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  • Locations: San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Restrictions: SIUE applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Housing Options: Hotel/hostel Language of Instruction: English
Program Type: Faculty Led Area of Study: Health Education, Health Sciences, Public Health
Program Sponsorship Indicator: SIUE Instructor: Cathorall, Michelle, Ma, Alice
Program Description:


CC La Mina Falls at El YunqueBeautiful Puerto Rico was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017.  As the island continues to struggle with recovery, the opportunities for service learning are wide.  Students in PBHE 355, 462 or 489 are invited to join in the rebuilding effort on this Caribbean island. Those students will pay only the travel/program costs as this travel-study is part of the above fall semester courses.

On Puerto Rico, you will examine various aspects of public health and the public system in Puerto Rico. Potential areas of examination and service could include environmental sustainability, environmental education and programming, disaster response and relief, community development, and health and wellness education. You will also look at differences in the public health systems and services between Puerto Rico and the US mainland. This is a service opportunity . Participants will work with a community organization to help with public health related service. Opportunities will be provided to develop and use foundational Spanish language skills.


Academic ContentCC planting

PBHE 355 Introduction to Public Health 3 credit hours
PBHE 462* International Health 3 credit hours
PBHE 489 International Perspectives on Public Health 3 credit hours

Students participating in this program will have paid their tuition for these courses as part of the Fall semester.

* Open to non-majors.  Interested students should contact Dr. Cathorall.


Prices and PaymentsCC hiking

$4,210 Approximately

The program fee includes:
  • Air Ticket
  • Lodging
  • Most Meals
  • Ground Transportation
  • Field Excursions
  • Health and Evacuation Insurance
The Program Fee does not include:
  • Some Meals
  • Books and Materials
  • Passport
  • SIUE Study Abroad Fee ($75)
  • SIUE Technology Fee (about $45)
  • Personal Expenses
Payment Schedule:
  • $1,000 deposit payment will be due August 20, 2018
  • The balance of the payment schedule will be announced and posted here.
Payments are made online through your study abroad application.



Contact Information


Michelle L. Cathorall, DrPH, MPH, MCHES | Assistant Professor of Public Health
Department of Applied Health | Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Campus Box 1126 | Edwardsville | IL | 62026-1126
Office: 618.650.2876 | Vadalabene Center 2604 | Fax: 618.650.3719 | My webpage |
SIUE Public Health Student Alumni Facebook Group

Alice Ma

Alice Ma, PhD, MPH, CHES | Assistant Professor of Public Health
Department of Applied Health | Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Campus Box 1126 | Edwardsville | IL | 62026-1126
Office: 618.650.3312 | Vadalabene Center 2630 |


Program ItineraryCC mangrove forest

Day 1 Depart St. Louis for San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hotel one night
Day 2-3 Island of Vieques includes snorkeling, kayak, exploration
Day 4 Travel to community for service work
Day 5-9 Service work with frontline organizations in community development.  Breaks include visits to El Yunque National Park and Old San Juan
Day 10 Last full day on the island includes visit to another part of Puerto Rico
Day 11 Return flight from San Juan to St. Louis
This itinerary is subject to change. Final itinerary information will be provided to participants by the program leader.



Participants must be prepared to encounter cultural and social situations that require a high level of mature independence and respond appropriately to such situations.  Participants must be able successfully navigate transportation systems (air, train, bus, car) to the travel study destination(s) following all rules and laws pertaining to international travel and destinations.  Participants must be able to independently and collectively travel as a coherent group and maintain emotional maturity as warranted by the trip and its variety of educational experiences.  Participants must be prepared to independently walk long distances; carry personal luggage and groceries; walk up and down stairs; and navigate entrances and exits to public transportation, buildings, and cultural sites.   Participants must be prepared to encounter environments different from the United States which can include cigarette/cigar smoke, automobile exhaust, loud noise, congested streets and crowded public areas and a variety of other environments which may not be known except upon encountering them.  If you have any physical or emotional limitations, consider your health and capabilities carefully in consultation with your doctor before undertaking this trip. 


Dates / Deadlines:

This program is no longer accepting applications.