SANTIAGO, Chile, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- College students on track for a medical career are strongly encouraged to consider the opportunity to travel and study in Chile this summer, made possible by the immersive Spanish language-learning program Ecela. The six-week program, which is limited to 25 participants, offers a combination of small, focused classes on grammar fundamentals and conversational practice, followed by in-the-field learning at local clinics and hospitals. At the end of the program, students will have significantly improved their Spanish language proficiency and learned more about another nation's health care system – both tremendously marketable skills.
Program organizers caution that summer in Chile is not for everyone. Making the most of the experience requires a willingness to leave one's ego and creature comforts behind for a while. However, anyone who can quickly adapt to new surroundings, and who has a sincere commitment to understand a different culture, is likely to excel in the program. No prior experience is Spanish is necessary; classes are tailored to all skill levels. Students have the option of residing with a host family, which can offer an even more immersive experience.
Today, more people speak Spanish in the U.S. than in Spain. Only Mexico and Colombia have larger Spanish-speaking populations, and the U.S. is on track to move into second place soon. This ongoing demographic shift is putting increasing pressure on clinics and hospitals to seek out and hire Spanish-speaking providers. In candidates with equal skills and credentials, Spanish fluency could well be a tiebreaker.
"I am currently pursuing a career in physical therapy, and Spanish is an extremely valuable asset to bring to the table," says one program applicant. "A language barrier can cause many issue in a physical therapy setting, as patient feedback is an integral component of any rehabilitation model. Feedback informs the therapist on when to increase rehab program intensity, so having a strong foundation in Spanish is essential to becoming a skilled physical therapist."
Ecela is founded on three core principles: exceptional teachers, small classes and cultural integration. The program looks for instructors who demonstrate passion and empathy rather than simply boasting the most impressive resume. Class sizes are kept to eight or fewer students for fundamentals and four or fewer for conversation. The emphasis in every class session is on conversation rather than rote memorization.
Ecela currently hosts six schools in three countries. Other than the dedicated health care program, the schools are open to adults of all ages and skill levels who wish to improve their linguistic and cultural fluency, not to mention make memories that will last a lifetime. The organization's broader mission is to bring 2,000 people to the level of fluency in Spanish by 2020, as well as introduce these students to new cultures and perspectives.
To apply for the Spanish and medicine in Chile 2016 program, follow the directions here. The first step is payment of a $25 application deposit. Questions can be directed to email@example.com.
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.
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