Thomas Keen, CC'15

Mountains and lake in Chile

SIT Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment

Language of Instruction: Spanish
Multiple Locations,
Term: Spring, Fall

Better understand public health, traditional medicine and community empowerment in Chile during a semester abroad.

The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2021
See other program dates


The SIT Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment study abroad program offers you exposure to health care policies, politics, and delivery methods in a multicultural and rapidly changing region of South America. Central to the program is an analysis of health reform intended primarily to improve health conditions of disadvantaged groups, particularly those in Chile, while also improving health care access for the population at large. In order to participate, you need to complete through Intermediate Spanish I, or the equivalent, prior to departure.


Learning is conducted through thematic lectures, field study, and educational excursions, which challenge you to consider topics such as:

  • Public Health in Chile
  • Traditional Medicine and Community Health
  • Spanish
  • Research Methods and Ethics
  • Independent Study Project (ISP)

The ISP gives you the unique opportunity to apply what you have learned over the semester in an independent field based research project supervised by a local adviser.

Program Features

SIT is a strong proponent of learning through experience. Therefore, you will be taken on several educational excursions to locations such as Putre, Temuco, and Santiago.

The mobility of the program necessitates that you live in a variety of locations. A majority of your experience will include living in an urban homestay, while a few days will also be spent in a more rural homestay. During the rest of the program, you will stay in hostels, private homes or small hotels.


Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.

Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites. Note the program language requirements.

Application Instructions

To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Fact Sheet

Humanities, Social Sciences
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates, Junior, Senior, Study Abroad
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
4 semesters of language, or equivalent (Intermediate sequence)
Multiple Locations,
Latin America and the Caribbean
Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021