Program Dates: Sunday, January 7 – Saturday, January 20, 2018*
*Students should arrive by the afternoon of January 6th, and depart in the evening on January 20th.
Application Deadline: Monday, October 9, 2017 at 11:59 PM
The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) Regional Office invites Harvard students to participate in the January 2018 program, DRCLAS- Universidad Mayor January Experiential Learning Program: Healthcare and Education in Rural Chile. This program is intended for Harvard undergraduate students interested in improving their Spanish language skills, while engaging in public service in rural indigenous communities. The program is limited to 14 undergraduate students with a minimum of an intermediate level of Spanish (at least two semesters of Spanish at Harvard or their equivalent).
Students who participate in this innovative program will experience full linguistic, social, and cultural immersion by working alongside 150 Chilean university students from Universidad Mayor (U.M.) from various fields, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary, and education. The DRCLAS Regional Office and U.M. have worked together to create a program that includes an intensive orientation in Santiago, 10 days of public service in a rural setting in the south of Chile, and a closing session in the capital city. Program activities include: workshops on healthcare and prevention given to the community, house visits to patients with limited access to healthcare, teaching English classes to elementary school students, and physiotherapy sessions, among others. Cultural and touristic excursions to surrounding areas (Pucón and Villarica) are also scheduled.
Program: Upon their arrival, students will be greeted in the capital city of Santiago by DRCLAS staff and will receive an orientation to the city and Chilean culture. After two days in Santiago, students will travel to Puerto Saavedra. This is a small town with an indigenous presence and community, and is located in the IX Region, about 400 miles south of Santiago.
One of the main purposes of the program is to provide underserved rural and indigenous communities with health services. Students serve a rural community for several days, living and working with Chilean university students. During their time in the community, students will be fully integrated into U. Mayor's Trabajos Voluntarios (public service projects), and will have the opportunity to rotate specialties on a daily basis, according to their interests. Some of the areas in which students can volunteer include holistic medicine, dentistry, education, agriculture, veterinary care, and construction, among others. After a full-day of community service, students will have the opportunity to spend their evenings participating in recreational activities with U.M. students that include sports games, team-building activities, talent shows and cook-offs.
Activities throughout the duration of the program will be entirely in Spanish, resulting in a full immersion into the Spanish language, as well as Chilean society and culture. Participants will leave with an understanding of how health providers work in a setting with limited resources, and become aware of health disparities within different sectors of society.
To review the presentation from the Chile Info Session, please click here.
For photographs of the 2016 January Program, please click here.