Global Health in Argentina (Córdoba)

Program overview

Located in the center of the country, Córdoba is the second most populous city in Argentina and is known for its colonial architecture and exceptionally rich landscapes. Argentina has led a significant effort to provide universal health coverage through a decentralized network of primary, secondary, and tertiary clinics and hospitals. However, economic and social inequalities challenge the achievement of health for all. During this program, learn from local experts about accessible healthcare through rotations at some of the oldest and most renowned teaching hospitals in Latin America. After program acceptance, participants can indicate their areas of interest and placement preferences to CFHI during the enrollment phase. Participants will have the opportunity to witness government efforts to provide care to a large percentage of the population without health insurance. Depending on indicated interest, participants will shadow healthcare professionals in various rotation sites such as surgical care, outpatient, inpatient, and the emergency department. Participants can also rotate in different specialties of their interests, including, but not limited to dermatology, neurology, cardiology, traumatology, and more.

Join lectures and discussions on case studies with local residents and medical students. Become immersed in Argentinian culture and language through conversational and medical Spanish classes while living with local college students, young working people, or host families in Córdoba. 

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General information
Country
Argentina
Focus
End of Life & Palliative Care Global Health Nursing Hospital & Inpatient Medicine Pediatrics & Child Health Public Health
Languages
Advanced Spanish Beginner Spanish Intermediate Spanish
Fees and Duration
2 Weeks - $1975 4 Weeks - $2975 5 Weeks - $3625 6 Weeks - $4275 7 Weeks - $4925 8 Weeks - $5575 9 Weeks - $6225 10 Weeks - $6875
Start Dates
August 3rd, 2024 September 7th, 2024 February 1st, 2025 March 1st, 2025 April 5th, 2025 May 3rd, 2025 June 7th, 2025 July 5th, 2025 August 2nd, 2025 September 6th, 2025

About this program

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Córdoba is the second largest city in Argentina, a country located at the southern tip of South America, renowned for its educational and cultural accomplishments. Córdoba is located about 800 miles from the capital of Buenos Aires. Boasting a population of over 1 million, Córdoba is located in the foothills of the Sierras de Córdoba, or Córdoba Mountains. The weather is typically mild, ranging in the 70-80’s in the summer (December – February) and 50-60’s the rest of the year.

Córdoba has more universities than any other city in Argentina, with over 20% of the population attending nine local universities. Its architecture, food and inhabitants reflect a strong European influence. Pizza, gelato and all types of pasta, with a South American twist, are common. Cordobeses, inhabitants from Córdoba, are known throughout Argentina for their hospitality, warmth, and sense of humor. 

Program participants will find their home away from home in carefully selected homestays, screened by CFHI Local Coordinators in Córdoba and following CFHI’s health and safety guidelines. Nestled within the heart of the city, these homestays offer the perfect blend of comfort and authenticity, situated in middle-class neighborhoods with excellent access to public transportation, shopping havens, and entertainment districts. Most homestays are in high-rise apartments, a common feature of urban living in Cordoba. In some cases, CFHI scholars share a house or a room in the same homestay with fellow program participants.

Going beyond mere lodging, these homestays provide a unique opportunity to learn about the local culture and practice Spanish skills on a daily basis in an informal setting. Accommodations include two meals per day. At the welcome orientation, participants will be instructed on culture and work etiquette to have the best experience in both homestay and the health setting.

Participants should arrive to the city of Córdoba on the program start date, where they will be picked up from the airport by a CFHI representative and taken to their homestay. A welcome orientation will take place the Sunday after arrival.

Please note that you will have your airport or bus station pick up between 7am – 11pm, regardless your arrival time at Cordoba’s International Airport (COR) or Cordoba Bus Station on the program start date (or alternative day upon request). There are many options for flights arriving to Córdoba, and participants generally find it very manageable to schedule a flight to arrive within this time frame. We are happy to be flexible where needed (i.e. arriving a day early or late, when communicated ahead of time in writing to the CFHI team), however observing the arrival window is essential. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you will have the contact information of the local team so that you can let them know right away.

