AIM Overseas’ ground-breaking Public Health in Mexico program is run by the University of La Salle, home of one of Mexico’s most important medical and health sciences faculties. This 3 week program explores the development and maintenance of the Mexican health system in the context of how developing countries manage their health systems. 

The program also looks at community health – the university has excellent linkages with community organisations working in some of the poorer areas of Mexico City. This allows participants to get a feel for the ‘front line’ of dealing with health issues in a developing country.

La Salle University never fail to deliver beautiful courses and fantastic service to students and this program is no different. The course includes 36 hours of lectures and seminars, 30 hours of presentations and site visits, an extensive number of cultural activities and much more. 

While Mexico has an excellent private health care 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 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. 


The academic class components will cover various topics about health care development and practice in Mexico. There are 36 hours of academic classes, seminars and guest lectures. The topics are:

  • Introduction to health care in Mexico
  • Cultural attitudes and belieges in relation to health care
  • Environmental issues
  • Socio cultural aspects of sexuality in Mexico
  • Elderly care in Mexico
  • Disabilities in Mexico
  • Mexico's approach to global health issues
  • Health issues in vulnerable populations (LGBT, immigrants communities, people living with mental illness, ethnic minorities)
  • Food and nutrition in Mexico
  • Mental health issues
  • Maternal, neonatal, child and teenage health care

Universidad La Salle

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. Mexico is a prime location to study migration, as it is the site of much movement, particularly in and out of neighbouring nations. The experiences of those who make the move are sometimes overshadowed by the political and social headlines which surround them – having first hand experience where this migration takes place will be invaluable to studies and developing empathy.


Instructor Information

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.

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.

Site Visits

Field trips will most likely take place during the second week of the program. There is a minimum of 23 hours of practical visits:

  • Community health centres
  • Public and private health care facilities, hospitals and clinics
  • Public senior’s residential home
  • Visit to a rehab centre for children

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 visits – 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. All participants are required to bring a white lab coat for the hospital visits.

Cultural Activities

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!

Below is a list of cultural activities students will participate in as part of the program:

  • Tour of the historical Downtown Center
  • Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Plaza of the three Cultures and Basilica of Guadalupe
  • Coyoacán, Frida Kahlo Museum, Trotsky Museum, Central Plaza
  • Xochimilco

In addition, La Salle University will organise a Mexican cooking class and a Salsa lesson for you to immerse yourself into the Mexican culture! 


You will be in a 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 much as 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 June.

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

Map of Mexico

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 civilisations 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. Mexico City is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere and the greater Mexico City area carries the largest population for any city worldwide. 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.

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.

From leafy suburbs to the historical centre, Mexico offers a wonderfully diverse environment and a range of activities: Centro Historico (the historical centre of the city), Spanish colonial architecture, great museums, pre-Hispanic waterways, spectacular pyramids nearby, volcanoes and the list goes on…


Mexico City’s main airport is the Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX). The airport is not too far from the city centre (only around 20km), but gridlock traffic can make this a very long trip if you are not arriving/departing early in the morning or late in the evening.

Getting around Mexico City is very easy and extremely cheap. A comprehensive, clean and reliable metro service runs all over the city from early until late. There are special security-guarded carriages for women and children although the metro is quite safe. The metro is supplemented by a regular, although quite confusing, labyrinth of buses that criss-cross the city. These old behemoths chug around the city, doors and windows open and often crammed with passengers. They are ideal for short hops from A to B.

Both the metro and the buses are extraordinarily cheap at only 10-20c per trip. The only real inconvenience is that you need to have a constant supply of small change on hand in order to pay for them, so take our advice and hold on to any small change you get because it will definitely come in handy!

Taxis in Mexico City are very cheap but can be inconsistent. Some companies are good and reliable, others you don’t want to use. You’ll be able to get lots more detailed information about this once you have paid your final program fee. The host university will also provide you plenty of orientation advice upon your arrival.

When you first get to Mexico City, the University will give you a comprehensive orientation that will cover how to get around by public transport. 


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.

Your course convenors will not be able to 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 the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


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, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation. 

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

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 currently closed for this program.
However, applications for our Summer 2020 programs will open on 29th April, 2019. In the meantime, you can
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST for a January 2020 or July 2020 program, meaning you’ll receive more program info and updates. You’ll also be notified when applications are open!


The application process for this program are as follows:

1. Apply online via the “Apply Now” button or by clicking this link.

2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.

3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.

4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.

5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.

6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.

7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.

8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.

9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.

10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 6th May 2019.

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. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.