Healthcare and Education in Rural Chile

  • Jan 2019
  • ruralhealth2016
  • jan 2019
  • ruralhealth2017
  • jan 2019

Application Deadline: Stay tuned for details about our 2020 program!

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: PASSED. Applicants will hear of their standing by Nov. 2, 2018.

• Harvard College students will apply using CARAT (Centralized Application for Research and Travel). The application is named DRCLAS 2019 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 detailing your fit/ interest/ goals in this program)
• 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


Why Chile?

By Kelsey Carpenter, CASA Chile Fall 2018 (Cornell University '20)

When I first arrived in Chile, new faces frequently asked me, “Why did you pick Chile for study abroad?” Truth be told, I did not have a great answer to this inquiry. I did not want to go to Europe alongside the majority of my peers. An advisor recommended the country. I needed a program that supported my major. These answers satisfied the questioner, but they only left me further examining my own decision to study abroad in Chile. I thought that...

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By Erica Foster-Allen, CASA Chile Fall 2018 (Brown University '20)

I can say with utmost confidence that the highlight of my stay in Chile was the opportunity to connect with people from a variety of different backgrounds. One of such opportunities came about from a class I enrolled in at the Universidad Diego Portales titled ‘Problemátics contemporáneas en Chile: el aprendizaje servicio como motor de cambio, where the students were divided into groups to volunteer with a variety of centers and foundations in some of the...

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Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!

By Tom MacMullen, CASA Chile Fall 2018 (Brown '20)

You would think over 5 months in Chile would feel like a large chunk of time away from the States but the reality is that it has felt like 5 weeks. As cliché as it sounds, it is truly remarkable how fast the semester passes. During the orientation week members of the CASA staff told us that the Spring Semester (Fall in U.S.) in Chile has beautiful weather and before you know it you will be enjoying the sunny, blue sky days of December. This was in July and now I’m sitting at my desk in my host...

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Reconnecting with my “Home Away from Home”

By: Gabriela Muñoz, HSI Chile 2018 (Harvard '21)

On a blue skied day in May, I woke up from perhaps the worst sleep I’ve had in years. Within seconds of my eyes adjusting to the bright, white lights and uncurling myself from the uncomfortable position I had adopted while asleep, I remembered that I was on a plane, 5,000 miles away from home, and just minutes from touching down in Santiago, Chile, my new home for the summer. Well, I couldn’t say it was a new home exactly, given that my entire family,...

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Adventures and Personal Growth in Chile

By Kangrong (Allison) Zhang, SIP Chile 2018 (Harvard '20)

While this summer in Chile is not my first time living in a foreign country for an extended period of time, I still felt butterflies in my stomach as I boarded my flight first to Dallas, and then to Santiago. The main reason for such apprehension is a lack of confidence in my Spanish skills. Interestingly, my biggest takeaway from this journey is also increased confidence in my Spanish and more faith in my ability to adjust and connect with others despite language and cultural barriers.

... Read more about Adventures and Personal Growth in Chile


Program Dates: Friday, January 3 – Monday, January 20, 2020*
*Students should arrive during the day on January 3rd and depart on the evening of January 20th.

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 two days 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 undergraduate 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 16, 2018. 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