Healthcare and Education in Rural Chile

  • Jan 2019
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  • jan 2019
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  • jan 2019

Application Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019

The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) Regional Office invites Harvard students to participate in the January 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 15 undergraduate students with a minimum of an intermediate level of Spanish (at least two semesters of Spanish at Harvard or their equivalent).

Find out more by watching our video and checking out the informational tabs below:

Application Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019

• Harvard College & Graduate students will apply using CARAT (Centralized Application for Research and Travel). The application is named DRCLAS 2020 Healthcare & Education in Rural Chile Application. Click here for detailed instructions on how to apply through CARAT.

The following information is required in the application:
• Relevant personal statement (500-750 words in English, detailing your fit/ interest/ goals in this program. Should you want to write in Spanish, you may!)
• Current one-page resume
• Unofficial transcript
• Name/Contact Information of one Harvard Community Member who will serve as a reference (Example: TF, advisor, professor, etc.)

In addition, students will be asked to sign-up for a Skype interview during the week of October 15, 2018. Interviews will be conducted in Spanish. Sign-up here after you have submitted your application. 

Questions? Please contact Pilo Mella, Student Programs Manager.

January 2019
Noelle Castro 
Reeda Iqbal
Ariel Kim
Gabrielle Landry
Sophia Lee
Annie Miall
Lydia Pan
Carolina Ranfagni
Jordan Silva
Ariel Vilidnitsky
Henry Villareal
Barnett Zhao
January 2018
Rewan Abdelwahab
Julie Chung
Geraldine Cisneros
Mary Katherine DeWane
January 2017
Cameron Comrie
Ioana Dobre
Justin Fox
Marley Jenkins
Jessica Kim
Sufia Mehmood
Francesca Noelette
January 2016
Mikaela Esquivel
Edgar Garcia
Minyoung Jang
William Li
Emily Moya
Alannah O´Brien
Jasmin Salazar
Madeleine Stern
Arin Stowman
Jenna Zhang

January 2015
Alberto Corona
Alvin Gordian-Arroyo
Anthony Morgan
Bushra Guenoun
Caroline Ferguson
Cindy Zhao
Eleni Kovatsis
Emma Muresianu
Frances Ding
Jessica Li
Kaelyn Cummins
Lisette Candia
Noemi Urquiza

January 2014
Aisha Lee
Anne Mentzinger
Bernadette Wharton
Chinonye Imo
Christopher Rios
Jessie Wyatt
Jesus Moran
Neng Thao
Sarah Rose
Symone Isaac- Wilkins
Terresa Eun
Yael Stovetzky

January 2013
Aditi Hota
Akua Abu
Anthony Jason Wiggins
Aubrey Walker
Grayson Fuller
Julia Cohn
Leila Pirbay
Nicholas Gavin
Serena Hagerty
Sydney Karnovsky
Tanmaya Sambare
Valerie Bradley

January 2012
Madeline Holland
Micaela Cyr
Nora Abo-Sido


A Second Semester Abroad

By Aidan Garrett, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)

After spending a semester abroad in Spain, I felt compelled to continue my abroad experience in Latin America, improving my Spanish and visiting South America for the first time. With nothing but positive memories from Granada, the decision to remain abroad was simple. Deciding between the CASA programs in Argentina and Chile, I ultimately settled on Santiago, eager to...

Read more about A Second Semester Abroad

4643 Vasco de Gama

By Miranda Zhen-Yao Van-Boswell, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)


Vivir en la ciudad de Santiago como estudiante de intercambio ha sido una experiencia inolvidable. Cabe decir que este rincón del mundo es infinitamente distinto a los lugares que había conocido. Quizás porque soy hija de...

Read more about 4643 Vasco de Gama

Voy & Vuelvo

By Chris Packs, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Brown University ’20)


Arriving in Santiago one week before the start of the semester, I knew I would struggle to choose my classes. Although I was already familiar with...

Read more about Voy & Vuelvo

Surprising myself

By Jaia Clingham-David, CASA Chile Spring 2019 (Cornell University ’20)

Before the semester started, I had very few expectations about what my experience in Chile was going to be like. But Santiago turned out to be the perfect place for me to spend my semester. My friends and family normally considered me to be a city-person, preferring glass buildings and concrete sidewalks to hiking in the wooded mountains. Santiago gave me that city life that I enjoy as well as...

Read more about Surprising myself


Please note that the January 2020 program has been cancelled for security concerns.

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. Activities throughout the duration of the program will be entirely in Spanish.

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 spending the weekend in Santiago, students will travel to a small town with an indigenous presence and community, 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. 

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.

Eligibility: This program is limited to 15 Harvard students with a minimum of an intermediate level of Spanish (at least two semesters of Spanish at Harvard or their equivalent). It is intended for Harvard College students with an interest in the field of health. This program is held in a rural setting, participants must have an open mind and willingness to adapt to change.

Program Cost: $2,500 (Accommodations, cultural excursions and some meals included. International airfare not included).

Cancellation Policy: A fee of $250 will be applied for participant cancellation after November 17, 2019. No exceptions will be made.

Student Testimonials:"Would you recommend this program to other students? Why or why not?”

"It is a great oppportunity to expose yourself to healthcare before you decide if it is something you want to pursue as a career. It is also a great opportunity to travel and experience the culture of such a beautiful country." 

"Yes! It's transformative."

"Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The cultural experiences were amazing. I think the program is unique because of the time spent interacting with students our own age. I would 100% recommend." 

"Yes! It is unlike any experience I've had before and it helps get you out of your comfort zone."

For photos of the 2019 January Program, please click here.

To review the presentation from the January Programs Info Session, please click here.

For additional information, please contact the DRCLAS Regional Office staff in Santiago, Chile: 
Pilo Mella, Student Programs Manager