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Ecuador: Community and Public Health

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Application Deadline

Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Health Sciences


  • Ecuador

Program Term

  • Summer

For additional information contact:

Heather Harmon
Program Director



This program explores public health issues in Ecuador. The program travels to communities in rural and urban Ecuador in the Andean region, in the Amazon region, and on the Pacific Coast and in cities such as Quito, Tena, and Banos. Students will visit public and/or private hospitals or public health clinics, talk to local health officials, learn about natural healing in the Amazon rainforest, and may be involved with a needs assessment or research project.

After the program, students will be able to describe the major public health issues (tropical, infectious and chronic) in rural and urban Ecuador as well as compare them to U.S. public health issues. Students will be able to describe the structure of the Ecuadorian public and private health systems and compare them to the U.S. health systems. Students will also be able to articulate appropriate intervention responses to various health needs and may assist with data collection, intervention development and or/evaluation.

Students book their own airfare to Quito, where they are transferred to an hosteria. The following is a quick overview of activities:

  • 3 nights in Quito
  • 2 nights in Tena
  • 1 night in Machacuyacu (night stay in the Amazon)
  • 2 night in Banos
  • 2 nights in Mindo
  • 1 night in Otavalo

Good to Know

  • Some locations will not have access to wi-fi or cellphone services (including local cell phone providers).

Study Away and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial, and academic risk. The CDC advises that you should delay travel until you are vaccinated. Note that entry to some countries and participation in local program and free-time activities, including in the U.S., may be severely restricted or potentially unavailable to unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travelers should additionally expect to incur extra expenses and onsite logistical challenges due to onsite testing requirements. For further information, contact ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu

Living Arrangements 

Lodging is in charming, local, bed and breakfasts (hosterias). In all locations, meals will take place at local restaurants.

Program Dates 

This program will next be offered during summer 2023.  Check back for updated program dates coming soon!

Study Away and COVID-19  

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, participation in study away and abroad involves real and potential personal, financial and academic risk. Please click here to read information related to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Students register for 4 credits of undergraduate or graduate credit. Students choose one of the following:   

  • HLTH 4930 – 4 credit independent study

  • HLTH 6930 – 4 credit independent study


The program fee for this program includes: Student accommodations, all meals in Ecuador, excursions, airport pickup, and international medical health insurance.

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for 4 credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. Below is the student budget worksheet for this program, which outlines these costs.  

Please monitor this webpage for 2021 student budget worksheets to be posted.

Items that are not related to the program (ie. additional entertainment, souvenirs, extra travel, contingency funds) are not included in the cost estimates provided and should be budgeted for separately.  


  • Non-resident surcharge waived for the credit hours associated with this program. 
  • If you are nominated to this program, you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your participation. The deposit is a down payment on the total costs to be billed by OHIO and is determined by the total cost of the program. 

Funding Opportunities

More information on financial aid and scholarships can be found on our funding pages. 

College of Health Sciences and Professions students are invited to apply for a Global Health Travel Award for this program.

All applicants are encouraged to apply for the Ecuador ITDI Student Travel Award

Eligibility and Requirements 

This program application is open to all majors from all OHIO colleges, as well as non-OHIO students with a GPA of 2.5 or above for undergraduates and 3.5 for graduate students.    

All participants are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $500 (to be credited to student’s program fees) as part of the acceptance process.  

Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy 

This program accepts NON-OHIO students. For more information about this process visit the Non-OHIO student page.   

Participants must have a at least a high school diploma or the equivalent (e.g. GED) by the start date of the program to be considered for eligibility.  Students enrolled in College Credit Plus (CC+) are not eligible for study away programs.

Entry and Exit Requirements 

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter or reside in the country. Entry and exit requirements can be found  here

U.S. citizens  will not  need a visa or other special document to enter the country for the length of this program. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to this program. 

For more specific visa related information, please visit OGO’s  Visa Information Page 

Information for  Non-U.S. citizens  can be found  here.  


Post-Nomination Checklist

Please refer to the Global Health Program Checklist PDF for instructions on submitting additional information once you have been nominated for a program. This checklist also includes information on course registration for programs.