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Medically related Spanish immersion program abroad?

DrOMG

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    So I speak a little basic Spanish but I am nowhere near the level of understanding that I would like to be. I have heard the best possible way to learn a language is through total immersion into a culture. I would really like to do an international Spanish immersion program but one that is medically related. I have researched a few that seem OK but none that are reputable. I have looked into Amerispan and Ecela that seem great but aren't necessarily medically related. Ideally the program would have classroom Spanish lessons that are focused on verbally speaking with clinical work for underserved populations. I also did a search in the posts and found nothing that really fit my needs or was outdated.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

    On another note, if there is a really awesome program and anyone else is interested in going as a group for a discounted rate I'd definitely be open to it.
     

    CommonGround

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      If you're looking for a 2-4 week (for either a spring break trip or a summer trip) total medical Spanish immersion, you should check out Common Ground International's medical immersion trips in Costa Rica. On these trips you live with a host family in San Isidrio de Heredia, a quaint, safe town in Costa Rica. Every day you have Spanish classes that are specifically targeted towards Medical students and professionals that are taught by native Spanish speakers who are professional teachers. You also have the opportunity to do some medical outreach service to underserved communities such as providing preventative health education, as well as attend healthcare lectures and tour local hospitals and clinics. You can learn more about the program here: https://commongroundinternational.com/spanish-immersion/medical-spanish-immersion/
       
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      utmn

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        If you're fully invested in going abroad, ignore this. If you're not, it might be cool to volunteer at a free or low income clinic in your area. This is clearly dependent on area of the U.S., but i have been able to use so much Spanish in those settings. Just a thought for supplemental practice or if you don't find a program you like :)
         
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        Keladry

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          If you're fully invested in going abroad, ignore this. If you're not, it might be cool to volunteer at a free or low income clinic in your area. This is clearly dependent on area of the U.S., but i have been able to use so much Spanish in those settings. Just a thought for supplemental practice or if you don't find a program you like :)
          +1
          This is also a great way to do community service and do something good locally. Travel is great, but it's definitely not the only way, and this could be a better option for doing something positive. Most Spanish-speaking patients tend to be really happy if you're even trying to speak Spanish, and the more you do, the better you'll get.
           
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          eatingcake

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            +2 to the above. Studying abroad is amazing and if you are interested in medicine, Spanish and travel, then I'm sure you'll be able to find something. Your university's study abroad office might have some ideas for you, even if they aren't programs that your school has a direct connection with.

            OTOH, if you want to learn Spanish and gain more clinical experience, I completely agree w/ @Keladry and @utmn above. There are many ways for you to (partially) immerse yourself in Spanish and practice w/o leaving the country. Many clinical opportunities exist that are specifically geared towards latino health, so those would be a good option. But even if you can't find something that specific, most clinical volunteering will expose you to Spanish speakers, especially if you tell your coordinators that speaking Spanish is something your'e willing to do.

            Couple that with some supplemental spanish practice (spanish meetups in your community, informal university-affiliated spanish speaking groups, online newspapers, books, movies, etc.) and you would be solid golid. O sea, oro sólido :p
             
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            Keladry

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              Oh also, a good resource for daily practice is bbcmundo.com. Read an article or two, watch a video or two (they used to do las noticias en 60 segundos, which was great, because it made me stay up to date on the news, while also really helping my Spanish, since they talked fast, but sadly, it looks like they don't make those videos any more), look up and write down words you didn't know, and your vocab & grammar will grow quickly.
               
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              PositronicBrain

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                This was still useful for me! I'm thinking about joining Ecela's program in Peru, its supposed to be an immersion program with some clinical experience too. The main thing I'm looking for is to learn the language, especially medical Spanish. I already work in a hospital and try to volunteer locally but knowing Spanish would allow me to be of so much more use!
                Any recommendations for other immersion programs with a medical emphasis? (I learned about Ecela on SDN)
                 

                mehc012

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                  This was still useful for me! I'm thinking about joining Ecela's program in Peru, its supposed to be an immersion program with some clinical experience too. The main thing I'm looking for is to learn the language, especially medical Spanish. I already work in a hospital and try to volunteer locally but knowing Spanish would allow me to be of so much more use!
                  Any recommendations for other immersion programs with a medical emphasis? (I learned about Ecela on SDN)
                  Ecela I think has some medically-oriented options.
                  They irritated me when they took their price list off the web, tho.

                  I'm looking at Somos Hermanos for next year, if I can get in...it's for pre-health students only, though there's a short version available for current med/other healthcare students.
                   

