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 professionals 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 and other health professionals and advocates.
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 health.
The 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.
Choose to use your new research skills for a final Independent Study Project or to enhance your professional 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. During the internship, students will have the opportunity to participate in two workshops to share and reflect on their experience in the field and discuss their work progress. 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, Mendoza has a health system with a long tradition of implementing primary healthcare as a strategy to make health services accessible to its population. The six-day excursion to Mendoza is therefore focused on how this strategy is implemented, paying special attention to how the efforts developed at the first care level are articulated within different provincial health system components.
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 complement their efforts in making social and health services available to vulnerable populations.
Visits include health institutions and nongovernmental organizations to give you a broader exposure to different social settings and allow you to 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, advocates, and government officials will help you gain a deeper understanding of the potentialities of the collaboration between government and civil society in the social and health arenas.
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 two-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 from 2000 to 2017. 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.
Dana Merwaiss, Program Assistant
Dana received a bachelor’s degree in educational sciences from the University of Buenos Aires in 2016. Since 2004, she has been trained in non-formal education spaces and has coordinated educational activities for children and young people. In 2007 she had her own personal educational experience abroad, spending a year in Israel with a Masa Israel program. In her career she has integrated technical teams in charge of the administration of educational projects, both in private institutions (Training Area of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce) and in governmental agencies (Ministry of Education of the Nation and Municipality of Quilmes).
Valeria Lliubaroff, Academic Assistant
Valeria received her bachelor degree in anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires in 2014 and is studying social policies for her master’s degree at the same university. Before joining SIT, Valeria worked as a guide in the ethnographic museum Juan Bautista Ambrosetti in Buenos Aires. As a member of the National Women Council, she participated in the technical evaluation of community projects to empower women and organized workshops in different provinces. 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 and teaches at a technical school preparing students to carry out their own projects. Valeria joined a community theater in 2011 and participates in art projects and recreational activities there.
Valeria Carbone, PhD, Academic Coordinator
Valeria holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in history from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and is a two-time Fulbright Fellow (University of Massachusetts, 2008, and University of Pennsylvania, 2014). She is a teaching assistant at the chair of History of the United States and researcher at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Latin American Studies (Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, UBA). Her papers have been published in Argentina, Spain, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. She was recently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET).
Lucia Quiroga, Homestay Coordinator
Lucia holds a degree in psychology from University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and has completed a postgraduate study at a clinic for children, adolescents, and adults. She has been trained to be a practitioner in psychology, which has given her experience in different health settings and populations. She has worked with children and adolescents in public and private schools as an auxiliary teacher and a counselor. She has also worked in an international school helping students from abroad adapt to the local culture through participation in field trips, sports, and international visits. She has experience as a special education teacher facilitating the integration of students with special needs into school. In her professional development, Lucia combines her group community work with her counseling and clinic expertise.
Faculty and lecturers typically include:
Ana María Andía, MA
Ana María holds a degree in biochemistry from 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 to 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.
Ana Clara Camarotti, PhD
Ana Clara holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in social policies, and a doctorate in social sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, where she is a professor of sociology of health and serves on the academic board committee of the Faculty of Medicine’s master of public health program. She specializes in planning and managing social policies. She has been an assistant researcher with the National Scientific and Technical Research Council since 2012 and external consultant for the Organization of American States and UNICEF Argentina. She coordinates the seminar on construction of epidemiological profiles and conditions of vulnerability in adolescent populations at ISALUD University. She has twice obtained the Ramón Carrillo-Arturo Oñativia grant awarded by the National Health Research Commission of the Ministry of Health of the Presidency of the Nation. Since 2002 she has participated in national and international projects in health and population at the Gino Germani Institute. She has published numerous articles in national and international specialized journals as well as book chapters and books.
Alejandro Capriati, PhD
Alejandro holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in social sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, where he is a professor of sociology of health at the Sociology Faculty and in the public health master’s program and an assistant researcher for the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) at the university’s Gino Germani Research Institute. His work focuses on health and rights in adolescence and youth and vulnerabilities and supports in inclusion- exclusion scenarios in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. He has collaborated with different governmental agencies, international human rights organizations, health services, and social organizations. He is the author of numerous academic publications in national and international specialized journals, book chapters, and books.
Alan Cibils, PhD
Alan holds an MA in sociology and a PhD in economics from the American University in Washington, DC. He is a professor of economics and chairman of the Political Economy Department at the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento in Buenos Aires. His research interests include monetary theory and policy, financial systems and economic development, Argentina’s economic history, and Latin American critical theories of development. He is the author of numerous academic publications on Argentina’s public debt crises, critical development theories, and Argentina’s financial system. He is also frequently published and quoted in both national and international media on these issues. He is in charge of the program’s module Health System and Equity.
Ernesto Cussianovich, MA
Ernesto 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 and a seminar on the origins and evolution of the Peronist movement. Ernesto has worked and studied in France, the UK, and Japan. His teaching and research areas include Argentine and Latin American history, state theory, and public policy.
Silvia Gascón, MA
Silvia is the director of the Center for Active Aging and Longevity, Academic Board secretary, and professor in the Master of Management of Gerontology Services at ISALUD University. She advises public, private, and civil society institutions in the development of the World Health Organization’s Friendly Cities for the Elderly project. She is a global ambassador of HelpAge International, where she has served on the board for 10 years. In recent years she has been consultant for ECLAC, the United Nations Development Program, and HelpAge International and has advised the governments of Chile, Cuba, and Peru on issues of aging, age-friendly cities, and management of services for elders. She is the author of several publications and articles for books and national and international journals. She is a founding member of the ISALUD Foundation, the Platense Women’s Network, and the La Plata Major Network and is editor of the newspaper Lazos de la Red Mayor.
Martin Langsam, PhD Candidate
Martin holds a degree in sociology, with a minor in economic sociology, from the University of Buenos Aires and has completed post-postgraduate studies in economics and public policy at Torcuato di Tella University, Argentina. In 2002 he obtained his MS in public policy in Latin America at Oxford University, where he is a PhD candidate in political science. He has been a consultant for several international organizations (WB, IDB, UNDP, ECLAC). Since 2010 he has been a full-time researcher, professor, and secretary of science and technology at ISALUD University. From this institution he has developed research and consulting projects on public health issues in collaboration with different agencies and programs in Argentina. Since 2017 he has taught the Health Policy in a Global World course, offered to NYU students in the NYU site in Buenos Aires.
Teresa Poccioni, MA
Teresa 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 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, MS
Mariana is a senior researcher in sexual and reproductive health at the Center for the Study of State and Society in Buenos Aires. Trained as an MD in Argentina, she received an MS 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. She is a member of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).
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, Barrio Norte, and Palermo. 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.
- working with the Peace Corps in Peru.
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.
Tuition: Not yet available.
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: Not yet available.
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:
Airfare to Program Launch Site
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 bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.
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.
In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.
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.