Visas and reciprocity fees are not currently required for U.S. citizens staying less than 3 months in Argentina. More information on travel and logistics will be provided by CFHI after acceptance into the program via your Pre-Departure Training.

What’s Included

CFHI Program fees include the majority of your on the ground costs. As a nonprofit, CFHI strives to keep fees low and offers fundraising opportunities, scholarships and discounts.

Pre-Departure Support

  • Program advising and support via email, phone, and web meeting from CFHI’s Central Leadership team
  • Detailed online Pre-Departure Training that includes modules on program logistics (flights, visas, immunizations, and more), intercultural learning, introduction to health realities at your program site, and much more. 

On-Site Services

  • Airport pick-up upon arrival and transportation with a local CFHI representative to your program lodging
  • Welcome orientation 1-2 days after arrival covering safety, transportation, and other logistics
  • Spanish Classes: 30 hours/month of Spanish classes, including medical Spanish instruction and cultural activities
  • CFHI Local Team that provides instruction, logistical support, and 24/7 emergency response
  • Meetings and lectures on local healthcare system, socio-economic determinants of health and current cultural/historical topics. 
  • Placement and coordination of clinical and any public health activities (if relevant)
  • Accommodation and two meals per day
  • Local cell phone or support obtaining a local SIM card
  • International emergency medical and evacuation insurance (unless waived by your university or institution)

Post-Return Resources

  • Opportunities to engage as a CFHI Alumni Ambassador, reviewing scholarship applications, speaking on CFHI panels, and more
  • Access to CFHI alumni-only social media group/s featuring news and career opportunities related to Global Health
  • CFHI alumni newsletter highlighting events, professional development opportunities, resources, and ways to stay involved

 

Uniquely, 60% or more of CFHI student program fees go directly to the communities they will be visiting, benefiting the local economy at large. 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT FAIR-TRADE LEARNING MODEL
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Córdoba is teeming with cultural and recreational activities, such as live theater, musicals, concerts, The Medical and Anatomical Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, and a museum dedicated to the victims of Argentina’s infamous military dictatorship. Outside of the city, Córdoba offers many options for nature lovers, such as hiking the various mountain ranges, as well as enjoying lakes, waterfalls, and small farming villages that dot the countryside.

 

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A typical day in a CFHI program is a blend of immersive learning, cultural exploration, and personal reflection. Participants begin their mornings with breakfast at their homestay, followed by 4-6 hours of clinical rotations. The clinical site assignments and schedule are shared by the local team upon arrival. In the afternoon, participants attend Spanish classes at the language school, with the hours and regularity varying based on the program. Weekends are free of program-planned activities.

Our local team offers a sneak peek presentation for prospective students to have an idea of what a day, week, and month is going to be like during their time in Córdoba. Presentations are held on Zoom on Saturdays and attendees will be able to meet the local team, learn about Argentina and ask all the questions that they may have. Please reach out to students@cfhi.org for more information.

Aliana Castro

Hello! My name is Aliana, and I am a college senior majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Global Public Health. Through these studies, I had the opportunity to spend four weeks in Córdoba, Argentina through CFHI in July of 2023. While there, I really enjoyed learning Spanish, diving into the culture, and forming relationships with those I met! This upcoming May, I will begin graduate school where I will be studying to become a physician assistant (PA). Outside of academia, I enjoy traveling, learning new languages, running, and baking. I look forward to meeting you! Welcome!

 

 

Maris Scanlon

I am a Kiwi-American studying medicine in Ireland. My background is in political science and philosophy, and these are interests I have carried forward into the medical sphere. I am a certified PADI rescue diver, a Ghosh yoga teacher, a mediocre banjo player – and a big fan of collecting hobbies.

