Public Health Course in Colombia

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About

The Public Health in Colombia course was launched in summer 2018 in partnership with the prestigious Institute of Public Health at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.

The four week academic course teaches students the challenges of providing healthcare in a post-conflict society. Students visit a range of medical and governmental organizations to explore the practical considerations for Colombia's healthcare providers and policy makers.

The site visits and excursions are accompanied by lectures on campus at Javeriana, which constitute approximately 50% of the course hours.

The course includes accommodation in brand-new student halls of residence in central Bogota, complete with private rooms, cooking and social areas, and amazing views of Bogota and its beautiful mountains.

Participants also have the chance to explore Colombia and its cultural with a range of social activities and excursions which include a waterfall trek & watching World Cup football,

Highlights
  • Gain unique insights into the Colombian Public Health System and the impact of the recent conflict there
  • Join practical excursions and site visits to governmental and charitable organisations
  • Study alongside undergraduate and postgraduate students from a range of academic disciplines and nationalities
  • Take part in exciting cultural and social activities that allow you to explore Colombia's highlights
  • Enrol at one of Colombia's top universities, Javeriana

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 14 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 14 of 14
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Maria Jose
9/10

Public Health in Colombia

The Public Health in Colombia program was a really cool experience. Exploring a system with so many complexities, built around an ongoing historical struggle and during a time of both social and politically transition was really insightful. The course was very informative and engaging. Exploring the dialectics of the subjects from the different perspectives and expertise of the professors gave great depth to the academic aspect program and made it incredibly insightful! The activities all provided a feeling of cultural immersion, and the coordinators were all incredibly helpful and welcoming. Bogota is such as incredible city that represents a part of an incredibly country, and I'm glad this program allowed us to explore its complexities among brilliant people, who along the ride, became friends.

How can this program be improved?
My complaint of the program was regarding site visits, which became repetitive and unnecessarily general. From what I understood, site visits were supposed to be a continuation of the academic lecture, with the purpose of giving an empirical perspective to the subject at hand. However, site visits many times either strayed from the subject, echoed the subject in a repetitive manner, or did not complement the subject in an informative way.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Brian
10/10

Great trip

My experience in Bogota w/RTS was great. Bogota is a unique city in a culturally diverse country. The course was structured in a way that there were lectures in the morning and field visits in the afternoon. It was a jammed pack month, we learned information that it would take semesters to learn. The professors of different background and disciplines also provided unique insight from their field and specialties. I'd definitely recommend this course to people interested in studying abroad.

How can this program be improved?
The information was geared towards students without a background in public health. For say a masters level the information may have seem not challenging at all. Also the field visits were't really field visits. Most of the field visits turned into a lecture, usually a repeat of the lecture we had in the morning. I think because we were the first group to participate in the course there were a few kinks. They'll figure it out.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Elena
9/10

An Unforgettable Experience in Colombia

RTS organized an amazing program from the academic courses at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana to the social and cultural activities that enabled us to get a real feel of Colombian culture. The public health classes were interesting and informative because they looked at public health from many different lenses. The afternoon site visits, although a little repetitive at times, re-enforced and expanded on the knowledge we had learned in the morning lecture. The social and cultural activities were always a blast from learning how to play tejo to going on a graffiti tour around Bogota. The accommodation was clean and beautiful and I never felt unsafe when going to sleep. Lastly, the staff went above and beyond to make sure our time in Colombia was incredible. I highly recommend this program and this country to everyone!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jeffin
10/10

A Great Experience!

This program is so unique in so many ways. It introduced me to much of Colombia's great culture and background. During the educational portion we were able to learn a lot about the Colombian healthcare system and its flaws. The coordinators of the program are extremely helpful and eased our transition to Colombia immensely. They were there to guide us along if we needed help but left us to our own devices so we could figure out the city by ourselves and form a unique connection with it.

How can this program be improved?
As many of the other reviews have said, the site visit were great but a little boring because they were presented in lecture format and reiterated a lot of what the morning lecturers had presented. I was hoping our lectures would be more interactive so that we could talk to each other and share experiences.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Abigail
8/10

Public Health in Colombia!

