SANTIAGO, Chile, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecela's 2016 summer program in Cusco, Peru is designed for pre-med students who want to broaden their skill set to include mastery of conversational Spanish, including the technical vocabulary of medical fields. The immersive program lasts six weeks, during which students travel throughout the nation and volunteer alongside working health care professionals. Participants earn six Spanish language credits, all while experiencing the best Peru has to offer.
Limited to 35 participants, the Cusco program is quite intense – meaning it's not for everyone. Students must be fully committed and passionate about learning the language and absorbing the local culture. An adventurous spirit is a distinct advantage. For successful graduates, the rewards are tremendous and enduring. Ecela offers more than a line on a resume; the program is a total experience that is never forgotten.
Derek Spath, a 2013 alumnus of Ecela in Cusco, has this to say about his time in Cusco: "Learning Spanish and volunteering in Peruvian hospitals has been incredibly rewarding. Developing vocabulary knowledge and interacting with real patients opened my eyes to the possibilities of being a doctor with Spanish language proficiency. I'm so much more marketable, both as a student and worker, thanks to my six weeks in Cusco."
The value of Spanish mastery is increasing rapidly. According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, the language has seen strong growth in the U.S. Since 1980, the number of Spanish speakers has grown by over 200%. At the current pace, the U.S. will be home to more Spanish speakers than any other nation within 35 years. These and other statistics underscore the need for health care industry professionals to move toward bilingual capabilities. At least one staff person should be able to communicate fluently with Spanish-speaking patients. Ecela is therefore well positioned to prepare a new generation of doctors and nurses to be of great service to their communities.
The Cusco program also equips students with knowledge of health care systems from a policy perspective. Participants observe how a developing nation's medical professionals are able to meet the needs of patients with sometimes limited resources. Equipped with this experience, pre-med summer program graduates can adopt a more holistic view of the business and practice of health care in the U.S.
Ecela is an acronym for "Espanol y Cultura en Latino America." The program has no language prerequisites. Even those with zero prior experience will see significant improvements in their knowledge, thanks to small class sizes and a focus on real conversations rather than lectures and rote memorization. The goal of the program is to provide a complete experience – education, travel and relationship building – that will pay dividends for the rest of one's career and life.
"Anyone interested in enhancing their Spanish, especially Spanish in medicine, should put Ecela in Cusco at the top of their list," concludes Spath. "Peru is fantastically beautiful, and there's so much to learn and enjoy. Every day at work I'm reminded that my decision to attend the program was the right one."
Ecela is a Spanish language-learning program with six sites in Peru, Chile and Argentina. Thousands of students from across the globe have taken advantage of the small classes and affordable tuition to learn Spanish while enjoying everything the local culture has to offer.
Corey Ann Seldon
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