nursing and medicine in ecuador


Study Abroad Program

 Ecuador: Nursing/Medicine
Tentative Dates: June 2 - June 20, 2018; Applications close by February 15, EST
Program Summary

This program is designed for CHSP nursing students and OU-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine students as well as pre-med students who are interested in learning about the intersection of community and clinical health and the practice of health care in another country. However,  the program is open to all undergraduate or graduate students from Ohio University.    Activities may involve: community needs assessment, traditional medicine practices, health service delivery, cross-cultural comparisons, and clinical experiences. Non-credit option available.

Why go?

  • Combine required courses - Tier 2, IPE, community/clinical hours - while studying abroad
  • Join interprofessional teams in community and clinical settings
  • Discover ways to adapt to another culture and work in a resource-poor region
  • Network with students, faculty and health care providers from OHIO and Ecuador
  • Interact with Spanish-speaking patients
  • Add an experience to your resume that will set you apart
  • Gain an understanding of your role as a global citizen
  • Practice your Spanish (although it is not a pre-requisite to know Spanish to participate)

Program Description

Nursing and medical students, as well as pre-med students, travel to Ecuador, where they will spend 2.5 weeks traveling throughout the country, experiencing healthcare in rural and urban settings. Students gain an understanding of social determinants of health and the role of community and family on health care and health outcomes. They meet traditional birth attendants in the Amazon, encounter a shaman who grows and utilizes medicinal plants, discuss the importance of home building materials in preventing Chagas Disease with an architect, connect community observations to clinical experiences, gather information utilizing an interpreter, and discover the ability to adapt to a new culture in a variety of situations.

At each location, students combine community-based observations and discoveries with clinical experiences. This program is designed to move beyond the clinical: to recognize the multi-faceted aspects of health. Students gain firsthand knowledge of the healthcare system in Ecuador, discuss the impact of international health goals, experience the culture in Ecuador and practice their Spanish.

Finally, with faculty guidance, students reflect on their experiences in order to integrate what they observe, experience and learn into both their professional and personal lives.


Open to OU HCOM and Health Sciences and Professions students in good standing or at a 3.0 overall GPA (for undergraduate/graduate students). An academic and judicial check on all OHIO students is conducted before application and prior to departure. However, all undergraduate or graduate students from Ohio University may apply. Non-credit option available. Please check the Policy on Judicial Standing for Study Abroad Participants (available through the Office of Global Opportunities).

Application Process

OHIO University Students:  Complete the  GOIS On-line Program Application.

  • Year 3 & 4 Heritage College medical students applying for faculty directed programs must also obtain and send a letter from your Clinical Education office confirming that you have permission to include the program in your schedule and that you are in good academic standing.
  • Academic & Judicial Checks:  An academic and judicial check on all OHIO students is conducted before application and prior to departure.

Non-OHIO-University students:  follow the  Non-Ohio Graduate or Undergraduate Instructions  to enroll as a non-degree student at Ohio University  before  you apply for the Botswana Healthcare Program.


Excursions will include visits to cultural sites in Ecuador. Please check the itinerary for the most up-to-date information. However, excursions listed in the itinerary may change while in-country.

Living arrangements
Lodging is in economy hostels or motels.  In Quito meals will take place at local restaurants.  In the field, breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner will be prepared by local personnel in the communities. 

Post Nomination Checklist

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

Financial Support

Funding options include:

Estimated Program Fees

Program costs cover airfare (estimated), meals, lodging, incidentals, passport (if don’t already possess), immunizations, program fee, administrative fees.

Courses and Credits         

All non-medical students take a minimum of 5 credits. Undergraduate students must take either NRSE 4900 or IHS 2900 as one of their courses. These 2 courses are the foundations for the program and are taught as one course by the Program Director.

Undergraduate students must also select one of the 3-credit courses:

  • Nursing students either NRSE 3420 One Health (Tier II Natural Science) NRSE 3700J or NRSE 2900.
  • Non-nursing medical students can take either NRSE 3420 One Health (Tier II Natural Science) NRSE 3700 or IHS 3935. 

Traveler's Health Information    
Vaccinations required, anti-malaria prophylaxis, etc. Click on the following link for more information:

Health and Safety

Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities suggests you follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control for healthy travel to your destination:  . Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.  

Refer to the State Department site for information related to safety and security at this destination:  .

Also refer to  International SOS  for information related to safety and security at this destination. To log in to the International SOS website, please use the OHIO membership is: 11BCAS000010.

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:  . 

It is each student’s individual responsibility to determine the entry and exit requirements specific to their personal situation. Some countries also require a visa to legally enter and reside in the country. The following information will hold true for most US passport holders. Entry and exit requirements for this country can be found at US citizens do not need a visa or other special documents 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, if you have recently visited the country, or if you plan to travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program in order to determine your appropriate course of action.

For more specific visa related information please visit OEA’s Visa Information Page  . 

Information for NON-US citizens can be found  here  .

For more information contact Terri Hood-Brown, RN, MSN, 740-597-1258; Tracy Shaub, D.O ., 216-295-7549;, 740-593-2353