A Spanish Immersion & Medical Shadowing Study Abroad Program

Argentina - Chile - Peru
Phone: 1 347-329-5506

NEW American Healthcare Leaders Interview

American Healthcare Leaders (with John Melley) interviews Cecilia Quezada of Spanish & Medicine.

(Student call-ins begin at 30:00)

For global-thinking, culturally-compassionate prehealth/premed students...

Discover How You Can Get Medical Shadowing Experience While You Travel Your Way To Spanish Fluency

(and get all the career, lifestyle and social benefits that come with it)

Spanish & Medicine students before a shadowing session in Cusco, Peru

A 3-country study abroad program that prepares you for the language gap in today's healthcare by improving your Spanish and developing your Latino cultural empathy
Tess Hanson University of Nebraska

My favorite part 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.

Weeks 1-3

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

"The Paris of Latin America"

Weeks 4-6

Santiago (Chile)

"#1 Travel Spot" by NY Times

Weeks 7-9

Cusco (Peru)

"Gateway to Machu Picchu"

2018 Spanish & Medicine Dates & Prices

Program Fees Include:
  • ​Intensive Spanish course
  • Homestay, private room, with breakfast & dinner
  • Academic transcript
  • (9-week and 15-week options) Travel from Argentina to Chile to Peru
  • Cultural activities
  • Medical Shadowing in local clinics
  • Healthcare-related field trips
  • 1 weekend excursion (3-week option), 3 weekend excursions (9-week and 15-week options)
Not Included:
  • Flight to South America
  • Additional travel for wildcard weeks (15-week option)
  • Lunch (students usually buy lunch near the school)

9-Week Program $9,900 (Summer or Quarter)  

3 weeks in each of Argentina, Chile, or Peru

Winter Quarter:  Jan 21 - Mar 24

Summer 1:  May 27 - July 28

Summer 2:  June 17 - Aug 18

Summer 3:  July 8 - Sep 8

Fall Quarter:  Oct 1 - Dec 2

15-Week Program $14,900 (Semester or Gap Year)  

3 weeks in each of Argentina, Chile, or Peru - plus 6 wildcard weeks of your choice.

Spring Semester:  Jan 21 - May 5

Fall Semester:  Sep 9 - Dec 23


WARNING:  DO NOT APPLY Before Reading

The Ecela Spanish Immersion experience is not like most study abroad programs.  Here are three things some students consider "drawbacks"...
  • Busy Schedule  Between the medical shadowing, the Spanish classes, and cultural activities, you don't have as much free time as some other programs, which are "glorified vacations" by comparison 
  • Class Attendance  The Spanish classes are deliberately kept very small so you get lots of practice and feel comfortable participating.  Skipping them is not an option.
  • Unpredictable Changes  In general the Latin American culture does not value punctuality and organization as highly as Americans do.  If you cannot handle occassional last minute schedule changes, you will be frustrated.

Questions?  abroad@ecelaspanish.com or (347) 329-5506


"Is Getting Fluent in Spanish an 'Ethical Imperative' for Tomorrow's Healthcare Professionals?"...You Be The Judge

Did You Know the USA Has More Spanish Speakers Than Spain?

In fact, only Mexico has more.

Today's college students are not prepared for America's demographic reality. That's why our 3-country study abroad program accelerates your language skills and develops your Latino cultural empathy.

After joining us you can leapfrog past otherwise equal candidates on job and grad school applications.  You will no longer fear rejection just because you can't check off "fluent in Spanish"

Source: Washington Post


There is a Chronic Shortage of American Healthcare Professionals that Speak Spanish

- IMDiversity

If you don't learn Spanish now...

...will you hate yourself later?

Many immigrants lack the time (and resources) to get fluent in English

  • Some studies predict that within two generations the USA will have the world's largest Spanish-speaking population, surpassing Mexico
  • “But THEY came here, THEY should learn English, right?'  Regardless of which side of that debate you take, the reality is that most immigrants don't have the time (or resources) to learn English.
  • While college courses can help you acquire technical Spanish skills, the large class sizes and lack of conversation practice, and over-emphasis on grammar, limit real world effectiveness
  • Other modern solutions, like smartphone apps and DVD sets, while convenient and inexpensive, suffer the drawbacks of isolation and lack of feedback
  • Most study abroad programs don't provide language development, expecting you to arrive already fluent (or set aside in an English side program)

Who Should (or Should Not) Apply?

