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Ecuador: Tropical Disease Research and Service Learning

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Program Type

  • OHIO Credit

Academic Focus

  • Communication, Journalism, and Media
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Leadership and Community Engagement
  • Sustainability, Food, and Environment
  • Various

Program Feature

  • Field Work
  • Gen Ed
  • Internship
  • Research
  • Service Learning


  • Ecuador

Program Term

  • Summer

For additional information contact:

Dr. Mario Grijalva
Program Director 

Apply for this OHIO Credit Program

This program will tentatively be offered next Summer 2025.


The Tropical Disease Research and Service Learning Program (TDR 2023) is a cross-cultural experience focused on practical training in Ecuador.

Depending on your interest, the program takes you to Loja province in Southern Ecuador to conduct multidisciplinary research, train in cross-cultural communication and perform service-learning activities in rural communities. Medical students will be able to shadow health care providers in private and public health care facilities,

The TDR 2023 program is an opportunity to boost your work experience in a new environment, work side-by-side with US and Ecuadorian faculty and students, strengthen your residency applications, and share new experiences with participants from diverse academic interests such as medicine, microbiology, anthropology, and communications, among others.

This program is facilitated by the Heritage College of Medicine. 

Program Dates

June 30 - July 18, 2023


The number of semester credits available will vary with Student's academic program needs.  Students will take a minimum of 5 credit hours.  A non-credit option is available for non-OHIO students.


TDRS Student Budget Worksheet

In addition to the program fee, students should plan for credit hours of tuition*, administrative fee, and out-of-pocket costs. These costs are outlined in the Student Budget Worksheet. 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. 

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

All participants can apply for ITDI Student Travel Awards.

Eligibility and Requirements 

Students from institutions of higher education (undergraduate, graduate, medical, non-degree), professionals and community members interested in international research related to health, development and community education; individuals interested in service learning; individuals interested in improving their Spanish skills; individuals interested in learning in a cross-cultural environment.

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 must be in good academic and judicial standing to participate. Minimum GPA of 2.8. 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. 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.

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