Quick Info

  • Cochabamba, Bolivia
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : Anthropology and Archaeology, Communication and Rhetoric, Computing and Information Science, Education, Environmental Studies, Health and Rehab Sciences, Health in a Global Context, Nursing, Sociology
  • : May 3, 2019 - June 15, 2019
  • : $5,499 - In-State / $5,699 - Out-of-State
  • : January 20, 2019
  • : 2.75 GPA, Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record, Open to Non-Pitt Students


This program satisfies the three foreign culture requirements and the non-Western foreign culture requirement through A&S.  Coursework might count towards the Certificate in Latin American Studies.

 Students are required to participate in a weekend intensive Spanish class prior to the departure, and will continue taking appropriate level of Spanish language at a Runawasi language school in Bolivia. This course falls outside of the Spanish department normal course progression. Students will need to take a placement test upon return to determine the appropriate level to continue. This course will be offered as S/NC. 1 credit

This course will introduce students to issues facing current Bolivian society from multiple disciplines. The focus will be on the historical, geographical, social, economic, political and cultural contexts. Students will learn through lectures, observations and personal communication with the local Cochabamba community about social realities, social change, and local challenges. 

Students will be placed in a community (non-profit) organization where they will spend the majority of the course hours. To mediate and develop these experiences, students will also attend class to review and discuss their experiences. This class component will contextualize the service-learning placement in relation to broader sociopolitical issues of Bolivia. 

Service -Learning Placement Fields

In an effort to combine the needs of local partner organizations andthe skills of students, participants will be asked to complete a skills based application. The review committee will then place students into project teams.  

Project teams work on-site at a local non-profit or NGO completing daily assigned tasks and are encouraged and guided to identify a sustainable project that meets the needs of the organization. Previous participants utilized their  skills and knowledge to craft and create meaningful projects related to their academic and professional interests.

Listed below are examples of previously used project teams. Project teams for this year will be decided after acceptance, based on the skills and academic background of the applicants.

Students with interests outside of those listed below are encouraged to apply, as our partner organizations have identified needs that span across disciplines. For example, Education, ESL, ASL, Natural sciences, Computer science, Spanish, Liberal Arts, Environmental Science and Pre-Health placements are available.

Feel free to reach out to the program manager about additional opportunities and more detailed information about placements.


There is a high need in after school tutoring in a majority of school subjects, including English, Math, and Chemistry. Many afterschool centers and orphanages lack resources, such as textbooks, study guides and flashcards to help students learn.

Last year students did service learning placements at the Hogar Maria Auxiliadora center and Casari Education and Recreational Center. Students created study guides for basic math concepts, as they were easier to learn from than the textbooks. They also created posters translated from Spanish to English with the numbers from one to one hundred and flashcards for the basic chemistry concepts.

Possible projects for the future could be study guides, booklets, and/or flashcards that explain anatomical concepts. Additional help might be needed in organizing the library, making a website and/or teaching the students basic computer skills.

Health and Hygiene education is another field of a great need in Bolivia.

Last year Health and Hygiene teams were placed at Centro Educativo y Recreativo Fundacion Casari and El Centro de Nutrición Infantil Albina R. de Patiño. Education and Recreational center enables children to go to school, and then to receive extra help such as tutoring after school hours. This allows students to receive better grades and more opportunities for the future. The center also gives students breakfast, lunch, and dinner to make sure they are being well-nourished. The organization is seeking help in educating children in English, Mathematics, Mannerism, Nutrition, Hygiene,

Sciences, etc. 

Nutrition center is the medical recovery and rehabilitation center for malnourished children who suffer from moderate to severe malnourishment. The center's mission is to improve the health of the Bolivian children and youth population through comprehensive care by malnutrition tracking, prevention training for families, new research methodologies and nutritional recovery strategies.

In addition to shadowing professional educators, psychologists and nuitritionists at the centers, students created a pamphlet about nutrition and healthy living, as families previously did not receive any support information when they took their children home from the center. The pamphlet consisted of different sections, including the importance of washing hands, how to properly prepare food, nutritional values of different types of foods and overall tips of eating healthy.

Another team worked on a fun and informative worksheet for children about healthy eating habits with a quiz, as well as video on general hygiene habits for the families. 

Future projects might include help in digitizing children's medical records, creating educational materials about dental hygiene and health, and providing further information on healthy life styles to the families. 

More information coming soon.

The teams were placed at Casa Familiar, that is the orphanage for individuals of all ages that have a mental or physical disability. The center is a home and acts as a school, which educates these individuals and focuses on developing their strengths. This allows for all to have the opportunity for self-stability in the future.

Students helped members of the household to learn some conversational English. English proficiency might allow members of the center to secure jobs after the rehabilitation. For the members of the house who had difficulties learning English via traditional tools, students attempted to use creative methods, such as drawing and written communication.

For the future projects, students with English teaching, Spanish, education, as well as rehabilitation backgrounds might be of a great assistance to this program.   


On-Site Faculty And Staff

 Mark Kramer has taught experiential learning and creative nonfiction in Pitt’s English department for 12 years. He has degrees in creative nonfiction, journalism, and fiction, and is the author of one book, Dispossessed: Life In Our World’s Urban Slums. He’s currently writing on race, neighborhood change in Pittsburgh, and empathy, among other topics. And he loves being part of student learning that results from thoughtful service, cross-cultural encounters, challenging conversations, and authentic relationships.



Students and the faculty director will be staying in shared accommodations at a local hostel in Cochabamba. The hostel is centrally located: within walking distance to many of the city’s main attractions and surrounded by lots of restaurants and markets, with both Bolivian and non-Bolivian food options.

Pricing And Dates

Summer 2019

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$5,499 $5,699
Arrive in Cochabamba Depart Cochabamba
May 4, 2019 June 15, 2019

Dates subject to change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

* All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 1, 2019. 

Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!

Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 7 credits
  • Shared accommodations in a hostel
  • International travel health insurance
  • Cultural activities
  • Local excursions
    • Featured excursions include one of Bolivia's most famous site:
      • Chapare: Students will visit this rural province in northern Bolivia. Here students will adventure through the Amazon, encountering monkeys, hiking through rainforests, and experiencing outstanding tropical fruits and foods.
      • Students have most weekends free to travel around Bolivia (schedule subject to change).

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study abroad administrative fee $300
  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Vaccinations: Yellow Fever Vaccination required ~$150-$250
  • Visa Fees (estimated $160)
  • Police background check and child clearances required ~$50

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

Core courses are taught in English.  

We work closely with our Third Party Provider Connect2Bolivia to offer students this wonderful program. Connect2Bolivia was founded by Alexis Wieczorek, a former Pitt Alum and David Ruiz, Bolivian Architect. For more detailed info on their mission check out the Connect2Bolivia webpage: http://connect2bolivia.com/ 

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Oksana Stalczynski

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. A study abroad experience broadens your horizon, grows your circle of friends and improves your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!

Feel free to contact me to find out more about study abroad programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.  Get in touch with me at Oksana.stalczynski@pitt.edu or 412-383-3237!