This program is designed for premed/prehealth students who plans to use their Spanish to make a positive impact:

  • Future doctors and other healthcare professionals who want to communicate with their Spanish-speaking patients, safely and compassionately, in their own language
  • It is important to you that your patients bond with you, not with your translator
  • You want to send a message to your patients, by learning their language, that they are welcome members of the community, and that you appreciate their culture
  • You are willing to learn in a system that focuses more on ""learning by doing" rather than "learning by studying"
  • You are open to cultures different than your own, and you will not expect an "Americanized" experience

This program is NOT for you if:

  • You don't have a genuine desire to serve Spanish-speakers and just want to do the program to "pad your resume and applications"
  • You have a hard time adapting to people from cultures different than your own
  • You get homesick very easily and will have a hard time being away from family and friends
  • You are already fluent in Spanish and don't need to improve your language skills
  • You want an educational experience that is "just like college (or high school)"

“For the first time in my life I woke up looking forward to class...and dreaded days off”

- Heather Krane, Michigan

A study abroad program carefully designed for your success:

Practice Spanish they same day you learn it.

  • Classes include mini-group conversation classes, so you develop real world skills that you can practice the very same day in the “Spanish everywhere” environment
  • By studying in three unique countries you develop wider Latino cultural awareness as well as a “flexible ear” for adapting to varied accents
  • The language schools are singularly focused on improving your Spanish, removing the frustrations of juggling multiple subjects
  • The program schedule is carefully designed to accommodate semester or quarter system, so you don't need to rearrange your whole life just to join us
  • The comfortably affordable tuition is comparable to typical in-state public tuition, yet with much smaller classes and many extra activities

“We don't just teach Spanish...

We give our students a

 'magical golden key' to a better life”

Spanish is so much more than just a language skill.  We help you:

  1. Serve More People By getting fluent you are able to serve an often otherwise left behind segment of the population, not limited to just the privileged English speakers
  2. Powerful Tie-Breaker You gain an “unfair advantage” over other job and grad school applicants and don't lose out on opportunities you are otherwise qualified for
  3. More Social Life  Beyond school and work advantages, you have an open door to the world's 400 million plus Spanish speakers, for cross-cultural friendships and even romances
  4. Seem "Smarter"  Bilingual people are often perceived as more intelligent and sophisticated, raising your status over others that have limited themselves to one language
  5. Better Neighbor  As a Spanish-speaker with Latino cultural empathy, you will demonstrate a welcoming attitude toward immigrants, rather than the “learn English or leave” message they often hear

Meet some of our students...


Clockwise from left: Outside Ecela Buenos Aires, Spanish & Medicine students before shadowing, Brittnay (California) in Peru, Argentina host family

Clockwise from upper left: Dom (Scotland) studied at all 6 Ecelas, Marianne (Norway) in Cusco, Keisha (Barbado) in Buenos Aires, Heather (Michigan) in Viña del Mar, Nils (Sweden) in Mendoza

Clockwise from left: Matthew (Illionois) at a wildlife rescue center, volunteering at a local elementary after-school program, an Ecela teacher reviews fundamentals, group class in Chile

Clockwise from upper left: Streets of Cusco, group class in Santiago, horseback riding in Ica (Peru), extra private Spanish help, between classes in Mendoza

Clockwise from left: using Spanish at a Peruvian artisans' market, learning to make empanada, group class with Profesor Antonio, Stephanie (Belgium) at Machu Picchu, the excursion from Cusco

Clockwise from upper left: Spanish class in Mendoza, boarding train to Machu Picchu, extra one-to-one help, La Boca (Buenos Aires), preparing for a shadowing rotation

Clockwise from left: Machu Picchu near Cusco, nature reserve in Chile, Peruvian festival, volunteer day at children's hospital


WHAT'S MY INVESTMENT?

How many of your applications will be rejected because you aren't fluent in Spanish?

How many relationships will you miss out on because of a language barrier?
How many Spanish-speakers will you fail to help because of communication failures?

A lack of Spanish fluency and Latino cultural empathy may cost a great deal.