My overall experience was great. Both, academically and culturally. Bogota is such an amazing place to visit, as well as Colombia as a whole. I would have loved to visit other cities, but I'll leave that for another visit to Colombia. The classes were very educational. We basically learned a whole semester course in one month. The lectures and the university made it as easy-going as possible but still rich in content. I appreciate that we have different lectures with great expertise on the topics they were teaching us. I like that it was split into two sections: Morning with lectures and afternoon with site-visits. Everyone was really kind and knowledgeable and always welcomed our questions and doubts.

How can this program be improved?
One thing I'd suggest to improve everyone's academic experience is to maybe have different classes for different education levels. For instance, I am a graduate student with knowledge on epidemiology. We had approximately 1 week talking about measures of mortality and morbidity, epidemiological and demographical transition and so on in the most basic way; which I understand because we had some undergrad students. However, for me at least, that time felt sort of monotonous and not very academically challenging, it was more like a review.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
8/10

Studying abroad in Bogota!

Overall this was a wonderful and thorough introduction to the public health in Colombia. Every day we heard from a different expert/leader in the field on their area of expertise. We also had the opportunity to visit different institutes with wide-ranging roles in the public health field. In addition to the academics, Red Tree Study also arranged many cultural and social activities for us to take part in. For example, there were opportunities to go on a graffiti tour, visit the beautiful Monserrate, and to play Tejo. The facilities that we stayed in were also top notch and I felt very safe my entire stay in Bogota!

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I would recommend is that site visits could be less "lecture format" and more interactive.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lizette
9/10

My first trip to Colombia

Traveling abroad is an amazing experience, but Colombia was by far my favorite experience abroad. From our morning lectures and afternoon site visits (which, as previously mentioned, were often repetitive and difficult to engage with) to our social excursions through Red Tree Study, the past month was nothing short of enriching. Through Red Tree and Javeriana's interdisciplinary approach, we were able to learn about Colombia's public health system after the armed conflict that lasted 50 years. Our lecturers came from a variety of backgrounds and specialties and provided valuable insight regarding the Colombian public health system and history of the country.

Our outings with RTS were incredibly fun. I loved the hike to the waterfall at Choachi and playing tejo. Definitely a must!
Overall, I had an amazing time in Colombia and I am very grateful to Red Tree Study for making this possible!

How can this program be improved?
Better coordination between lecturers and creating a more engaging environment during site visits.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chanel
9/10

busy month in Colombia!

I enjoyed my time in Colombia through Red Tree Study! Our mornings consisted of information packed lectures. We learned a lot about health law and policy (Colombians definitely put an emphasis on the legal side of healthcare), the health financial system, and the ways that Colombia's history and geography has affected the health of the population. Our afternoons involved visiting various health-related institutions. In the evenings after our classes and on weekends, we got to explore more of Bogota and enjoy the beautiful country! RTS does a great job of planning weekend excursions and social outings!

How can this program be improved?
To echo the previous reviews, the site visits fell short of our expectations. We had hoped to tour the facilities and learn what the organization does to increase health care access across Colombia. Instead, the site visits were a time where these health institutions taught us what we were learning in the classroom. As this was the first summer the program was being held, I hope RTS will work this out!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Matthew
8/10

A Great Experience

I enjoyed my time participating in Public Health in Colombia. The course was incredibly informative and approached content through an interdisciplinary lens. I was attracted to the course due to its course content and its site visits, where I hoped to speak to Colombians directly involved in the public health system, and understand the unique challenges the country was facing. Although many site visits were enlightening, many were repetitive and strayed from providing authentic dialogue and original content. It is also important to note that a translator was present for nearly all site visits for students who required translation.
Red Tree Study provided a great support network for students, and organized numerous events and activities to allow students to explore Bogotá.

How can this program be improved?
The program would be improved by site visits being more centered on why the organizations were relevant in Colombia's public health. Instead of conversations, site visits were often lecture style and repetitive of previous information, which defeated the purpose of a site visit.
Yes, I recommend this program
Sabeera
10/10

Beautiful Bogota!

