Examine urban epidemiology and the challenges and inequities in public health policy in Buenos Aires.
Study in Buenos Aires, home to renowned health institutions and highly engaged public and private stakeholders working on health policy, research, delivery, and advocacy.
Visit academic institutions and community organizations engaged in health-related work, and meet with senior public officials including at least one former health minister.
Examine significant social and economic disparities in health.
Buenos Aires and the surrounding region (Greater Buenos) are home to more than 30 percent of Argentina’s population. It is a city of marked contrasts, where wealth and poverty coincide. Challenges include the contamination of the Riachuelo basin in the city center as well as the presence of chronic diseases.
Benefit from SIT’s close partnership with ISALUD, the nation’s top health university
Located in the city’s traditional San Telmo neighborhood, ISALUD is also a think tank made up of many of the country’s top health policymakers. Its graduates can be found throughout Argentina in key roles related to health policy, practice, and advocacy. SIT students have their own meeting room on the ISALUD campus and access to ISALUD common facilities, including the university’s library.
Learn Spanish with a focus on public healthThe Spanish language course is designed to prepare you for successful daily interactions with lecturers, healthcare practitioners, and host families. Emphasis is on increasing language skills in areas related to the program theme: public health, community welfare, and epidemiology. Language classes meet three times each week in small-group formats. The course incorporates in-class instruction, roundtable discussions, oral presentations, field excursions, and group exercises.
Study at the headquarters of ISALUD in the city's traditional San Telmo neighborhood.In addition to its role as a university, ISALUD serves as a think tank made up of many of the country's top health policymakers. Its graduates serve in key roles in health policy, practice, and advocacy throughout Argentina.
Use your new research skills to conduct a final Independent Study Project or enhance your skills with an internship.
Work side by side with Red Cross volunteers on a community project in Tucumán, one of poorest provinces in the country.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in health sciences, political science, anthropology, sociology, or development studies, as assessed by SIT. Three recent semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent and the ability to follow coursework and assignments in Spanish, as assessed by SIT.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Health system organization
- The political process of defining a public health agenda
- Social determinants of health
- Intercultural barriers to quality care
- Chronic diseases in urban environments
- Health needs specific to urban environments
SIT was one of the most important and influential organizations for me...
My time spent on the Spring 2014 Public Health in Urban Environments program was pivotal to my academic interests. SIT was one of the most important and influential organizations for me throughout my college career as I worked as a student ambassador on campus … to build the pipeline of University of Tennessee students for SIT programs.
The contacts I made both as a student on my SIT program and through the ambassador program facilitated my applications to the Schwarzman Scholar program and the British Marshall Scholarship, where I was also selected as a finalist. I am so fortunate and thankful to have had the guidance of my peers met through SIT, the amazing instruction and support provided through my SIT program, and the experience I gained working with SIT staff post-program.
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- Epidemiology and Social Determinants of Health – syllabus
- (IPBH3000 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This interdisciplinary seminar focuses on Argentina's epidemiological profile. Students explore the relationship between urban environments and the health of city residents. While recent public health sector achievements have improved the living conditions of many urban dwellers, great inequalities and inequities in health still exist. Through readings, lectures, and educational site visits, students critically analyze contemporary health challenges as they relate to epidemiology and social determinants of health. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
- Health Systems, Policies and Programs – syllabus
- (IPBH3005 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- In this seminar, students explore the emergence of healthcare systems and policies within Argentina's broader social, political, and economic history. Students examine healthcare at different scales of analysis, comparing and contrasting national, provincial, and local health systems as well as private, public, and socialized healthcare throughout the country. Students investigate firsthand the disparities of health and equity as they research alternative policies designed to reduce inequality. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
- Spanish for the Health Sciences I – syllabus
- (SPAN2003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for the Health Sciences II – syllabus
- (SPAN2503 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for the Health Sciences III – syllabus
- (SPAN3003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish for the Health Sciences IV – syllabus
- (SPAN3503 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- In this course, students hone their speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. They practice reading professional health science literature as they learn the formal terms and local expressions needed to discuss health policy issues, to conduct field research, and to interact in settings (such as clinics, community associations, and government offices) related to the program themes. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.
- Public Health Research Methods and Ethics – syllabus
- (IPBH3500 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This research methods course is designed to prepare students for an Independent Study Project or internship. Through lectures, readings, and field activities, students study and practice a range of methods appropriate for health-related research. They examine the ethical issues surrounding field research related to health issues and medicine and are guided through the World Learning / SIT Human Subjects Review process, which forms a core component of the course. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic or internship placement, selected appropriate methods, and written a solid proposal for an Independent Study Project or internship related to the program themes. All coursework is conducted in Spanish.
