NOTE: SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, SIT may have to modify programs. Visit the SIT website for more details.
Learn about public health through traditional medicine and intercultural health practices, indigenous customs, community welfare, and social justice.
- Learn about healthcare policies, politics, and delivery with a special emphasis on indigenous communities and traditional medicine.
- Examine national healthcare policies and intercultural and alternative healing in urban and rural Chile.
- Gain global perspectives from the program base in Arica.
- Learn from and engage with government, medical, academic and indigenous sources.
- Conduct field study and learn public health research methods.
- Choose to intern at a health facility, social, community or indigenous organization, nonprofit institution, or university or to conduct independent research.
- Learn traditional medicine from shamans and traditional birth attendants.
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use your new language and cultural skills and the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you.
Conducted in Arica, Santiago, Valparaíso, Temuco, or other approved locations appropriate to the project, the Independent Study Project offers you an opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of your choice. You may also choose to incorporate a guided practicum experience into the project.
Sample topic areas:
- Women’s and children’s health
- Community outreach
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Traditional and intercultural health
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Chilean health policy
- Mental health
- HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention policies
- Indigenous health practices
- Infectious and chronic disease conditions
- Social, economic, political, structural, and ideological determinants of health
If you choose to complete an internship during the last four weeks of this program, you will be placed with a local organization to gain work experience related to the program’s theme and to develop professional skills you can use in your career. SIT internships are hands-on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper about your learning experience on the job and analyzing an issue important to the organization you worked with. You may also design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization.
Interning in Chile
SIT internships are hands on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper processing your learning experience on the job and analyzing an issue important to the organization you worked with, and/or you will design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization. SIT works with organizations that are well known in the fields of health, indigenous affairs, community development, and Chilean politics.
Sample Internship sites:
- Working in intercultural health, health of indigenous peoples, and sexually transmitted diseases among indigenous populations at Red Nacional de Pueblos Originarios (RENPO)
- Assisting efforts in public health advocacy, health education, primary health care, maternal and child health, chronic care at Red de Centros de Salud Familiar (CESFAM)
- Providing education and rehabilitation for children with physical and developmental disabilities at Teletón
- Providing intercultural bilingual education and promoting intercultural health at a private school in Chol Chol (Mapuche territory)
- Assisting social, artistic, and physical therapy for patients with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease at Centro de Estudios de Trastornos del Movimiento
Key Topics of Study
- Chile’s national and indigenous healthcare systems
- The specific health needs and practices of indigenous populations
- Social, economic, political, structural, and ideological determinants of public health planning, practices, and outcomes
- Diversity of healing and spiritual beliefs
- Health of women, children, teenagers, the elderly, and other potentially vulnerable populations
- Public health, community participation, and community empowerment
Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.
SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:
- All educational costs, including educational excursions
- All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
- Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
- Health and accident insurance
- SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- All scholarships and grants are need-based.
- Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.
- The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program.
- Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.
Contact SIT Study Abroad
Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
This program has been renamed for Spring 2010 and was previously named "Chile: Public Health and Community Welfare".
This site is currently under construction. Please check the program provider website for additional information about this program.