brown or in courses approved for credit by the university.

Brown’s centers and departments work to better our world in many ways. One example is the Brown University AIDS Program (BRUNAP), an internationally known site for global HIV prevention education. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, BRUNAP trains lab researchers and clinicians around the world—especially in Southeast Asia.

The Global Health Initiative is distinguished by an integrative, overarching approach to interrelated problems of health and development. The Initiative brings the social, cultural and human dimensions of global health problems and their biomedical and technological elements together under a single umbrella. Building upon Brown’s expertise in population analysis and infectious disease intervention, the Initiative offers research, teaching and service opportunities for students and faculty, addressing issues of capacity, infrastructure, environment and health care delivery to reduce the burden of disease in impoverished communities.

From understanding climate history to coping with the present and developing plans for adapting to the changes that are coming, Brown faculty and students involved in the Environmental Change Initiative (ECI) apply scientific expertise, technical innovation and personal commitment to the complex problem of climate change. The ECI and the Center for Environmental Studies form the core of Brown's climate-related research and teaching, but activity extends to many corners of the University. Climate change requires new levels of international collaboration and response, which will transform Brown.

Support services for international students include the Office of International Student & Scholar Services and the Third World Center, both offering opportunities for the entire Brown community to celebrate diverse cultures.  

A variety of programs and organizations contribute to a campus-wide culture of international awareness. In 2009, Focus on Africa presented a series of activities and events designed to strengthen Brown’s cultural and academic ties to African nations. 

The academic year of 2009-10 was Brown’s official Year of India, which included major public lectures, cultural events, academic conferences, multimedia and other explorations of India and its dramatic rise on the world stage. 

Brown’s global reach extends beyond the gates of campus to establish the university’s place as a positive force in a complex and interconnected world.