In addition to taking the above courses, students will also need to enroll in one of the following two courses:
- Internship and Seminar – syllabus
- (ITRN3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- This seminar consists of a four-week internship working with a local social organization, health services and research institutions in the City of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires province, Tucumán or Mendoza. The aim of the internship is to enable the student to gain valuable work experience and to enhance their skills in an international work environment. Students will complete an internship and submit a paper in which they process their learning experience on the job, analyze an issue important to the organization, and/or design a project or activity that address a need identified by the organization. An internship advisor/mentor appropriate to the organization/institution is also selected. Mentors are usually host country research professionals. In conducting their internship students directly utilize the concepts and skills of field-based learning. The internship will be conducted in Spanish.
- Independent Study Project – syllabus
- (ISPR3000 / 4 credits / 120 hours)
- Conducted in Buenos Aires or in another approved location appropriate to the project, the Independent Study Project offers students the opportunity to conduct field research on a topic of their choice within the program's thematic parameters. The project integrates learning from the various components of the program and culminates in a final presentation and formal research paper. Sample topic areas: health problems associated with urban lifestyles, grassroots advocacy and healthcare services; AIDS policy and care; public health consequences of environmental contamination; gender and reproductive rights; challenges to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in Argentina; healthcare access among immigrant populations.
Program in a minute-ish
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, the city of Mendoza is known for promoting universal access to contraception. The six-day excursion to Mendoza is therefore focused on sexual and reproductive health. By shadowing public health professionals and health promoters, you will learn how social and health services are delivered within low-income neighborhoods. You will visit a social security health service and private health providers to learn about projects to make health services more readily available. The visit will also include a debate, giving you the opportunity to discuss healthcare issues with stakeholders.
At the Universidad del Aconcagua, you will talk with experts about Mendoza’s epidemiological profile and health and social policies. Students from the university’s School of Medicine will mentor you during your visit.
Tucumán is considered one of poorest provinces in the country. Since Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis, there have been significant efforts to improve social and health services and reduce infant mortality and malnutrition. During this six-day excursion, you will learn how the provincial healthcare system is organized and how governmental and nongovernmental institutions are making infant and maternal health services available to vulnerable populations. Visits include large maternity hospitals, polyclinics, and primary care health centers and explore the complex social problems in these systems, including the challenges faced by doctors, nurses, and social workers. You will also join Red Cross volunteers on a community project in a working-class neighborhood.
Dialogues with experts and government officials are held at Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, where you will attend classes on community health with social work students.
Located in the province of Buenos Aires, Florencio Varela is home to El Cruce Hospital, one of the most complex and modern public hospitals in Argentina, and an example of how an effective healthcare system works. During a three-day excursion, you will learn the functions of various levels of service, from primary care to high-risk surgery, observe a variety of medical specializations, and meet members of the hospital’s ethical review board.
You also will visit community service centers, second-level hospitals, and NGOs that provide health services in poor communities, and you will attend lectures at Universidad Nacional Arturo Jauretche. You will join Argentine students to volunteer for healthcare-related educational activities that might include workshops for adolescents on sexual health or visits to educational centers to promote hand-washing.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Ana Rita Díaz-Muñoz, PhD Candidate, Academic Director
Ana Rita received her BA in sociology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Santiago, Chile, and her MA in social demography from the Universidad Nacional de Luján. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Buenos Aires’ prestigious College of Social Sciences and a researcher at the Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social where she specializes in social, population, and health policy. Previously, she served as the academic director for SIT’s Argentina: Regional Integration, Development, and Social Change program. She joined SIT in the fall of 2005.
Ana Rita was a professor at the University of Buenos Aires law school in the family studies master’s program. She has extensive experience as a consultant for government and international agencies such as the Pan American Health Organization; the United Nations Development Programme; the United Nations Population Fund; and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Her research is on poverty, social policy, and health system reforms. Currently, she is researching the impact of social policies in reducing social inequality in early childhood. She is the author of numerous books, academic articles, and technical reports.
Valeria Lliubaroff, Program Assistant
Valeria helps students with daily issues, manages program logistics, and assists the academic director in coordinating all program activities. She received her BA in anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires in 2014. She studies social policies for her master’s degree at the same university. In 2005, she had her own homestay experience in Troyes and Avignon, France. As a national recreational technician, she has worked as an educational coordinator with young people in social clubs and schools since 2006. Valeria joined a community theater in 2011 and participates in art projects and recreational activities there.
