Virtual Global & Public Health Internship – Ecuador (Quito)

Program overview

The Virtual Global & Public Health Internship offers undergraduate, pre-health, and graduate-level participants the unique opportunity to learn foundational, industry-specific skills for careers in Global Health, Public Health, and related fields. Through virtual seminars and meetings, interns will explore how communities in Andean Ecuador are addressing their most pressing health challenges and learn about the Ecuadorian Health System.

In addition, participants will join weekly Global Health seminars and bimonthly Roundtables, where they can engage with CFHI’s Medical Directors and gain a comparative perspective on Global Health. Upon request, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion.

Areas of focus could include:

    • Ecuadorian Health System and Social Determinants of health
    • Traditional Medicine in Ecuador
    • Teenage pregnancy and gender issues
    • Colonialism and Religion
General information
Ecuador Virtual Internships
Hospital & Inpatient Medicine Pediatrics & Child Health Planetary Health Primary health care Public Health Urban/Rural Comparative
Advanced Spanish Beginner Spanish Intermediate Spanish
Fees and Duration
4 Weeks - $975
Start Dates
August 5th, 2024 September 2nd, 2024 October 7th, 2024 November 4th, 2024 January 6th, 2025 February 3rd, 2025 March 3rd, 2025 April 7th, 2025 May 5th, 2025 June 2nd, 2025 July 7th, 2025 August 4th, 2025 September 1st, 2025 October 6th, 2025 November 3rd, 2025

About this program

Who can apply?

CFHI virtual internships are ideal for undergraduates, pre-health students, graduate students, and non-students who have a demonstrated interest in Global Health, Public Health, and related fields. This virtual internship is a good fit for students who have a foundation in Spanish, have an interest in health and medicine and would like to learn about health systems and challenges in Ecuador.

Language Required: Spanish

Minimum Spanish Required: Beginner 1 Spanish or Above

Leading this program on-site are our on-site partners (see Local Team tab), all of whom share Spanish as their native language, but may speak English as well. Most meetings led by the local team will be in Spanish, but CFHI’s local team is able to support and help you through your experience.

Not sure about your Spanish level? View a full list of CFHI’s language levels for all Latin America programs on our Spanish Level Guidelines page. 

The Virtual Global & Public Health Internship is an unpaid experience. Student fees will be used to compensate CFHI’s Global Partners– in line with our Fair Trade commitment.

Program Components
  • Robust competency-informed readings and content 
  • Country-specific seminars and activities 
  • Access to Pillars of Global Health: Building Competencies for Global Health Engagement modules
  • Access to and training rooted in intercultural tools through CFHI partner Aperian
  • Access to the CFHI Global Health Professional Development Hub events and materials
  • Bi-weekly roundtables featuring global health experts from 3-5 countries
  • 30 hours of Medical Spanish instruction
  • Synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions led by CFHI Global Partners, all experts in local health systems and culture
  • Training module: Self Care & Wellness for your Virtual Program
  • Facilitated group reflection sessions 
  • Orientation and debrief sessions lead by CFHI Virtual Programs Coordinator
  • Support from CFHI’s Virtual Programs Coordinator

The Virtual Global & Public Health Internship is an unpaid experience. Student fees will be used to compensate CFHI’s Global Partners– in line with our Fair Trade commitment.

Schedule Overview

The program requires participants to dedicate 8- 12 hours per week to live Zoom sessions. During this time, students participate in lectures, seminars, roundtables and Medical Spanish language classes. Additionally, students may be assigned independent tasks by the local Medical Director and the Spanish instructors team to successfully complete the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get credit for this program? 

Yes, many participants do. To find out what is required at your school, talk to your advisor or global health faculty. CFHI assists with program enrollment, confirmation letters, evaluations, and other documentation you may need.

Are there scholarships available for virtual programs?

CFHI offers many scholarships for both place-based and virtual programs. Visit the scholarships page to find out more about requirements, deadlines, and more information on how to apply. New scholarships are posted every few months, so be sure to check the page frequently.

How do I access course materials and the schedule once I am enrolled?

Once you are enrolled in a CFHI virtual program and have completed the necessary application steps, you will be sent a welcome email with information on how to access course materials and the course schedule via Google Classroom. You will also be invited to a virtual orientation that will introduce you to CFHI and help you prepare for the start of the program.

When is the program fee due?

The program fee is due 3 weeks before the start date of the program.

Can I get a certificate of completion once I finish the program? 

Yes! All students who complete a CFHI virtual program may request a certificate of completion by emailing

Meet the Local Team

Dr. Susana Alvear
Dr. Susana Alvear
Medical Director in Quito

Dr. Susana Alvear - CFHI Medical Director in Quito

Dr. Alvear is an expert on socioeconomic determinants of health in Ecuador and on healthcare delivery strategies in low-resource settings.

She has served CFHI since 1996. She is an accomplished family physician who obtained her MD and specialty certificates in Ecuador. She then completed clinical education courses at the University of New Mexico and workshops at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Alvear teaches at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, where she manages their residency program. Dr. Alvear has participated in several international trips providing healthcare services to countries after natural disasters stricken areas such as Pakistan and Ghana.

Patty Ribadaneira
Patty Ribadaneira
Local Coordinator in Quito

Patty Ribadaneira - CFHI Local Coordinator in Quito

The Local Coordinator in Quito is a leader the Academia Latinoamericana de Español, Quito, the language school where students take Spanish classes. Patty Ribadaneira has been supporting visiting students in Quito since 1989. She studied in the U.S. and is aware of the specific needs that students have. Patty is a collaborative, motivational and inspirational leader; she instills confidence in others.

How to Apply

Create a profile

Submit application

Hear back from CFHI team

Complete requirements and access the virtual platform

What alumni say about this program

Courtney C.
Courtney C. Program's Alumni

My virtual experience was nothing short of incredible. While I was doubtful that it could fulfill my expectations in the same way that an on-site program would, CFHI did an incredible job of choosing local experts to speak to us on global health issues and medical ethics. We were assigned a local Spanish teacher from Quito. I had minimal Spanish knowledge before – after 6 weeks of this course, I feel like participating in this program has vastly accelerated my learning in a way that would have taken months or years during a normal academic year. Participating in this experience has helped me take the first steps in becoming a more culturally-competent physician. I also plan to continue learning Spanish, with the goal of hopefully helping Spanish-speaking patients feel more comfortable if I am their provider. I could not thank CFHI enough and would highly recommend this program to anyone in the medical field or not.


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