Students Journey to Costa Rica for Advanced Healthcare Spanish Immersion Trip

May 2, 2019

By Shannon Desmond '19

Seven Saint Anselm students will spend over a month of their summer vacations traveling to Costa Rica for the Advanced Healthcare Spanish Immersion trip. On May 22, they leave for San Jose, where they will advance their Spanish language exposure and expand their knowledge of patient care in a new environment by interning at children’s hospitals, women’s hospitals, health clinics, cancer support centers, and an HIV residence, and residential nursing home.

The first few days of the Advanced Healthcare Spanish Immersion trip will orient the group to their home stays and the city of San Jose. Students (who represent various majors including nursing) will attend a class designed to refresh their Spanish grammar and acquaint them with different cultural aspects of Costa Rica. In the remaining four weeks, they will complete their internships.

Elizabeth Fennell, a sophomore nursing major and Spanish minor, is grateful for the opportunity to gain valuable experience outside of a classroom environment.

“This trip is an amazing opportunity for students who are advanced in Spanish to apply their knowledge in a setting outside of the classroom,” she says. “Most importantly, it allows students to become immersed in the culture of a Spanish speaking country. For nursing majors, this trip is very valuable in allowing us to develop strong skills to use when providing culturally competent care for all of our patients.”

As the leader of the Advanced Spanish Immersion trip, associate professor of modern languages and literature Elizabeth Fouts, says, “There is nothing that can compare to immersion for perfecting language acquisition and making intercultural connections. The students are steeped in language every day in every interaction they have. This program is also different from traditional study abroad because after the first week of intense coursework, the students spend every day, all day in their internship.”

Students will return to the United States on June 29, bringing with them not only unforgettable memories, but invaluable field experience and healthcare knowledge.