Yanina Reinoso, Homestay Coordinator
Yanina works with students and families to facilitate the homestay experience and to assist the academic director in managing student affairs. In 2002–03, she was an exchange student in Sweden on a cultural program promoted by American Field Service. When she returned to Argentina, she worked as a volunteer for the AFS hosting program. This experience is key to her role in this program. Yanina also teaches English and studies political science at the University of Buenos Aires and music at the Popular Music School of Buenos Aires. She has worked as an English teacher for many years in different schools and at different levels.
Faculty and lecturers typically include:
Ana María Andía, MA
Ana María is a biochemist with the Universidad Nacional de San Luis. She specializes in public policy and the formulation and evaluation of projects for the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Buenos Aires and is the author of numerous articles and chapters on health and sexual and reproductive rights. She works with the Ministry of Health of Mendoza and is a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. From 2000–2007, she was head of the Reproductive Health Program in Mendoza Province, and she has also held roles in research, management, teaching, and technical assistance with CONICET, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, UTN, Consejo Nacional de la Mujer, Ministerio de Salud de la Nación, the Legislature and Municipality of Mendoza, and with the governments of Santa Fe, Catamarca, and La Rioja.
Oscar Cetrángolo, MA
Oscar is in charge of the Health System and Equity program module. He is an economist with a master’s degree in development studies from the University of Sussex, UK, and he directs the Master of Economics program at the University of Buenos Aires. He is a professor of public finance at the same university and a researcher with the Interdisciplinary Institute of Political Economy at the University of Buenos Aires-National University of Tres de Febrero. He has worked at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean as an expert in public policy. He was undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy from 1999 to 2001, and has held positions in the public sector with the Central Bank, Planning Secretariat, Budget Secretariat, and Fiscal Incomes Secretariat. He has published books and academic articles on public policies primarily related to taxation, fiscal federalism, health, and education.
Ernesto Cussianovich, MA
Ernesto directs the thematic seminar module on Argentine history. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Buenos Aires and has completed postgraduate studies in the UK and Spain. He holds a master’s degree in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a certificate in management of nonprofit organizations from the University of San Pablo CEU, Madrid. As a professor at Torcuato Di Tella University, he teaches courses on Argentine history, a seminar on the origins and evolution of the Peronist movement, and a seminar on budget and taxation. His research focuses on Argentine economic history with an emphasis on fiscal history and taxation.
Graciela Dinardi, MA
Graciela holds a master of arts in sociology from the University of Toronto, Canada, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Buenos Aires. She is a professor at the graduate school of the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero and is conducting research on social aspects of Chagas disease in endemic areas of Argentina. She co-authored a book on the culture and organization of blood donation and is conducting a study on health and wellbeing. Graciela has received numerous grants and scholarships.
Natalia Jorgensen, MA
Natalia is an economist with a master’s degree in economics from the Universidad de San Andrés and a master’s degree in industrial economics from the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. She is a professor and researcher at ISALUD, where she analyzes the cost effectiveness of programs related to neglected tropical diseases as well as the determinants of obesity in Argentina. She has held positions as a researcher in Argentina and Spain examining cost effectiveness and has analyzed health and disease econometrically. In Spain, she studied immigration and health and developed estimation models of demand for healthcare. She has participated in consultation projects with the European Commission.
Martin Langsam, PhD Candidate
Martin teaches the thematic seminar module on health system organization and programs. He is secretary of ISALUD University’s Science and Technology Unit, where he is in charge of design, coordination, and evaluation of research activities. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires; has completed postgraduate studies on the economy and public policies; and is a doctoral candidate at Oxford University. Martin has been an analyst for the Argentine Economy Ministry’s project on assessment of social expenditure and the evaluation of social policy impact.
Ignacio Llovet, PhD
Ignacio holds a BA in sociology from the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires; an MA in social sciences from FLACSO, Quito, Ecuador; and a PhD in sociology from the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a full professor at Universidad Nacional de Luján, where he teaches sociology and research methodology. His main areas of interest are sociology of health, rural studies, and development. His research on the social dimensions of Chagas, a disease transmitted by insects, is funded by the Ford Foundation, the World Health Organization, the International Development Research Center, the Ministerio de Salud de la Nación Argentina, and the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Ignacio has consulted for the World Bank, the University of Miami, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Teresa Poccioni, MA
Teresa coordinates program activities in Florencio Varela. She holds a degree in social communication with a specialty in the methodology of scientific research and investigation. She is assistant director of the Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud de la Universidad Nacional Arturo Jauretche (UNAJ) and professor of communication and health in the nursing program there. She is also academic secretary and professor of social communication and health specialization at Universidad Nacional de La Plata. She has coordinated social communication between programs and conducted courses and training for staff at public hospitals.
