Argentina: Public Health in Urban Environments

Key Features

Studying in Buenos Aires
Each week, students have lectures and intensive language instruction, and visit academic institutions and community organizations engaged in health-related work. Buenos Aires is home to an impressive diversity of renowned institutions and highly engaged public and private actors working on health policy, research, delivery, and advocacy. Students meet with senior public officials—including at least one former health minister—and other relevant health policy actors to learn firsthand about health-related initiatives and current challenges.

The city and surrounding metropolitan region (Greater Buenos) comprise more than 30 percent of Argentina’s population. The region is home to significant social and economic disparities and a range of health-related problems. These include the contamination of the Riachuelo basin in the city center as well as the presences of chronic diseases. It is a city of marked contrasts, where wealth and poverty coincide.

Program partnership with ISALUD
Classes and other program activities will take place at the headquarters of ISALUD, located 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 can be found in key roles related to health policy, practice, and advocacy throughout Argentina.

SIT students will have their own meeting room on ISALUD’s campus and will have access to ISALUD common facilities, including the university’s library and eating areas.

Spanish language instruction with a focus on public health
The Spanish language course is designed to prepare students for successful, daily interactions with lecturers, healthcare practitioners, and host families. Emphasis is placed on increasing language skills in areas related to the program theme: public health, community welfare, and epidemiology.

Language classes will meet for three hours daily in small-group formats. The course will incorporate in-class learning, roundtable discussions, oral presentations, field excursions, and group exercises.

Independent Study Project
Students will spend the final four weeks of the program engaged in an independent research project. Projects will be conducted in Buenos Aires or another approved location in Argentina.

Engaging in primary research, students will critically examine a topic related to the program’s theme. Projects should demonstrate a synthesis of the various components of the program, and the project should contribute in some way to a greater understanding of public healthcare in the context of Argentina. ISP advisors will be recruited from the different educational and health organizations with which the program will work.

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

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Buenos Aires

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: 3 semesters of Spanish and relevant coursework


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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