                  Lannister

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                    I fully recommend IES Abroad @DrOMG. I had a great experience in Chile! http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/programs/santiago-summer-health-studies

                    I know this thread is super old but I just have to second this! I did a full semester with IES in Chile and it was amazing! However, if you only speak basic Spanish, you probably won't get much out of clinical observations in Latin American countries, with the exception of maybe Buenos Aires. A few of the doctors might speak English but most of the patients, particularly in hospitals that cater to lower-income communities, will speak no English, and in Chile their Spanish is very difficult to understand, even if you are an advanced speaker.
                     

                    mehc012

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                      I know this thread is super old but I just have to second this! I did a full semester with IES in Chile and it was amazing! However, if you only speak basic Spanish, you probably won't get much out of clinical observations in Latin American countries, with the exception of maybe Buenos Aires. A few of the doctors might speak English but most of the patients, particularly in hospitals that cater to lower-income communities, will speak no English, and in Chile their Spanish is very difficult to understand, even if you are an advanced speaker.
                      Their language requirements are ridiculous, though. If I had taken that much Spanish that recently, I wouldn't be looking for a program to improve it.
                       

                      Lannister

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                        Their language requirements are ridiculous, though. If I had taken that much Spanish that recently, I wouldn't be looking for a program to improve it.

                        Yeah what's the requirement, 4 semesters of college Spanish? It seems like a lot but I think it's necessary for the way their program works. You live with a Spanish-speaking family who isn't allowed to speak English to you. The program staff will never speak English to you unless it's an emergency (with the exception of the director, Maricarmen, who always spoke English lol). They also want you to take classes at the local universities, which you definitely need a solid foundation in Spanish for. And not many people in Chile speak English, surprisingly, so it'd be hard to get around if you weren't somewhat proficient.
                         
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                        NicMouse64

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                          I'm assuming these programs don't have the same moral dilemmas as "medical hands-on trips" that Adcoms so furiously hate? Also Chilean spanish is just hard because we learn Puerto Rican/Mexican accents. Sentence structure and words are pretty similar. Would love to spend more time in Chile as I have extended family there :).
                           

                          mehc012

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                            Yeah what's the requirement, 4 semesters of college Spanish? It seems like a lot but I think it's necessary for the way their program works. You live with a Spanish-speaking family who isn't allowed to speak English to you. The program staff will never speak English to you unless it's an emergency (with the exception of the director, Maricarmen, who always spoke English lol). They also want you to take classes at the local universities, which you definitely need a solid foundation in Spanish for. And not many people in Chile speak English, surprisingly, so it'd be hard to get around if you weren't somewhat proficient.
                            That's all fine...but I highly disagree that 4 semesters of college Spanish, and one current course, are necessary for what you're talking about. Most immersion schools have a similar setup, but without those strict requirements. I certainly would feel comfortable travelling abroad in a Spanish-only region now, and I feel comfortable speaking to Spanish patients every shift...yet I have nowhere near that many courses in college. I wouldn't have taken 4 semesters of college Spanish even if I were focusing on it because I tested out of a lot of it coming in.
                            Just seems limiting. I'd love to participate in their program, but I can't. So I'll go give my money to a program that offers the same things but without the black/white limits.

                            Edit: I'm mostly frustrated at the 'college' aspect...I took 5-6 years of Spanish before college, rocked the AP, did well on national exams, etc...so no, I didn't take a ton in college. Why would I?
                             
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                            mehc012

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                              I'm assuming these programs don't have the same moral dilemmas as "medical hands-on trips" that Adcoms so furiously hate? Also Chilean spanish is just hard because we learn Puerto Rican/Mexican accents. Sentence structure and words are pretty similar. Would love to spend more time in Chile as I have extended family there :).
                              ...which makes it even more useful, no? It's not like most of the Spanish-speaking population in the US is from España, right?
                               

                              Lannister

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                                That's all fine...but I highly disagree that 4 semesters of college Spanish, and one current course, are necessary for what you're talking about. Most immersion schools have a similar setup, but without those strict requirements. I certainly would feel comfortable travelling abroad in a Spanish-only region now, and I feel comfortable speaking to Spanish patients every shift...yet I have nowhere near that many courses in college. I wouldn't have taken 4 semesters of college Spanish even if I were focusing on it because I tested out of a lot of it coming in.
                                Just seems limiting. I'd love to participate in their program, but I can't. So I'll go give my money to a program that offers the same things but without the black/white limits.

                                Edit: I'm mostly frustrated at the 'college' aspect...I took 5-6 years of Spanish before college, rocked the AP, did well on national exams, etc...so no, I didn't take a ton in college. Why would I?

                                Oh okay I see your point and I agree. I think they should excuse the requirement if you can do well on a proficiency test.
                                 

                                Lannister

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                                  I'm assuming these programs don't have the same moral dilemmas as "medical hands-on trips" that Adcoms so furiously hate? Also Chilean spanish is just hard because we learn Puerto Rican/Mexican accents. Sentence structure and words are pretty similar. Would love to spend more time in Chile as I have extended family there :).

                                  I'd say it's difficult because they speak insanely fast compared to some other countries. Sentence structure is definitely the same but they do have a ton of slang that I definitely didn't learn in my Spanish classes in the US :p
                                   
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