About the Experience
This is a three credit-hour, interdisciplinary, service-learning course co-sponsored by the University of Iowa and District 6000 of Rotary International. The course meets weekly during the spring semester with travel to Mexico over spring break. Readings and classroom sessions will focus on service-learning, teamwork, intercultural competence, Mexican culture and history, project planning and development, as well as analyzing, reporting and presenting as a team. In collaboration with Rotarians and local community members, students will work in teams to develop and execute discipline-specific projects that address community-identified needs in Xicotepec de Juárez,Puebla, Mexico.
Travel dates for the Spring 2019 service trip will be March 17-24, 2019.
The course will meet one day a week throughout the semester. Additional sessions may be scheduled for team project development as needed. Class time is team-taught with an emphasis on critical thinking and reflection to underscore and enhance general intercultural (and discipline-specific) skills and knowledge gained through classroom study and active participation in service projects. Assignments and discussion are rigorous and intended to prepare students for an international experience and, upon return, evaluation and reflection on that experience and meaning – both personally and professionally.
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- Summarize and describe historical, social, political, and religious influences on Mexican culture.
- Articulate a framework for culture that contextualizes ambiguities and that values and recognizes biases and the constraints of the personal perspective.
- Appreciate, analyze, and address the challenges of effective interdisciplinary teamwork.
- List key behaviors that help teams succeed.
- Systematically apply the concepts and goals of critical reflection [observation, context, relevance, critical thinking, self-assessment] to this service-learning experience.
- Explain the process (commitment, funding, needs assessment) by which an organization such as Rotary International establishes and sustains a community partnership.
- Demonstrate professional, culturally appropriate behavior in the Xicotepec environment.
- As part of a team and, upon occasion, as a team leader, perform tasks and make necessary adjustments to complete the Xicotepec projects.
- As a member of a team, develop and deliver a written report and public presentation that describes, documents, evaluates and reflects on achievement of course learning goals (including personal and professional growth), the team’s process and service project.
Click here for more information on service projects from past semesters.
This course will count as MPH elective credit and will fulfill the undergraduate experiential-learning requirement for Public health majors upon completion of the course. Students must apply and be accepted to enroll in this course.
About the People
This course is interdisciplinary and will be team-taught in conjunction with the Colleges of Pharmacy, Dentistry, Liberal Arts, and others. The Spring 2019 public health faculty lead will be Jeff Dawson, Biostatistics.
About the Location
Xicotepec is a city of 90,000 located 116 miles (186 km) northeast of Mexico City. The area is mountainous with abundant vegetation. The main products are coffee, flowers and plants, stainless steel, and clay for porcelain figures. The University of Iowa course visits Xicotepec in partnership with Rotary International. District 6000 (Iowa) and Xicotepec Rotary clubs have long-standing, mutually beneficial partnership. During the trip, students will travel with Rotary volunteers of all ages and there will be several service projects being implemented concurrently.
All volunteers and students will have housing provided in barracks-style dormitories at Cruz Azul – in a safe, comfortable convent, close to Xicotepec’s central square. Meals will be provided for all students, faculty, and Rotarians on-site. Transportation to project sites is provided.
Costs and Fees
The program fee for the Spring 2018 semester was $1850 for residents and non-residents. The Spring 2019 costs will be comparable, depending on the cost of flights. This program fee will be paid directly to Rotary District 6000. The fees include travel to and from Iowa City, lodging, meals (expect meals while en route to and from Xicotepec). The program fees do not include tuition, personal items (souvenirs, toiletries, etc), museum admission fees, etc.
In addition, all University of Iowa students are required to pay a $400 fee assessed by the International programs office. Students traveling abroad will be automatically enrolled in international travel insurance through CISI at a rate of $1.31/day. This insurance is mandatory and cannot be waived. For more information regarding these mandatory fees, click the button below.
How to Apply
Students interested in enrolling in the Public Health section of this course are required to follow a number of steps. Students should read the following directions closely so no steps are missed or forgotten.
All students must meet with the Global Public Health Coordinator to discuss their interest and eligibility for this course. This meeting must take place before the first application deadline. To set-up an appointment, please email email@example.com. At least a weeks notice is advised to be able to schedule an appointment.
All students must complete a CPH Xicotepec Program Application. The application can be found here or by clicking the button below. To apply for the spring 2019 semester, students must complete this application by Monday, October 15. 2018. In the application, students will be asked to provide the following items:
- Summary of personal and academic information.
- A copy of their unofficial UI transcript.
- A list of previously completed health science, global health, and public health coursework.
- Answers to two short answer questions (500 character maximum each).
- Undergraduate students will also be asked to provide a reference from their academic advisor to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students will be selected based on stated interest in global health and academic and disciplinary standing. Due to capacity restrictions, seating in this course is extremely limited and not all qualified students may be selected. Students will be notified of their admission by Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Selected students will then be asked to complete a short application with Rotary International and pay a $200 deposit to hold your seat.
Once students have been approved for admission by the College of Public Health, they will be asked to complete an application through the Rotary District 6000 website. The deadline to complete the Rotary application for the spring 2019 course will be early November 2018 (dates TBA).
All University of Iowa students are encouraged to apply. However, due to limited seats not all qualified applicants are guaranteed admission.
- Students must have received admission approval from the College of Public Health to participate.
- Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
- Undergraduate students are required to submit a reference from their primary academic advisor.
- Students must be able to obtain a passport and the appropriate visa documentation, if needed. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens.
- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
Students are not required to have previous international experience.