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Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Summer: Rutgers- Culture and Community Health in Mexico
Oaxaca, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Manager:
Greg Spear
Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Suggested G.P.A.:
Good Academic Standing
Number of Credits per Semester:
Service Learning:
Program Description:
The Program

2014 Student Photo Blogs
Click below to follow two students' service-learning experience in Oaxaca through their photos and reflections!

    RU Oaxaca Summer 2014     
     by Adeima Ibanga     
             Rising Junior, Public Health     

     Oaxaca Adventure!     
     by Sara Rostamizadeh     
     Rising Senior, Anthropology     
  • Learn about community-based healthcare models in southern Mexico through the lived experiences of its patients and practitioners.  
  • Study the medical anthropology of the region of Southern Mexico through an intensive seminar and by volunteer in one of a variety of community based public health programs.
  • Enroll in intensive Spanish language classes with a focus on medical terminology and patient care.
  • Explore local culture by living in a homestay with a local Oaxacan family and through group excursions to important historical and cultural sites.
Your Host City: Oaxaca
Oaxaca, the capital city of the southern Mexican state of the same name, contains a fabulous wealth of pre-colonial heritage sites, as well as colonial and contemporary architecture.  Aside from its historical treasures, the city is also known for its cobbled streets, shaded squares, colonial churches, and busy markets. The city has some outstanding restaurants, cafés, and bars, too, together with top-notch museums, art galleries, and numerous festivals.  A little further afield, don’t miss the Mesoamerican architecture of Monte Alban, where some 25,000 Zapotecs (the original inhabitants of Oaxaca) once made their homes.

Faculty Director Profile:
Peter Guarnaccia

Dr. Guarnaccia, professor in the Department of Human Ecology (SEBS) and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, is the faculty director of the “Culture and Community Health in Oaxaca” International Service Learning program.  Dr. Guarnaccia’s research focuses on questions of transnational and intercultural community healthcare, with an emphasis on the Southern Mexican immigrant community of New Brunswick.  The summer ISL program in Oaxaca is part of an ongoing project called “Transnational New Brunswick,” which aims to improve the lives of residents in both cities through Rutgers student and faculty research and service.
The Culture and Community Health in Mexico program aims to expand awareness of health issues in Oaxaca, Mexico and among the Mexican immigrant community in New Jersey. Students will provide community service in a variety of public health programs in Oaxaca. In addition they will participate in a seminar on the medical anthropology of Mexico, a course in medical Spanish, an integrative seminar linking community service with course readings, and cultural excursions.

In Oaxaca, you will take two, 3-credit classes:

Community Health (3 credits)
A weekly 3 hour seminar on the medical anthropology of Mexico, combined with volunteer service in local community health organizations, and a weekly 3 hour reflection seminar on the community health experiences. Service placements include work in rural health clinics, in programs for the elderly, in services that support people who are HIV positive, and organizations that promote public health.

Medical Spanish (3 credits)
Taken at Amigos del Sol Language School in Oaxaca.  Students will be placed at the appropriate language level. Your grade in the course on Medical Spanish will be based upon homework assigned by the teacher, and pre- and post-assessment by the Language School.

It is not possible to take classes not-for-credit, nor is it possible to take classes as Pass/Fail.

To view the program’s preliminary 2014 syllabus, please click here.  Please note this is a sample syllabus, and all of its contents are subject to change.

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

The program itinerary includes several group excursions, designed to enhance student learning about the history, culture, and contemporary society of the host community.  Past excursions have included:
  • Monte Alban, a well-known archaeological site
  • Teotitlan del Valle: meet with traditional Zapotec village healers and women’s weaving cooperative.
  • Capulálpam de Mendez in the Sierra Juarez: visit to indigenous medical clinic and eco-tour

Program Dates
Summer 2015
*All dates are subject to change.  Do not book your flight until you have been accepted and the program dates have been confirmed.

Accommodations and Meals
Throughout the duration of the program, students will be housed with a host family, in shared rooms with access to bathroom facilities. If you have a roommate, he or she will be another student on the Rutgers program. Bed linens and a pillow are provided. Your particular placement is made at the discretion of in-country staff; however, if you have special needs, such as dietary restrictions, please let your program manager know in advance.

The señora of the house will provide your meals during the program. In Mexico, the main meal of the day is lunch, so your breakfast and dinner will generally be smaller than you may be used to.

Financial Information
Program Costs: Summer 2014
NJ Residents Non-NJ Residents
$4,466 $4,947
check_markTuition check_markMost Meals
check_markProgram Administration check_markExcursions
check_markHTH Health Insurance
•Travel to/from Mexico •Some Meals
•Major Medical Insurance All Personal Expenses

For more information about the Program Cost and additional Non-Billable Expenses please download and review the Community Health in Mexico Expenses Worksheet:
Oaxaca Summer 2014 Expenses Worksheet

For more information about Finances, including information about Financial Aid and Tuition Remission please visit the Finances section of our website.

As part of your preparation to apply for this study abroad program, please familiarize yourself with the Rutgers Study Abroad withdrawal policy.

Students are also encouraged to start researching Scholarship opportunities as early as possible.  You may find the following scholarships applicable to this program.

International Service Learning Scholarship- Available to Rutgers students participating in Rutgers International Service Learning programs.  Students must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA to apply.  Information on how to apply will be released to students after their acceptance.

SEBS International Summer Scholarships- Available to SEBS students only.  For more information please visit the SEBS Scholarships web page.

Please also visit the Scholarships section of our website for additional information about Rutgers and National Scholarships.

Student Video Testimonials