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Public Health in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico

Program sponsor: Northwestern

Public Health in Mexico, Summer 2018
Public Health in Mexico, Summer 2018
Public Health in Mexico, at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, City. Summer 2016
Public Health in Mexico, at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico, City. Summer 2016
Moneb Bughrara, Fei Wang, and Joo-Young Lee at Teotihuacan *Public Health in Mexico, Summer 2016
Moneb Bughrara, Fei Wang, and Joo-Young Lee at Teotihuacan *Public Health in Mexico, Summer 2016

The Northwestern Public Health in Mexico program gives students insight into Mexico’s public health system. Students will learn about the outcomes and challenges of healthcare reform since the beginning of the twenty-first century and in light of the country’s increasing migrant population. In addition to public health courses, students enroll in a Spanish language and history and culture course, which introduce students to the rich history, language, traditions, and customs of Mexico through excursions to Mexico City’s famous boroughs Xochimilco and Coyoacan, or the holy city of Teotihuacan with its Mesoamerican pyramids.

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This program offers a set curriculum, as follows:

Public Health in Mexico Seminar

This course is designed to introduce students to the most common public health problems faced in Mexico. Students will learn about major communicable and non-communicable diseases and their incidence in particular regions and groups. Maternal and child health, mental health, injuries, and other public health problems that affect the Mexican population will be discussed.

Healthcare System and Policy in Mexico

Health care systems are responsible for the provision of services aimed at maintaining and/or recovering the health of the population they serve. Key elements to evaluate the efficiency of health care systems are quality, equity, and financial protection. Health care systems vary from country to country, but invariably are under enormous pressure due to the high prevalence of chronic, non-communicable conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic pulmonary diseases; the progressive aging of the population; and the introduction of new and expensive medical technologies. This course is designed to introduce students to the Mexican health care system and policy, as well as the unique challenge of chronic, non-communicable diseases.

Spanish Language

While there is no language pre-requisite to participate in this program, students are required to take a Spanish language class while in Mexico. Three to four levels are offered, depending upon students’ skill levels.

History & Culture of Mexico

This course provides students with a general overview of the different historical periods that have shaped Mexican history and culture, from the Pre-Hispanic period to the 21st century. The primary purpose of the course is to help students to understand present day Mexico through an exploration of past events.

Transcript & Credit Transfer

Students will receive a transcript issued by the host institution, and course credit will be eligible for transfer back to Northwestern as long as students earn course grades of C or better.

Program Requirements


Open to students from all majors meeting Northwestern's minimum application requirements.


No language background needed. 


Apply for permission to study abroad
All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

  • 4 Northwestern units 
  • Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Students will stay in the City Express Plus Insurgentes Sur Hotel  in furnished double rooms with bathrooms. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Universidad Panamericana campus. Daily breakfast is included, and students also have access to hotel amenities such as a small gym.

Host Institution

Universidad Panamericana (UP), founded in 1966, is a private Catholic university with campuses in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Aguascalientes. UP offers degrees in 15 different schools to over 11,000 students. UP’s programs in Medicine, Business, Law, Nursing and Education are among the top ranked programs in Mexico.


Students will have the opportunity to participate in several guided excursions to historical and cultural sites in and around Mexico City, such as Teotihuacan, Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), National Palace, Xochimilco, Coyoacan, and Oaxaca. Students will also visit hospitals and community health clinics as part of their public health courses.

2019 Program Handbook

Browse the program handbook for more detailed information about excursions, courses, and identity-based considerations. Note: This is the previous year's handbook and should be used for informational purposes only. Do not make any travel plans based off of the dates or information provided here. 

Program Cost

Summer program costs vary, but summer study abroad tends to be much less expensive overall than a regular quarter at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Summer 2019: $9,700

Billed by Northwestern
  • Tuition: $5,300
  • Room & Board: $2,000
  • GeoBlue: $100

Total program fee: $7,400

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Airfare: $700
  • Books & supplies: $100
  • Meals & personal expenses: $1,500

Total: $2,300

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Students applying to this program are eligible to apply for GLO scholarships and are also encouraged to apply for other funding opportunities.
  • Northwestern students receiving financial aid during the academic year may be eligible to apply for summer aid for this program. Visit the summer aid & scholarships page for additional information.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for Northwestern Programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions. Contact your study abroad adviser (listed above) if you have any questions.

Program Confirmation

Once you are approved to attend a Northwestern study abroad program, you will need to complete a Program Confirmation form to confirm your participation. Northwestern students admitted to Northwestern programs are not required to pay a confirmation deposit, but will be charged a cancellation fee for withdrawing from the program after confirming.

Northwestern Invoice

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include your program fee, which includes tuition, accommodations abroad, all related program activities, and international health insurance. Your program's billable costs and estimated budget are outlined above.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans, these funds will continue to apply directly to your CAESAR account. If you were awarded a ULA scholarship, it will also disburse to your CAESAR account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately. The 9PAY plan is not available for summer programs.

Student Visa Financial Certification

If you are required to obtain a student visa, you may need to provide documentation that you will be supported financially for the duration of your time abroad. This may require bank statements from your parents and/or a financial aid award letter; review your visa application instructions carefully to be sure you are providing the appropriate documentation, and contact ULA for assistance.

If you primarily fund your education through financial aid and/or loans, you may also contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office to request a letter of financial support.

Withdrawal & Refund Policies

If you withdraw or are dismissed from a Northwestern Program after submitting your program confirmation form, you are subject to the withdrawal & refund policies for Northwestern Programs.