This program has provided me with such a brilliant start to my summer, complete with a vastly interesting academic side and also with such exciting social activities - we saw waterfalls and amazing skylines. I was able to learn about the different obstacles facing the healthcare system in a Colombian specific context and also consider how these issues varied across the country. We had the chance to learn about historical knowledge, epidemiology and also mental health. The staff and organizers are all exceptionally welcoming and provided for a really warm and enjoyable atmosphere during our time in the bustling ad beautiful city of Bogota. The cultural aspect was quite intense in that we were able to really immersive in the local area but also befriend people from all types of backgrounds throughout the trip.

How can this program be improved?
The academic side could be more specific and some translators weren't brilliant.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Andreina
8/10

Visit to the "brother country".

Overall, my experience in the Public Health in Colombia program was great. As a Venezuelan-United Statian, I was particularly interested in experiencing my "hermano pais" of Colombia in-person. I learned a lot in the classroom and loved being able to visit locations and professionals in Bogota designated to conduct public health work for the city and nation. Red Tree Study organized wonderful afternoon activities and weekend cultural excursions, which I enjoyed very much because it allowed me to engage with the surrounding Colombian communities outside of the classroom context.

How can this program be improved?
Because I was in the initial cohort, there were several issues related to the repetition of in-class materials. Unfortunately, the site visits were the biggest downfall for me because I was expecting to be able to see people "in action" in their job duties as public health professionals. Although we often did travel to these work sites, we often heard the morning lectures simply repeated.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
9/10

Amazing Experience!

I had an excellent time studying in Bogotá with Red Tree Study. I'm Colombian myself, so I was familiar with the culture before arriving in the country, but I still had such a unique experience being able to really immerse myself in the Colombian way of life. The classes taught me a lot, providing a very broad and useful foundation for my future studies in public health. I really enjoyed the way the course was set up, because I had a good amount of free time to explore the area we stayed in (La Candelaria) in addition to the social/cultural excursions we went on. Future participants should know that it's okay to not be experienced in public health before taking part in the course! As an undergraduate student, I'm just now discovering where my passions lie in the field and the program really helped with identifying that. Overall, studying in Colombia has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that's led to some great times with some truly amazing people!

How can this program be improved?
I would improve some of the site visits. My favorite site visits were often the ones that were engaging and interactive versus the visits that were more lecture-based. Still, it was always great to hear the perspectives of the public and private organizations we visited.
Yes, I recommend this program
Nato
10/10

Wonderful

I have travelled all over but this was the first time in Colombia. I am from Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe and this was the closest I ever felt at home. Not only was the academic content really refreshing but so was extra activities we participated in. It was definitely a new experience that I am really glad I experienced. I would recommend that future students not only participate in already planned activities but also in recommended planned extracurricular activities.

How can this program be improved?
I would recommend for the next year that the site visits would consist of actual visual experience or volunteering only and for the lectures to be limited during the morning sessions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelly
10/10

New Friends

After this program, I definitely know more about Colombia’s healthcare system than either of the two countries where I have lived (US and UK). The fact that health in Colombia is a constitutional right is very interesting to me. There are certainly challenges in guaranteeing this right, especially in isolated, rural communities.
One of my favorite aspects of this course was meeting other public health students from the US and UK. I was unsure whether mixing undergraduates and postgraduates together would work, but I think having different perspectives and range of experiences added to the course content and made it more interdisciplinary. Living and learning alongside one another for four weeks allowed us to really bond – I feel like I have known my roommates for years and we are planning to keep in touch!

How can this program be improved?
By having more coordination between the morning lectures and afternoon site visits. Sometimes the material was repeated in the afternoon, and we wanted to hear more about what people do in their day-to-day jobs.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Red Tree Study

We specialise in Spanish courses, Academic programs and Film Internships in Colombia. We are proud of the excellent support we provide to our students. We run a great social and cultural activity program, and encourage our students to explore...