The next application deadline is Oct 1, 2024
See other program dates


The SIT Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment 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. In order to participate, you need to complete a minimum of 4 semesters of Spanish, or the equivalent, prior to departure.


You will learn through thematic lectures, field study, and educational excursions, which challenge you to examine national healthcare policies, learn about indigenous and intercultural medicine, and collect, analyze, integrate social and public health data. You will take courses that focus on the following themes, Public Health in Chile, Traditional Medicine and Community Health, Spanish for the Health Sciences, Public Health Research Methods and Ethics, and 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 travel on several educational excursions to Putre, Temuco, and Santiago.

The mobility of the program necessitates that you live in various locations. Most 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.