AIM Overseas’ ground-breaking Public Health in Mexico program is run by the University of La Salle, home to one of Mexico’s most important medical and health sciences faculties. This program explores the development and maintenance of the Mexican healthcare system in the context of how developing countries manage their health systems.
La Salle University never fails to deliver beautiful courses and always delivers fantastic services to students around the world, and this program is no different. The course includes 36 hours of lectures and seminars, 25 hours of presentations and site visits, an extensive number of cultural activities and much more.
While Mexico has an excellent private healthcare system that sees many North Americans traveling there (as prices are considerably lower in Mexico), its public hospitals remain underfunded and lack equipment and resources. Over the last 10 years Mexico’s health system has undergone a thorough reform to improve its performance and the health of Mexicans has experienced marked progress.
Mexico is a great location to examine the strengths and weaknesses of a health system in terms of access to health care, quality of care, efficient supply of services and the financial sustainability of the system.
Site Visits and Cultural Activities
One of the true highlights of this phenomenal program is the array of in-depth professional and cultural activities that are included in the program.
Please find the January 2018 program schedule as reference, the final schedule for January 2018 will be available about a month before the program starts.
Professional Site Visits
Field trips are an important part of the course. There is a minimum of 25 hours of practical visits to:
- La Salle Medical School
- Elderly Care residence
- Community Health Clinic ( BRIMEX)
- Maternity Clinic hospital in a semi rural setting ( 2 hours out of Mexico City)
- HIV Clinic
- National Red Cross
- Borough Public Health Clinic and services
- CRIX Children Rehabilitation Centre
- General Hospital / Local Community Health Center in Nezahualcoyotl ( underprivileged urban suburb)
These fantastic visits are one of the many highlights of the program. La Salle’s extensive contacts in the medical and public health domains opens many doors at these visit – in addition to presentations by health care professionals, some students have been fortunate enough to be invited into theatre to view childbirths, minor and more detailed surgical procedures. These experiences do not contain any practical, hands-on elements, but do add a dimension to the experience that is simply impossible to replicate in an Australian-based course.
Detailed information about the practical visits will be provided to students in the lead-up to the course. A white lab coat is required equipment for all participants.
Over the duration of the program you will discover many of Mexico City’s most famous places, as well as some of the more intimate nooks and crannies of this vast, diverse city. La Salle’s tour guide, Arnaldo, is absolutely revered – described universally as ‘a walking book’. He is dynamic and engaging and not a detail is missed during his tours!
Some of the places you will visit are:
- Tour of the historical Downtown Centre
- Basilica of Guadalupe /Pyramids
- Coyoacán, Frida Kahlo Museum
- Chapultepec Castle and the Museum of Anthropology
- An overnight trip to Puebla
University and Faculty
Universidad La Salle (ULSA), founded in 1962, is a private institute for higher education with its main campus located in Mexico City. The university is amid Mexico’s top 7 private universities and ranked in the top three of various academic areas.
The course is lead by Dr Ana Cristina Peterson, a fabulous and professional professor that has ably led the program since 2009. Ana Cristina is adored by students who have taken the program in the past and will make sure that you make the most of your academic experience in Mexico. A small number of guest lecturers and health care professionals will also assist with teaching on the course.
You will stay in homestay accommodation arranged by La Salle’s Centre for International Exchanges and Languages (CIEL). CIEL have worked with the homestay families for many years and, as a result, have refined their list to an excellent selection of homestay ‘families’.
Your accommodation will be in a twin-share room with one other student from the program. Typically the homestays are within a 10-15 minute walk of the La Salle campus, in a beautiful and safe part of Mexico City called ‘La Condesa’.
Every homestay is different. Some are ‘real’ families with a Mum, Dad and kids. Others might be a single grandmother or middle-aged couple without children. The amenities, locations and house rules will vary slightly from place to place. Personal preferences (dietary conditions, non-smoking etc) will be accommodated as far as is possible and we will discuss these things with you as part of the application process.
Some of the families speak some basic English and some do not. This hasn’t proven to be an issue, with past participants consistently saying their homestay experience was one of their enduring memories of the program.
Detailed information about your homestay family will be provided to you approximately 3-4 weeks before the start of the program, in early December.
Hear the experiences of other students on this program
“Then it was on to Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods. The dominating structures are two pyramids called the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. Arnoldo made a repeat appearance as our guide, and told us so many stories about how the Aztecs used the temples that I am fully convinced they are the most metal people to have ever existed. Just one story he shared was that to please the water god, Tlaloc, a baby was sacrificed on each of the Temple of the Sun’s four corners because “killing a baby will make it cry more” and thus produce more water for the god. I left with a distinct sense of gratitude to not have been born into the Aztec empire.”
- Liza, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. READ MORE
“Our site visits this week were to CRIT, a rural public hospital, and an AIDS clinic. The AIDS clinic was a sobering experience and we scrubbed up to observe a hysterectomy at the hospital, but it was CRIT that truly made my occupational therapist heart sing. Painted in bright colours, made from environmentally friendly materials, lit wherever possible with natural light, and absolutely huge, the facility is a children’s rehabilitation clinic that processes around 1000 appointments per day…”
- Liza, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. READ MORE
“If you want to see a full-on technicolour town then Puebla is the place to go. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss the bright orange church located on top of the Pyramid of Cholula (well, actually now a hill ever since the Spanish covered it because they thought it was used to worship the devil). We were lucky enough to get a weekend in Puebla, so aside from exploring the church and the historical city centre, we spent the rest of the time doing things like eating a three course meal in a restaurant whose interior looked like something straight out of a medieval castle, then having thick hot chocolate… then dulce de leche from the markets… then pizza with assorted alcoholic beverages… then freshly made churros smothered in melted chocolate… you get it. If it wasn’t for all the walking and many, many flights of stairs this trip I swear I would return home at least twice as heavy.”
- Liza, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. READ MORE
Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America that’s known for its beautiful beaches of the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles. Ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins are scattered throughout the country, as are Spanish colonial-era towns. Mexico is loved for its coasts, jungles, volcanoes and cities, as well as its superbly tasty food, spectacular ancient civilisations, inspired art and most importantly the charming, hospitable, real people. Mexico is an endless adventure for many visitors because of its ten thousand kilometres of coastline, cactus-strewn deserts and wildlife-rich lagoons.
Located in the centre-south of Mexico, Mexico City is the densely populated, high- altitude capital of Mexico. It’s known for the Templo Mayor (a 13th century Aztec temple), cathedrals and the Palacio Nacional, which houses historic murals. Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations built some of the world’s great archaeological monuments in this city, including Teotihuacán’s towering pyramids and the Pyramid of the Sun. The Spanish colonial era left beautiful towns full of tree-shaded plazas and richly sculpted stone churches and mansions, while modern Mexico has seen a surge of great art from the likes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Top-class museums and galleries document the country’s fascinating history and its endless creative verve. Popular culture is just as vibrant, from the underground dance clubs and street art of Mexico City to the wonderful handicrafts of the indigenous population.
Credit and Funding
All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.
Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.
You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.
Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.
We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.
Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.
The steps to apply, and be accepted, for this program are as follows:
1. Apply online
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results
3. We’ll review your results and application and, if we believe you are likely to be accepted for the program, will invite you to an initial consultation by phone with an advisor.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation with an advisor.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 15 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. Once you return any necessary documents (which we’ll advise you of in the consultation), we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, we’ll send you your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.
7. Your acceptance pack will contain the course syllabus, steps on applying for credit and funding, and an invoice for the program deposit. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your deposit.
Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.
For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest, meaning you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.