Program Info – Spanish & Medicine

Summer 2016 Cusco, Peru


I was able to have hands-on experience that I otherwise would not have had.

My favorite part about the Spanish and Medical shadowing program with Ecela was having the opportunity to shadow local doctors in El Hospital Regional de Cusco.

I was able to have hands-on experience that I otherwise would not have had. During my time in gastroenterology, I witnessed many endoscopies and other procedures. While in the emergency room the doctors put us to work, taking information from patients and checking vital signs.

My favorite part, however, was spending time in the infectious diseases ward, where I got to see many interesting cases that aren’t commonly seen in the United States such as tuberculosis, dengue fever and even parasitic infections.

The knowledge and experience I gained while shadowing in Cusco were not only eye-opening but also increased my confidence both in speaking Spanish as well as working in a health-care environment.

by Tess Hansen from University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Program Objectives

Most importantly, your Spanish will improve dramatically. The six-week course is equal to two college semesters.

Secondly, you will gain field exposure by shadowing experience in Peruvian clinics.

Sample Itinerary:Session I / Session II –  – Spanish & Medicine (PDF)

Photo Album:  Take a peak at past program snapshots.

Spanish Syllabus:  In-depth curriculum of Spanish course.


The program is in Cusco Peru, with Spanish classes are given at our language school, Ecela Cusco. Medical shadowing occurs at clinics in the city.


Summer 2016 Session I: May 22 (Sunday) – July 2 (Saturday)
Summer 2016 SessionII: July 3 (Sunday) – August 13 (Saturday)

The program is six weeks, however you can arrive early to get a head-start on your Spanish. Contact us about extra accommodation nights if you will be arriving early or staying later.


Standard Program:  $5,270 includes:

  • Tuition – 6 weeks of Spanish class and 6 semester credits.
  • Medical Activities – You will have the opportunity to shadow local doctors, visit local health facilities and to participate in a volunteer project.
  • Weekend Excursions – One day trip to Valle Sagrado and an overnight trip to Machu Picchu are included!
  • Cultural and social activities – including walking tours, music class and cooking class.
  • Homestay with Meals – full immersion in the local culture by living with a host. Includes breakfast and dinner.
  • Welcome Reception and Orientation – helps you to get to know your classmates and familiarize you with the local area.
  • Personalized Assistance – our Admissions Team in the USA will help you to prepare for your study abroad experience.
  • On-site Resident Director and Support Staff – will help with any questions or advice you may need while in Peru.
  • Official Transcript – upon completion of your program, an official transcript issued by Universidad Bolivariana will be sent to your home institution.

Academic Credit

While many students do the course just for the learning experience, you may (optionally) apply for college or university credit. The Spanish course can earn you up to six credits (two semesters).

Group Size

We have space for up to 35 students, however some of the spots are reserved for students who had to defer from attending the 2014 program.

Application Process

Step 1. Fill out the application form. (Fee = $100, to be deducted from program cost)
Step 2: Wait up to two work days for us to check space availability and your qualifications.
Step 3: If you are accepted you will have 7 days to confirm your spot with an additional $500 deposit.


You’ll probably agree that our small classes (never more than eight students) greatly enhance the student experience.

There is no minimum level of Spanish. As this is an immersion program, much of the field exposure will be in Spanish, however we will usually provide an English translation of the main points.

Details about the Ecela Spanish Curriculum.

Housing Options

You will most likely choose to live with either a host family (includes breakfast and dinner) or a shared student apartment. The local host provides a more immersive experience, while the student apartment is more social.

By default, the host family option is included with your program.  On your application you can “downgrade” to student apartment.

More details on Ecela housing.

Cultural Activities & Weekend Excursions

Your Ecela program will be a lot of work. We do not deny that. However, a large part of your experience abroad is learning about and participating in the local culture. Read more about activities in Cusco.

Alternative Programs

If you cannot make the program dates, or in the event all spots are full, you may participate in our standard Spanish course, with start dates year-round. However, the special program is only offered on the specific dates above.


spanish language school homestay in Santiago, Chile

Tip: Bring a small, yet meaningful, gift for your host mom.

Review the below articles to help prepare for your course.

What to Expect at a Language School
Student Safety and Emergency Information
Spanish Course pre-Immersion
5 Tips for Ecela Students
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Academic Credit & Transcript Options
Gift Ideas for Your Host Mom
Packing for Your Trip
Tips for Taking Great Travel Photos

I learned so much from the doctors, my classmates, the Ecela staff, locals, travelers, and the kids we volunteered with.

The Spanish and Medical shadowing program was really an amazing experience. I didn’t have any Spanish experience at all before I arrived and by the time I left, I could understand and speak a significant amount!

I decided to go during my gap year between undergrad and medical school, and it really provided an incredible opportunity to learn the language, see medicine at practice in another country, and fall in love with Peru. Even though my Spanish skills were very basic, I still absorbed a lot in our shadowing sessions and got to observe big and subtle differences between hospitals there and the US.

Also, one of the best parts was the people I met. I learned so much from the doctors, my classmates, the Ecela staff, locals, travelers, and the kids we volunteered with. I will remember them all for a long, long time.

by Lisa Wang from Northwestern University

Next Steps ->

Application (15 minutes) –  If you are accepted and we have an available spot, you will have 7 days to confirm with a $500 deposit.

Questions? Contact us at medicine@ecelaspanish.com