Clinical Rotations & Public Health Placements

Overview

Clinical rotations in Córdoba provide participants with an opportunity to learn about urban health care in Argentina. After acceptance to the program, students can indicate their preference to focus on either adult, pediatrics, or nursing. This will help the local team to tailor rotation assignments to the participant. Rotations for these various program themes generally take place within the same hospitals and clinics, however the rotation assignments vary based on the focus of the learner. In general, participants in this program will undertake observational clinical rotations at primary, secondary, and tertiary level clinics throughout Córdoba with the option of venturing to the smaller barrios (neighborhoods) surrounding the city (depending on local availability). Not all rotations are available at all times, however the local team does their best to offer learners their first choice of rotation site.

 

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Pediatric Hospital

Located in the central part of the city, Córdoba’s main public pediatric hospital serves over half a million general consults and 5,000 surgeries per year. Participants rotate in a variety of wards including the Intensive Care Unit, Surgery, Emergency Care, Dermatology, and general primary care. The hospital provides services for children from 6 months until 14 years old. There is a 24 hour general emergency room and general consult is available between 8 am to 8 pm. This hospital also has very strong connection with the local community, neighborhood associations, and schools, including participating in and sponsoring neighborhood parties and sporting events. The hospital also provides an important vaccination campaign.

For participants focusing on primary care, shadow local pediatricians providing free or low cost care to children between 6 months and 14 years of age at this public hospital. General pediatric consult is provided daily. Pediatric primary health care encompasses health supervision and anticipatory guidance, which includes monitoring physical and psychosocial growth and development and provision of first contact care and coordinated management of health problems requiring multiple professional services. The hospital receives approximately 500,000 patients a year.

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Polytrauma Hospital

This is a public healthcare institution recognized for its expertise in the field of Polytraumas while also providing excellent care across a broad range of services. Some recent highlights include the inauguration of the first Public Ambulatory Major Surgery Service in 2016 and the opening of the New Hospital in 2017, which expanded services, facilities, and inpatient capacity. With an impressive track record in medicine and healthcare, this hospital accommodates professionals from various major medical specialties. It offers both scheduled and emergency care, conducts medical studies, and provides support in many common branches of modern medicine.

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Tertiary Care Hospital

Participants will join the staff of this dynamic and busy hospital to experience the challenges of providing tertiary care in a resource-limited setting. This facility is the largest tertiary public hospital in Córdoba and is the main referral hospital for complicated cases. The hospital is open 24 hours a day and offers specialties including cardiology, nutrition, diabetes, oncology, and ophthalmology. The hospital also houses a burn unit and serves as the main transplant center in the region.

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City Emergency Hospital

This 70 bed facility has 4 operating rooms and receives over 90% of all emergency cases in the city. It specializes in providing care for trauma cases and other life-threatening diseases, and treats the majority of cases related to car accidents and work-related or sports injuries. Participants will join dynamic healthcare teams offering outpatient and inpatient emergency care.

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Pediatric Primary Care

Join local pediatricians providing free care to children between 6 months and 14 years of age at this public hospital. The hospital receives approximately 500,000 patients per year. General pediatric consult is provided daily and there are also numerous specialty wards including ophthalmology, internal medicine, traumatology, and emergency medicine. Pediatric primary health care encompasses health supervision and anticipatory guidance. Anticipatory guidance includes monitoring physical and psychosocial growth and development, provision of first contact care, and coordinated management of health problems requiring multiple professional services.

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Meet the Local Team

Carlos Giavay Waiss, JD
Carlos Giavay Waiss, JD
CFHI Córdoba Program Director

Carlos Giavay Waiss, JD - CFHI Córdoba Program Director

Carlos oversees the logistical as well as clinical and public health aspects of the program. Carlos and his team arrange clinical rotations, supervise the participant experience at these sites and provide instruction on public health topics during weekly meetings. Carlos coordinates with local physicians and healthcare personnel at each rotation site to oversee each participant’s experience.

