A Study Abroad Exclusively for Prehealth/Premed Students
Spanish Immersion + Medical Shadowing
(Chile, Summer 2019)
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"There is a Chronic Shortage of American Healthcare Professionals that Speak Spanish"
- IMDiversity
WANTED: We are seeking 100* culturally curious, socially adaptive, and progressive-minded premed/prehealth students to leave their comforts (and egos) behind and join us in Chile next summer to learn Spanish & shadow doctors
*32 remaining spots as of January 15
We are currently organizing our annual study abroad program in Chile that combines Spanish Immersion with Medical Shadowing.
If you are a premed/prehealth student and you are not fluent in Spanish (but would like to be) AND you have a sense of adventure AND you like meeting new people, please read this page in its entirety.
Students get briefed for their shadowing placements
Who is Spanish & Medicine Study Abroad for?
The program is for premed/prehealth students who want to:
  • Treat your future Spanish-speaking patients in their own language, safely and with empathy
  • Gain medical shadowing hours to add to your academic credentials
  • Proudly put "fluent in Spanish" on your job and grad school applications
Participants include future:
Healthcare Administration
Medical Doctors
Physican's Assistants
Physical Therapists
...and more
You are eligible to apply if:
  • You are a future healthcare professional
  • You will have completed at least one year of college studies before the start date
  •  You have a genuine desire to treat your future Spanish-speaking patients in their own language
  •  You are able to spend 4 (or more) weeks far from home and away from your friends and family
Spanish & Medicine dates & tuition...
Each session* is 4 weeks.
You do NOT need to choose your session(s) when you apply now.
Session A  May 27 - June 23 (Santiago, Chile)
Session B  June 24 - July 21 (Santiago, Chile)
Session C  July 22 - Aug. 18 (Viña del Mar, Chile)
Session D  Aug. 19 - Sep. 15 (Santiago, Chile)

Short (4 weeks / 1 session)  $3,970
Standard (8 weeks / 2 sessions)  $6,970
Extended (12 weeks / 3 sessions)  $9,970
* Typical college credit is one course per 4-week session.  
** Includes Spanish course, housing, half board, and shadowing
Lisa W (Northwestern) at a children's hospital
"Did you know the USA has more Spanish speakers than Spain?"
In fact, only Mexico has more (for now)
What does that mean for the future of healthcare?
Will today's premed & prehealth students regret not getting fluent when they had the chance?
Will they dangerously expect their future patients to understand their "Spanglish" instructions?
Will they get "leapfrogged" by other applicants who ARE fluent in Spanish?
Meet Some Students:
"What can you tell us about Spanish & Medicine experience?"
"Go out and meet the people from the city. Meet locals...that's how you practice your Spanish."
"I was a little nervous because I had never left Texas before, but I'm really happy I decided to do this." 
"I don't have similar opportunities in the States, but here I've watched surgeries and shadowed doctors."
"I was so nervous.  It was my first time out of the country,..when I got here everyone was so supportive."
"I have never met, here or elsewhere, so many amazing people. I wish I could take you all back to Mississippi with me." 
"People are absolutely professional... the staff and teachers treated us perfectly, taught us well."
"I want to learn Spanish to be able to help more people in the United States, where a lot of people speak Spanish."
"I learned lots of medical terminology and in the future will be able to speak with my patients in Spanish." 
"I talked to a bunch of doctors and nurses and the medical shadowing was really helpful."
"The [Spanish] classes are awesome, but my favorite part of the program has been shadowing doctors here."
"I'm a global health student and want to learn Spanish for my career. So far I've met many patients in the clinic for diabetes."
"I've seen how different it is from the United States and I realized how lucky we are to have what we do."
"When I'm here I learn a lot of Spanish...many new words...and things about the culture of Latin America.."
"One of the best things is I've become friends with the staff and they've been very supportive the entire time." 
"I highly recommend the trip. I've had a great time seeing what the healthcare system is like."
"As a premed student, this program was really unique in that it offered Spanish classes and shadowing opportunities."
"It's very important...in the United States a lot of patients have an easier time speaking Spanish than English." 
"I've had an amazing time here and I'd do it again one hundred percent. It's been fantastic."
"I had no idea what to expect and was nervous, but the people were so welcoming and so nice."
"I thought it was going to be so bad, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life." 
"I have taken lots of Spanish before, and I am here to improve my hearing and speaking."
"I came here with essentially no Spanish, and I'm leaving a lot more confident in my language skills."
"It really helped me understand how medicine works in countries other than the United States." 
"It's been an amazing experience to be here and learn Spanish and make such great friends."
"I got to see some surgeries and consultations with Dr. Safron who was very helpful."
"I was pleasantly surprised to find such a warm community. I've made some lifelong friends." 
"There are tons of opportunities for shadowing nurses and doctors in different fields."
"I saw a lot off really cool things like surgeries with a gastroenterologist. I wish I could stay longer."
"It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of becoming a Spanish-speaking doctor." 
"I came to Chile not knowing anything about the country, but I've had a phenomenal time here."
Conozca Tus Profes...
Meet Some of Our Spanish Instructors...
"In my class today we studied the subjunctive and we finished with an activity: a song by Calle 13."
"What I most like to do is teach, of course. I also do other activities like aerial acrobatics, something unusual."
"We do not just share knowledge, but also our culture, our traditions, and our world views."
"Today we have an A1 level class. We're going to review Spanish numbers and also structures for comparing."
"At this moment I am with an advanced group. In this level we talk about deep Latin American issues and behaviors."
"We try to be more than just teachers. We try to help the students have a good experience here in Chile."
