Through the SIT Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment program, Whitman students can gain insight and exposure to healthcare policies, politics, and delivery methods in a multicultural and rapidly changing region of South America.  Program excursions include visits to public health centers throughout Arica and surrounding valleys.  Longer excursions may include travel to Tacna, Peru, rural areas of Chile, and Bariloche, Argentina.

Fields of study:

Spanish language and interdisciplinary studies related to Public Health in South America


Previous college-level coursework in public health, development studies, community or social sciences, or other related fields.   Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 (Whitman requirement).

Language Prerequisite:

Four recent semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish.

Semesters Offered:

Fall, Spring


August – December, February – June


16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Public Health in Chile (3 credits)
Traditional Medicine and Community Health (3 credits)
Public Health Research Methods & Ethics (3 credits)
Intensive Spanish Language (3 credits)
Independent Study Project (ISP) or Health Practicum (4 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Eight-week homestay in Arica.  Other accommodations during the program include hostels, private homes, or small hotels.


All meals for the entire program period are covered either by SIT directly, or through a stipend provided to each student, or through the homestay  It is customary for students to eat breakfast and lunch with their host family..


Students can choose to conduct an Independent Study Project (ISP) or to participate in a guided month-long health practicum.


Rolling Admission – students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Link:

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