Carlos has worked for CFHI since 2012 and is the founder and president of a local non-profit organization working with foreign exchange students. He graduated with a law degree from Córdoba University and has taken graduate courses in business management and economics in Italy and the U.S. He was Dean of Student Affairs at a national law school and municipal attorney for the city of Córdoba. As a teenager, Carlos lived in Alaska for a year as a foreign exchange student, an experience that sparked his passion for intercultural exchange and international travel. He enjoys working with CFHI students who have an interest in the social and cultural aspects of health. In his free time, Carlos enjoys working on his garden, going on hikes and local gastronomy.

 

Andres ‘Charly’ Alegre
Andres ‘Charly’ Alegre
Local Coordinator

Andres ‘Charly’ Alegre - Local Coordinator

The CFHI Local Coordinators manage the logistics of housing, transportation, and cultural immersion throughout the program. They are a valuable resource for any questions related to navigating the program locale, cultural norms, and tips on planning weekend travel.

Charly was born in northern Argentina and moved to Córdoba to attend University. He participated in a cultural exchange program in Montreal in 2012, sparking his love for travel and culture. He loves working with CFHI students and sharing his country and culture with students from abroad. During his free time, he enjoys watching movies in English, trekking and learning other languages.

Antje Koenig
Antje Koenig
Local Coordinator

Antje Koenig - Local Coordinator

Antje assists Carlos with organizing housing, airport pick up, orientation, weekly meetings and other logistics for all participants.

Antje is a native of Germany and moved to Bolivia in the late 80’s. She met her husband and had her 4 children in Bolivia, later moving to Argentina where she finished her degree in Psychology and Foreign languages. She has also taught courses at local University in Psychopedagogy and German. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, taking long walks in the hilly countryside around Córdoba and spending time with her family.

This Program Requires Beginner Spanish 2 or Higher
Leading this program are our CFHI on-site Global Team members, all of whom speak Spanish, and some English. Translators are not provided during this program. You will take Spanish language classes throughout your program, and all daily interactions will be in Spanish. CFHI’s local team will support and help you through your experience. This program requires beginner 2 Spanish or higher.

Eligibility

This CFHI program is ideal for participants who are 19 years of age or older with a Beginner 2 Spanish level or above, who have an interest in fields related to hospital & inpatient medicine, primary health care, pediatric & child health, global health nursing, and/or public health. You do not need to be a student to be eligible for this program; mid-career professionals, GAP year learners, and others are also welcome. This program will provide an in-depth overview of hospital & inpatient medicine, primary health care, pediatric & child health, global health nursing, and/or public health in Latin America through visits and experiences within hospitals in the city of Córdoba. To confirm your eligibility, please read CFHI’s general eligibility requirements.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global roadmap set forth by the United Nations General Assembly to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure the well-being of all individuals by the year 2030. This program highlights the following SDGs:

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What alumni say about this program

Sophia A.
Sophia A. Pre-med student, Diablo Valley College

“Everyday in the hospital was a new and fun experience for me and I am so happy that I decided to come to Córdoba and participate in the Hospital Medicine program through CFHI. I have had the opportunity to see and learn things now that back home I might not have seen until the end of medical school or even until residency. All the people I got to meet and talk to have been so great and helpful. Overall, my time in the hospital surpassed all my expectations and I hope that I can come back soon.” Read more on Sophia’s blog.

Pre-Health Student
Pre-Health Student

“All of the doctors, residents, and students in the hospital were so helpful and always took the time to explain what they were doing whether it was a basic physical exam, an EKG, or stitching up a wound. I got to spend every morning in the local emergency hospital and I learned so much it was amazing….Everyone was really friendly so I felt very comfortable right away. I loved getting up and going to the hospital every morning because I knew that in the four hours that I was there, I was going to learn so much.” Read more.

How to Apply

Create profile

Submit application

Hear back from CFHI team

Complete pre-departure training and requirements

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