"The relationship with the students is very close, we create a very positive bond beyond the cultural differences."
"The interaction with the students has been incredible. Here I have been welcomed like part of the family."
"Here the relationships between everybody are really close. Students are friends with the teachers."
"Lower quality of health care and worse health outcomes are more likely when language barriers exist between patients and provider"
- US National Library of Medicine
"We could look upon physicians' learning of Spanish as a type of medical intervention. As with any sound medical tool, it is designed to positively affect as many patients as possible with minimal investment of resources."
- AMA Journal of Ethics, from "Should All U.S. Physicians Speak Spanish?"
The Spanish & Medicine study abroad program is carefully designed to prepare future healthcare professionals for success in America's demographic realities.
Our students give the following reasons for joining us: 
Reason #1  Significant Spanish Improvement
  • Safer Care:  Your language skills will help you provide safer (and more empathetic) care to Spanish-speaking patients 
  • Practical: Youunderstand it is more practical for one healthcare professional to learn Spanish than for 20+ patients to learn English
  • Bonding: Because of direct communication, the patients will develop a trustful bond with you, rather than with an interpreter
Reason #2  Medical Shadowing Experience
  • Personal Statement:  Expert tip:  keep a "travel journal" during your trip so you can reference it on your personal statement for grad school applications  
  •  Incentive to Study: Many people report that it's much easier to stay focused on studies when you have related field experience 
  • Real-World Spanish: As part of the immersion process, during the shadowing sessions you will witness real doctor-patient conversations (in Spanish).
Reason #3  College Credit
  • Graduate Early:  Earn credit for up to 3 college Spanish courses to apply directly to your undergraduate degree
  •  Save Money: For many of our students, Spanish & Medicine is less costly than their college, making the trip essentially free.
  • Defer for Graduate School: Even if you don't need the credit for undergrad, you can still use the transcript toward a future graduate degree.
Reason #4  Cultural Experiences
  • Social & Cultural Activities:  Beyond Spanish classes and shadowing sessions, join us for beginner salsa dance classes, city bike tours, or South American cooking lessons  
  • Weekend Adventures:  Popular excursions include hiking in the Andes mountains, exploring Chilean fishing villages, or spending the day at a ranch.
  • Friendships: Most students come alone and are eager to make new friends, so you effectively get an "instant social life" tat extends from the activities and classes
Reason #5  Personal Growth
  •  Confidence :  Their is a well-deserved sense of accomplishment, and the confidence that comes with it,  from thriving in a foreign non-English speaking country
  • Cultural Empathy: You will spend lots of time surrounded by people culturally different from you, giving you increased cultural empathy and social adaptability
  • Expanded World: Beyond usefulness in healthcare, cause of direct communication, your language skills open doors to inter-cultural travels and relationships
Medical shadowing PLUS Spanish classes gives you a full schedule.
IMPORTANT: Answer These 6 Questions First
Unfortunately, not all students are ready for the personal sacrifices and cultural adaptations needed to participate.
Please make sure you can positively answer ALL 6 of these questions before you apply:
Will Spanish be important to your career in healthcare?
Can you get along with people culturally different from you?
Are you able to spend 4+ weeks away from everybody you know?
Will you be OK surrounded by people you often don't understand?
Do you not mind "getting your hands dirty" when volunteering?
Can you forgo many of the daily comforts you have at home?
"How Do I Apply?"
Follow these steps to apply to join us for the Spanish & Medicine Study Abroad Program:
  •  Step #1 Click The Big Red Button Below...
  • Step #2: Enter Your Email Address...
  • Step #3: Continue to Part 2 (your educational background)...
Spanish & Medicine F.A.Q.
Who is Spanish & Medicine for?
It is carefully designed for pre-health students who anticipate using Spanish in their careers.
The ideal student:
+ can live without all the creature comforts of home.
+ enjoys meeting new people and is culturally curious.
+ has a desire to witness health care in action.
+ has a genuine interest in learning Spanish.
Who is the program NOT for?
You will not be happy if you:
- require hands-on practice (our shadowing is based on ethical observation, not practicing) 
- only want to participate to “stand out” on grad school and job applications
- only want the college credit and have no real interest in using Spanish
- need a high-comfort environment or are a "Debbie Downer"
Does the shadowing comply with AAMC study abroad standards?
Yes. The clinics we partner with for shadowing, as well as local health care regulations, do not allow our students to diagnose patients or to perform medical procedures. You will be observing the professionals that do.
How do participants receive academic credit?
Depending on your level, you will receive a transcript from Bolivariana (South America) or Brookhaven (USA).
What is the minimum level of Spanish required?
There is no minimal level of Spanish. Our school has complete beginners all the way through people that teach Spanish themselves.
Beginning students often advance the most, yet understand the least. It will be frustrating at first, yet by the end you will be surprised at your abilities.
What’s included in the tuition?
Your Spanish & Medicine tuition includes: 
+ all Spanish instruction, including additional classes on medical Spanish
+ all course material
+ academic transcript
+ housing with a local host
+ medical component (shadowing, guest lectures, field trips)
What additional expenses should students allow for?
You should also budget for:
>>> plane ticket to South America  You can save a lot of money by searching for student tickets
 >>> “walking around” money (lunch, snacks, entertainment etc.) about half what you pay in North America 
>>> souveneirs – gifts for family and friends back home 
>>> optional school activities. Excursions are optional and you pay only for the ones you want. Usually they are inexpensive – for example, the cooking class everyone puts in a few dollars (and then gets to eat the food anyway)
Director of Spanish Immersion...
Director of Medical Shadowing...
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