Mariana Romero, MD
Mariana is a researcher in sexual and reproductive health based at the Center for the Study of State and Society in Buenos Aires. Trained as an MD in Argentina, she received an MSc in reproductive health in Mexico in 1993 and has since been active in the field. Her focus has been on abortion, maternal morbidity and mortality, and quality of care, mostly in the Latin American region. One of the founders of Latin American Consortium against Unsafe Abortion, she is widely recognized as an advocate and resourceful member of the academic community for research and training.
Maria Eugenia Royer, MA
Maria Eugenia holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Buenos Aires and a master’s degree in health systems and social security from ISALUD, where she has been an associate professor in epidemiology and demography since 1999. She also has been a professor at various other universities and local institutions. She completed her postgraduate studies on health services administration and led the Department of Statistical Analysis in the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, working on the design and coordination of primary healthcare systems. She is the author of numerous academic works that analyze and characterize the epidemiological profile of the users of the government’s healthcare system, as well as more general epidemiological and demographic studies.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
The Buenos Aires homestay begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester. Living with a host family gives you an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish and partake in daily life in a local neighborhood. Host families come from different social and cultural backgrounds and live in various neighborhoods around the city, such as Almagro, Caballito, Monserrat, and Barracas, as well as in greater metropolitan Buenos Aires. All homestay sites have good access to ISALUD University and some host families include students attending the university.
During excursions, you will stay in other accommodations, such as small hotels or hostels.
Independent Study Project
Independent Study Project
Spend the final four weeks of the program engaged in an independent research project conducted in Buenos Aires or another approved location in Argentina. Engaging in primary research, you will critically examine a topic related to the program’s theme. Projects should demonstrate your understanding of the components of the program and should contribute in some way to a greater understanding of public healthcare in or the epidemiological profile of Argentina. Independent Study Project (ISP) advisors are from the educational and health organizations with which the program works.
Sample ISP topic areas:
- Grassroots advocacy and healthcare services
- AIDS policy and care
- Public health consequences of environmental contamination
- Gender and reproductive rights
- Challenges to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in Argentina
- Healthcare among immigrant populations
Alumni of this program are:
- working in health services for immigrant populations, public health, and health research.
- in a PhD program implementing a program of "narrative medicine" in La Paz, Bolivia.
- conducting research as a Fulbright scholar in Mexico.
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers who provide instruction to students in:
- Health systems from historical, social, and economic perspectives
- Comparative approach to health systems and recent trends
- The organization of Argentina’s health system and its functioning at different levels
- Social determinants of health in urban environments
- Argentina’s epidemiological profile
- Seminar on Public Health Research Methods and Ethics
- Intensive language instruction in Spanish (with a focus on medical Spanish)
- All educational excursions to locations such as northeastern Argentina, including all related travel costs
- Independent Study Project (including a stipend for accommodation and food)
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $3,890
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Buenos Aires), on all excursions, during the Independent Study Project, and during the final evaluation period. Accommodation is covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay.
- The homestay (12 weeks in Buenos Aires)
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Books & Supplies: $ 50
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.
During an internship on this program you will join the work of a local organization to gain on-the-job experience that applies to your career. SIT internships are hands on and reflective, offering opportunities to integrate what you’ve learned while performing service in a professional field. 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 write a report of a concrete project you were assigned by the organization.
Internship in Buenos Aires, Tucuman, or Mendoza provinces
Internships may be completed with a social organization, research center, health community center, or hospital service. Institutions that host SIT interns are part of the extensive institutional network of this program, which includes prestigious public health organizations. You will complete work assigned by the organization and/or shadow the work of professionals within the organization. A person from their staff will be designated to make sure your experience is relevant to you, and to give you the training and advice you need to perform your duties.
Internship placements and topics may include the following:*
- Working in different community projects with Red Cross in Tucumán province
- Collaborating with health programs teams at primary healthcare centers in Buenos Aires; San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán; and Maipú, Mendoza
- Assisting the work of different hospital services at public hospitals in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Tucumán province
- Working in health promotion and directing educational and recreational activities at daycare centers for elders in Buenos Aires
- Supporting social organizations promoting access to social and health rights in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area
- Supporting families with hospitalized children
*Topics and placements may vary according to the availability of each institution.