Spanish Immersion & Medical Shadowing
Prehealth/Premed Study Abroad in Chile
  • Spanish Immersion: Intensive language course in a "Spanish everywhere" environment
  • Medical Shadowing: Observe patient interactions in real-world Chilean clinics and hospitals
  •  Short-Term: Come for 4, 8, or 12 weeks.  (students typically earn one college credit for each week)
Summer Abroad:   Learn Spanish & Shadow Doctors in Chile
Spanish Immersion & Medical Shadowing 
(Premed/Prehealth Study Abroad - Chile, Summer 2019)
Meet Dr. Rodriguez
Welcome message from the coordinator of shadowing assignments
"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?
Are today's students prepared for America's demographic realities?
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
"There is a Chronic Shortage of American Healthcare Professionals that Speak Spanish"
- IMDiversity
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 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."
"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?"
Spanish & Medicine Details
The study abroad program is carefully designed to prepare future healthcare professionals for success in America's demographic realities.
Component 1: Medical Shadowing
The medical shadowing rotations are designed to give you exposure to real-world Spanish in healthcare situations AND to help develop your empathy for Latino cultures:
  • AAMC-Compliant All shadowing meets standards established by the AAMC.  Students observe interactions with patients but are not permitted to touch patients.
  • One or Several Disciplines  You have the opportunity to stick to one healthcare specialty or sample different areas.  Students work with a Spanish & Medicine advisor to customize schedules.
  •  Real-World Spanish  Actual conversations with actual patients let you absorb the language in a "not watered down" scenario so you get comfortable out of the classroom
  •  Make Do With Less  The clinics are often short on resources so you will see how they provide excellent care despite lacking what many American hospitals consider essential 
  •  Personal Statement Material  Be sure to keep a journal so you can recall your experience in South American clinics for your essays on job and graduate applications.
Shadowing healthcare professionals in South America
Component 2: Spanish Immersion
Most students find the Spanish immersion experience very different (and more effective) than prior classes in high school or college:
  • Extra Small Classes A maximum of 7 students gives you an optimal learning environment - large enough to keep things interesting, but small enough for individual attention
  •  Easy to Participate  The comfortable setting (like going to a cafe with friends) facilitates conversation, even for students that don't usually raise their hands
  •  Students Fully Present  Almost of all of our students love the classes, with comments like "For the first time in my life I woke up looking forward to class...and dreaded days off."
  •  No Juggling of Classes  Your only academic class will be Spanish, so your mind will not need to waste energy switching topics several times each day
  •  360 Degrees of Spanish  The "Spanish everywhere" environment keeps you motivated since you get to try out your new language skills the very same day you learn them
  •  College Credit  Each 4-week session gives you the equivalent of one college semester course (We work with your university to arrange the transcript)
Small group Spanish classes finally give you the repetitions you need to get fluent.
Dates & Tuition:
Each session* is 4 weeks.
Session A  May 27 - June 23 (FULL)
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)
Tuition (includes housing)**
4 weeks (1 session)  $3,970
8 weeks (2 sessions)  $6,970
12 weeks (3 sessions)  $9,970
* Typical college credit is one course per 4-week session.  
** Includes Spanish course, housing w/ meals, and shadowing
Conozca a Los Profesores...
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."
Extras: Beyond the Classroom
Between shadowing assignments and Spanish classes, you will be busy.
But you will still have time to discover the exotic culture (and people) of South America:
  • Weekend Excursions Trips to the surrounding ares can include hiking in the Andes, going to holiday festivals, visiting the Pacific coast, or exploring ancient ruins.
  • Cultural Activities  Learn how to prepare local dishes, take beginner salsa dance classes, visit art museums, take a city bike tour.
  •  Barrio Exploration  Investigate local life as you wander around neighborhoods with fellow students and start conversations at shops and cafes.
  •  Nuevos Amigos  Because almost everyone comes alone, most students find it super easy to make new friends for an "instant social life" abroad.
  •  Gastronomic Adventures   You might be tempted to stick to the familiar, but trying new dishes, drinks, and desserts adds to your Latino cultural awareness.
Students taking advantage of the exotic allures of South America
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 
>>> 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)
Copyright 2018 Ecela Spanish