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Opportunities for Undegraduate Students
Opportunities for Undergraduate Students
An opportunity to conduct research and participate in a cross-cultural learning experience

Opportunities for Undergraduate Students


The Summer Training on Applied Research and Service-Learning Program (STARS) aims to provide students with the following opportunities:

  • Participate in a cross-cultural communication learning experience.
  • Participate in service-learning activities directly benefiting the communities we will be working with.
  • Conduct multidisciplinary research in underserved communities of Ecuador while exploring new contexts of social change, housing improvement, economic development, health and wellness, gender equity, art, and culture.

Research Intensive or Culture Intensive tracks

The program offers two different types of involvement, Research Intensive and Culture Intensive.

Research Intensive (multidisciplinary)

Students work with faculty mentors and graduate assistants to develop a research project. Through remote interaction with international peers, students will outline project objectives, methodologies, human subject research protocols, research strategy, and budgets. Project implementation and data collection occur in Loja Province, Ecuador. students can participate in data analysis, writing, and submitting a peer-reviewed publication that may be presented at local, national or international conferences.

Culture Intensive

Students must attend organizational meetings, complete human subject research training, and understand he research preparation process. In the field, students assist with project implementation, primarily focusing on applying classroom knowledge to community service. Students have no further commitment after the program concludes.

Cross-cultural Communication

  • Get to know local institutions relevant to national health administration and research.
  • Explore alternative perspectives on health and medicine (Andean, rural, and Ecuadorian) one-day workshop.
  • Create original audiovisual content.
  • Research and service-learning activities in the field.
  • Spanish crash course.

Service Learning activities

Multiple service-learning activities developed in consultation with the communities. These may include:

  • Educational talks related to nutrition and disease prevention.
  • Work with locals in organic gardening production.
  • Work with activities or empower groups of teens and young adults to improve health conditions.
  • Assist in anti-Chagas home improvement activities.
  • Help to produce a theater play for the local school

Course information

The number of semester credits available will vary with length of participation and will match the student's academic program needs. A non-credit option is available for non-OHIO students.

Below is a selection of courses that students can enroll in (additional courses may be arranged upon request).

Undergraduate Students - Minimum 5 hours

Undergraduate courses
    Couse name Credits
BIOS 4910 Internship: International Research 1-3
BIOS 4930 Topics in Biological Sciences: Tropical Disease Research 1-2
BIOS 4940 Undergraduate Research 1-2*
HLTH 4930 Independent Studies 4
COMMS 1100 Communication Among Cultures (Tier 2 course) 3
COMMS 4800 Capstone Seminar in Communication (Tier 3 course) 3
COMMS 4900 Special Topics in Comm Studies 3
JOUR 4900 Special Topics in Journalism 3
MDIA 4900 Special Topics in Media Arts and Studies 3
T3 4103c Undergraduate Service Learning in Ecuador (Tier 3 course) 5

Multiple sections may be taken to reach the minimum of 5 credit hours.

Key Dates

  • Applications for STARS 2024: TBD

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities for our programs can be sought here 


For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Mario Grijalva