2018 Spanish & Medicine Dates & Prices

Program Fees Include:
  • ​Intensive Spanish course
  • Homestay, private room, with breakfast & dinner
  • Academic transcript
  • (9-week and 15-week options) Travel from Argentina to Chile to Peru
  • Cultural activities
  • Medical Shadowing in local clinics
  • Healthcare-related field trips
  • 1 weekend excursion (3-week option), 3 weekend excursions (9-week and 15-week options)
Not Included:
  • Flight to South America
  • Additional travel for wildcard weeks (15-week option)
  • Lunch (students usually buy lunch near the school)

9-Week Program $9,900 (Summer or Quarter)  

3 weeks in each of Argentina, Chile, or Peru

Winter Quarter:  Jan 21 - Mar 24

Summer 1:  May 27 - July 28

Summer 2:  June 17 - Aug 18

Summer 3:  July 8 - Sep 8

Fall Quarter:  Oct 1 - Dec 2

15-Week Program $14,900 (Semester or Gap Year)  

3 weeks in each of Argentina, Chile, or Peru - plus 6 wildcard weeks of your choice.

Spring Semester:  Jan 21 - May 5

Fall Semester:  Sep 9 - Dec 23


WARNING:  DO NOT APPLY Before Reading

The Ecela Spanish Immersion experience is not like most study abroad programs.  Here are three things some students consider "drawbacks"...
  • Busy Schedule  Between the medical shadowing, the Spanish classes, and cultural activities, you don't have as much free time as some other programs, which are "glorified vacations" by comparison 
  • Class Attendance  The Spanish classes are deliberately kept very small so you get lots of practice and feel comfortable participating.  Skipping them is not an option.
  • Unpredictable Changes  In general the Latin American culture does not value punctuality and organization as highly as Americans do.  If you cannot handle occassional last minute schedule changes, you will be frustrated.

Questions?  abroad@ecelaspanish.com or (347) 329-5506

3-Week

"Jan Term" or "Maymester"

3 Weeks

3-4 Credits

  • 1 Location
  • Room & Board

$3,400

$35 application fee

9-Week

"Quarter" or "Summer"

9 Weeks

9-12  Credits

  • 3 Locations
  • Room & Board

$9,900

$35 application fee

15-Week

"Semester" or "Gap Year"

15 Weeks

15-18 Credits

  • 3+ Locations
  • Room & Board

$14,900

$35 application fee


  • Education Status:  You will have completed at least one year of college studies before the program begins​
  • Spanish background:  No prior Spanish is required.  You may enter at any level between 'No Spanish' and 'Advanced'
  • Minimum GPA:  If you plan on transferring the course credits into your current education, a 2.5 GPA is usually required

Questions?  abroad@ecelaspanish.com or (347) 329-5506


"I’m just blown away by how good all of the teachers are..."

I studied on my own a little bit, never in a school, but I took a short Berlitz language class in the US. ECELA and Berlitz are not even comparable.

"ECELA is far better. Berlitz is world-renowned, but there is no comparison at all. The teachers at ECELA are trained in linguistics and how to teach language. I’m just blown away by how good all of the teachers are."

GERALD LUCAS New Jersey

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...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!

"Even beyond the classes, I learned so much the Ecela staff, locals, travelers, and the kids we volunteered with. I will remember them all for a long, long time."

LISA WANG Northwestern

My entire experience with ECELA was beyond amazing

"Erik, a great professor and friend, always made classes very engaging with jokes, city tours and discussions on real life situations. My entire experience with ECELA was beyond amazing and I highly recommend the program to anyone looking to really learn Spanish and experience life in South America.

SARA MOKHATARI-FOX California

3-Country Spanish Immersion-FAQ

How much prior Spanish do I need?

How do I get college credit?

How much Spanish will I learn?

I am a premed student. Is there medical shadowing?

Why should I apply early?

What if I can't decide on a program (dates)?

Where will I live?

How much money should I bring?

Is there financial aid?

  • Education Status:  You will have completed at least one year of college studies before the program begins​
  • Spanish background:  No prior Spanish is required.  You may enter at any level between 'No Spanish' and 'Advanced'
  • Minimum GPA:  If you plan on transferring the course credits into your current education, a 2.5 GPA is usually required

Questions?  abroad@ecelaspanish.com or (347) 329-5506


Cecilia Quezada (left) with a successful student.

"I truly admire every one of our students who travels all the way to South America for this program.  

It is so much easier to stay at home - with your comforts, your family, and your friends - than to travel to a new land, where you are surrounded by people you don't know, speaking a language you don't understand.  

"Thank you for doing your part to confront America's language gap crisis.”

Cecilia Quezada, Director of Services


P.S.: We recommend applying as early as you can.  Your individual "student priority number" for scheduling homestays, cultural activities, and volunteer placements is given out in order of application date.