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Intensive Beginner Spanish and Healthcare in Quito, Ecuador

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Ecuadorian Adventure!

I participated in CHFI’s Intensive Beginner Spanish in Quito, Ecuador! I chose this location because I wanted exposure to South American culture and I also wanted to work on my Spanish. I went to Ghana during the summer between my first and second year of medical school and that trip was amazing. Studying abroad creates opportunities to challenge yourself on many levels and expand your world-view. I was truly blessed to have another opportunity to study aboard.

The Ecuadorian landscape is truly amazing! Definitely beyond any of my expectations! In addition to Quito, we spent time in Otavalo, Mindo and Banos! The Spanish classes were helpful and I was able to use this Spanish while volunteering with the elementary school kids. The healthcare experience was also interesting. The attendings were eager to answer questions and discuss the local healthcare issues.

Over all this trip was a great experience! I will be a family medicine resident in a couple months and I am grateful for the additional Spanish I learned and the opportunity to experience a culture different from my own. I've always been committed to helping underserved populations and expanding my worldview and through this program I was able to do both!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    9

My Experience in Ecuador

This April I went to Quito, Ecuador as part of CFHI's Intensive Spanish program. I had a lot of fun! I met some amazing people who I still keep in touch with and we had a great time. We have Spanish classes Monday through Thursday with Fridays usually free for weekend travel. You have the option to take a full week of all day Spanish classes your first week, which I definitely recommend if you speak very limited Spanish. My first 2 weeks I volunteered at a school for 3-5 year olds, which was super helpful to practice my Spanish. My second 2 weeks were spent shadowing in clinics. I spent one week in pediatrics and another week in a family medicine clinic. Both gave me opportunities to see how medicine is practiced in Ecuador. I wish my Spanish was a little stronger so that I could've understood more out of clinic. I definitely recommend studying before you come!

The people in the program and I got to do a lot of weekend trips, which gave us a lot of opportunities to see other parts of Ecuador. I did give myself one weekend in Quito and my favorite part was our adventure out to Quito Zoo. While CFHI plans a lot of the touristy excursions around Quito that both show us the culture and let us practice our Spanish (which are a lot of fun!), some of my friends and I decided to spend one of our off weekends traveling to the zoo. While it took us 2 bus rides and a taxi to get there, it was a great way to practice our Spanish on our own in a familiar setting. We also got to see a lot of animals native to Ecuador, which was nice since trips to the Galapagos Islands are so expensive! All in all my experience in Ecuador was a lot of fun!