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  • Locations: Santiago, Chile
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Titlesociology italy
Location Santiago, Chile
Iquique,  Chile
Academic Term Early Fall 2018
August 19- September 12, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $4,350
Credits 5 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Jaime F. Olavarria |
Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2018
Information Sessions TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.
General This seminar evaluates the public health care system in Chile, and the overall general and mental health of the Chilean population. The seminar also focuses on Chilean indigenous communities, and their efforts toward maintaining their ancient culture and traditional medical practices.

Program Description

This seminar focuses on the Public Health system in Chile. Chile is a very long and narrow country (as long as U.S.A. is wide), separated from the rest of the world by the colossal Andes to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. While a large portion of the population is concentrated in urban centers, many Chileans live in remote, poor areas with difficult access to urban and health centers. There is also a steep economic gradient, with a very wealthy minority on one end, a relatively large middle class, and a larger, very poor sector on the other end.

Public Health in Chile has undergone important changes reflecting both profound political changes as well as recent health reform initiatives. Medical training and health services have gone from being essentially free just a few decades ago to being largely handled by private, profit-driven institutions. We will study the impact that these changes, as well as economic and geographic factors, have on Chilean public health. We will analyze the balance between the public and private health systems, between rural and urban medicine and between indigenous and western medicine. We will observe how health services compare in large cities and remote areas as well as in wealthy and poor communities. In general, we will assess the efficacy of current efforts aimed at reforming public health programs and policies, as well as the measures that are being considered to address both existing and potential problems. In addition to general care, we will focus on maternal and infant care, as well as mental health, and we will learn about efforts to do away with mental hospitals and instead integrate patients back into their families and society. We will also interact with indigenous communities in Northern Chile, and learn about their efforts toward maintaining their traditional culture and medical practices based on herbs and natural foods. Students may have the rare opportunity of interacting with indigenous healers. If possible, the program will arrange for housing for one or more nights at indigenous homestays. We will spend 1 week in Santiago, Chile’s capital, and then we will visit Northern Chile, with Iquique and Arica as the major urban centers.

Health professionals from the oldest and most prestigious universities in Chile, including The Catholic University of Chile, will offer lectures and discussion sessions. Our health instructors will include Medical Doctors (Epidemiologists, Psychiatrists, Family Practitioners, etc.), Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, Midwives and Public Health Officials. Instruction time will consist of theoretical presentations, formal and informal discussions, but most of the time will be spent in field activities, including visits to remote regions that have modest or infrequent local health services. Students will have the opportunity of interacting with health professionals, health personnel, patients and local inhabitants.

This seminar is aimed at students interested in health issues with potential global impact, and provides a unique opportunity to students intending to become medical doctors, epidemiologists, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, public health officials, social workers, etc. However, students pursuing other disciplines are also considered if they show genuine interest in what this seminar offers in Chile.




Santiago, Chile and Iquique, Arica, Chile


Santiago, Iquique, Arica


Commercial hotels, hostels, cabins, and possibly indigenous homestays



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

This seminar is aimed at undergraduate and graduate UW students. While no specific majors or prior experience are required, an ideal student for this program would be one who is interested in health-related issues with potential global impact, and in indigenous cultures. This program offers a unique opportunity to students intending to become medical doctors, epidemiologists, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, public health officials, social workers, anthropologists, etc. However, students pursuing other disciplines are also considered if they show genuine interest in what this seminar offers in Chile.

No specific course work prior to the seminar is required. Acceptance will be based on a written application and interview. The selected group is expected to be as diverse and balanced as possible regarding gender, ethnicity, and academic interests. In addition, students are expected to show genuine interest in an abroad experience, be enthusiastic, capable of interacting with other students and of forming a cohesive and unified group. Classes will be taught either directly in English, or translated from Spanish into English. Spanish language proficiency is not required; however, an introductory Spanish course is highly recommended.

In rural locations, some amount of walking and trekking in rough and difficult terrain may be required. Visit to some parks or other areas may require climbing steep hills, which may be partially covered by snow (participation is optional). This seminar takes place towards the end of the Chilean winter, and cold and rainy days and nights can be experienced.


5 UW Credits


PSYCH 448 (jointly offered: JSIS 396): A Changing Public and Mental Health Care System 2018 Exploration Seminar in Chile (5 Credits: I&S, NW, Diversity)

Assessment: Grading will be based primarily on:
1. A pre-departure paper on a health-related topic relevant to Washington State, or the United States. While in Chile, students may present their paper as part of classroom activities.
2. Overall participation and enthusiasm: The following will be considered. On-time attendance to scheduled activities (this includes on time boarding of the bus). Interest and participation, as shown by questions asked during talks and visits to clinics, etc. Attitude shown by students towards instructors and staff (American as well as Chilean), students (fellow Americans as well as Chilean), patients and general public.
3. Outline of experiences during the program: during the program, students will submit outlines of their experiences and discuss these outlines with instructor. It is expected that writing and discussing these outlines will help students write their final paper. Group presentations may be required.
4. A Final paper/activity summarizing the seminar experiences. This paper/activity is expected to be a detailed, thoughtful account of the entire trip. Students are asked to critically analyze and evaluate major aspects of public health services in Chile.

Learning goals include:
The learning goals and objectives include:
1. Assessing the impact that the changes in Public Health have had in the training of health professionals and the overall health of all Chileans.
2. Assessing the impact that economic as well as geographic factors have had on Chilean Public Health.
3. Comparing Public Health services in urban and remote areas as well as in wealthy and poor communities.
4. Assess the efficacy of current efforts aimed at reforming public health programs and policies, as well as the measures that are being considered to address both existing and potential problems.
5. Evaluating the state of mental health care in the overall Chilean health picture.
6. Interacting with indigenous communities to learn about their efforts toward maintaining their ancient culture and traditional medical practices.



Jaime F. Olavarria, Psychology, Program Director

Jaime F. Olavarria, born in Chile, is currently a professor in the Psychology Department at UW. After graduating from the University of Chile's School of Medicine in 1974, he earned a doctorate in Neurobiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He has offered this Exploration Seminar every year since 2008, and has progressively enriched his program by enlisting the participation of different health professionals and by arranging visits to a large variety of hospitals and clinics in major cities, as well as in remote and indigenous regions of Chile. In 2008, Professor Olavarria was honored with the UW Distinguished Teaching Award.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,350

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,600)
  • Food (about $35/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 13, 2018

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.