SIT: Public Health, Traditional Medicine and Community Empowerment

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Academic Program

Students take a set program with interdisciplinary seminars in public health and traditional medicine, a research methods and ethics course, Spanish for the health sciences and an independent study project on a topic of the student's choice, related to the program theme.

  • Reviewed by: Professor Emily Wiley, Professor Kersey Black
  • Fields of study: Social sciences, language and culture
  • Eligibility: Coursework in public health, development studies, community or social sciences, or other related fields; completion of Spanish 44. Scripps requires a 7.5 GPA, students who meet the SIT requirement of 8.25 may petition.
  • Size of the student body: The SIT cohort are typically juniors from other US liberal arts colleges and research universities.
  • Number of program participants: Typically 25-30 students

Living Arrangements

Students have an eight week homestay with families in Arica. During the independent study period, students may be able to live with indigenous families in Putre or Temuco if appropriate to their topic. Other housing includes hostels, private homes or small hotels.

Term Dates

  • Fall: Late August to mid December
  • Spring: Late February to early June


  • Advising Tips: This program requires a faculty reference. Faculty referees may use the Scripps form or the student can provide a link to the online reference form. An additional language evaluation is only required if the student's average Spanish is less than a B.
  • Visa Information: All students must have a passport valid for at least six months after the program’s end date to study in another country. Students should apply for a passport as early as possible; in some cases, passport applications may need to be expedited. Students may need one or more visas, in addition to a valid passport. Visa application processes vary widely, and some visa processes are multi-step and complicated. SIT Study Abroad helps students to understand the visa process for each program. The SIT admissions counselor can answer passport and visa-related questions and concerns. Non-US citizens should consult with SIT early to determine the visa requirements based on their country of origin. SIT Study Abroad cannot guarantee visas for its participants, and it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to secure the appropriate visa in a timely manner.
  • Budget Planning: For budget planning purposes, click here to view the current cost of living comparison between Brazil and the United States.
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