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.

* Details of the 2018 program are still subject to final change *

Additional Course Information

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 beliefs in relation to health care
  • Disabilities in Mexico
  • Mexico’s approach to global health issues
  • Elderly care in Mexico
  • Food and nutrition
  • Mental health issues
  • Maternal, Neonatal and Child health care
  • Socio-cultural aspects of sexuality
  • Health issues in vulnerable populations
  • Environmental issues

University and Faculty

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. It is part of the Brothers of the Christians Schools and one member of a large community of Christian Education institutions around the world. The Universidad La Salle medical school is one of the most well known and successful universities in Mexico for health studies. Established in 1970, it was Mexico’s first private medical school.


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.

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.

Here is a copy of the Schedule for the July 2017 intake of Public Health or your reference, the final schedule for July 2018 will be available about a month before the program starts.

Professional 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 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. 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!

Some of the places you will visit are:

  • Tour of the historical Downtown Centre
  • Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Plaza of the Three Cultures and Basilica of Guadalupe
  • Coyoacán: Frida Kahlo Museum, Trotsky Museum, Central Plaza
  • Xochimilco and Dolores Olmedo Museum

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 ‘familites’.

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 June.

Student Blogs

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


Destination Information

mexico city MEXICO

Mexico City, 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.


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.

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, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

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.

Application Information

Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

We’ve included for your convenience below the initial stages of the application process.

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 you are eligible, 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 down payment. Your place is secured once you’ve paid your down payment.

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.

Students who wish to apply after the official application closing date (2nd April) are required to email or call us directly on (02) 9975 7792. Please note, that late applications are subject to a $100 late fee (inclusive of the $55 phone consultation fee). For more information, please refer to the AIM Overseas Late Application Fee Document.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.