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Medical Spanish Immersion Program | Costa Rica & Ecuador | Earn CME & CE

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Ecuador Medical Spanish Immersion
Newest Program
Adventure Traveler is medical Spanish immersion in Ecuador
Based in Otavalo

1-2 weeks in length

June 13 & June 20, 2020
Consider 10 days to have a full weekend to explore!
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20hrs/week Spanish Classes
Tuesday – Thursday medical outreach projects
Great day trips to the equator, hot springs, etc.
CME & CE Accredited
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders
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Costa Rica Medical Spanish Immersion
Easiest Travel!
Medical Spanish Immersion programs in Costa Rica & Ecuador every January, February, June and July
Santo Domingo, Costa Rica

1-6wks total trip length

June 27, 2020 | July 4, 2020
Consider 10 days to have a full weekend to explore!
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20 hrs language school
Optional 1:1 private lessons
Tuesday – Thursday medical outreach projects
Great day trips
Amazing beaches, volcanoes, national parks, etc
CME & CE Accredited
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by Common Ground program leaders

Medical Spanish Immersion with Common Ground Int’l is The Best Way to Learn Medical Spanish and earn CME & CE credits!

AAFP CME Credit Approved

This medical Spanish immersion program in Central & South America is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and healthcare students to maximize your learning every moment. Most importantly, it’s effective…

Why the Common Ground Medical Spanish Immersion Program?

1. We offer the best language and cultural outcomes:

The primary difference with our medical Spanish immersion programs is that we weave 4 Spanish language components into your everyday experience. In other words, you learn medical Spanish (and general conversational Spanish) through everything you do Mon – Fri. Here is how we do it:

  • Learning medical Spanish in daily medical Spanish immersion classes (and general Spanish immersion classes) with native Spanish speakers
  • Staying with a local host family (one student per family) so that you’re immersed in speaking Spanish 24/7 and acquiring Spanish as you relate to your host family and experience daily culture in Central America
  • You deliver health education on volunteer medical projects in order to serve communities with identified health needs
  • We attend health lectures in Spanish by local healthcare providers and tour local hospitals and clinics in order to see healthcare in action
  • You can earn Continuing Medical Education Credits*: Category 1 / Prescribed CME credit for providers and CE credits for nurses.

2. You’re not alone:

When you travel with Common Ground is that you are not on your own. At a very minimum, you have the CGI onsite coordinator with your during your whole trip. Additionally, you will work closely with one of our medical supervisors during a portion of your trip, and you’ll have our lead medical Spanish instructor with you as well.

3. We prepare you before you travel:

Preparation is essential for establishing clear expectations for your trip, staying safe while you travel, knowing the day to day plan, and positioning yourself and your Spanish for maximum success on your program. Our custom pre-departure course is an amazingly effective online course that connects you with your fellow travelers and prepares you for every single detail – including culture shock!

4. You know where we live:

We’re a Colorado-based organization, and we have a clear track record of amazing Spanish immersion programs. You can call us up at any time (303) 684-5557, speak English (or Spanish), and get your questions answered immediately. That’s worth its weight in gold!

4-Minute Immersion Trip Intro

Learn the basic nuts and bolts of our medical Spanish immersion program from Rory Foster, the program director.

You can’t find another program like this one:

Top 4 Medical Spanish Immersion Questions Answered (11 min):

Rory shares the most common questions re: safety, fit for beginning learners, date flexibility, if spouses, s.o.’s and family can join.

Top 10 Suggestions for International Travel:

Medical Spanish Immersion Trip
4.91out of 5based on 69 customer ratings

Everyone knows that immersion is the best way to learn medical Spanish. So the question now becomes: “What is the most effective way to do immersion, and who is a partner I can trust? I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with our medical Spanish immersion course abroad!”

–Rory Foster, Immersion Director

Thoughts from recent Medical Spanish Immersion Travelers:

Thoughts from a student:

Medical Spanish Immersion Program

My Spanish has improved so much! I’m able to actually have a fluid conversation in Spanish and it’s so wonderful. Additionally, my speaking is so much better now. I cannot even begin to describe the improvement. For example, now I talk in the past tense and use indirect/direct pronouns with confidence – that is huge for me!!!

–Natalie K, PharmD

Thoughts from a nurse:

Medical Spanish Immersion Program

Regardless of your level of Spanish, this trip is right for you!! I learned so much during the trip, but more importantly, I became comfortable making mistakes and feeling more confident! This isn’t something I would’ve been able to overcome without this immersion program. I highly recommend this program!

–Laura J, RN

Thoughts from a physician:

Medical Spanish Immersion trip

This is a perfect combination of vacation and serious learning in a beautiful and friendly place. Immersion families make you feel at home and small group classes are excellent for rapid expansion of skills. The people are the best part from the staff to the other students and to the hosts.

–Mark M, MD

Thoughts from a psychologist:

Medical Spanish Immersion Program

I found CGI through a basic Google search for medical Spanish immersion programs offering CEUs. So, I took a leap of faith and will never regret it. This program was exceptionally well-tailored to the medical professional wanting to learn Spanish with any level of prior knowledge. As someone with an intermediate level before the course, I was able to advance my command of the language to a functionally communicative level by the end of my two weeks. And my confidence improved immeasurably. I loved the homestay aspect of the program and the gentle encouragement of the leadership to use Spanish to interact with other students. The weekdays were well balanced with community activities in the morning and small-group Spanish classes each afternoon.

The schedule was both varied and predictable, and the weekend excursions offered the right balance of respite and continued language practice! Not even half-way through the trip I knew I couldn’t wait to share my experience with my colleagues and encourage them to attend.

–Kristin J, PsyD



Read More Client Testimonials


Registration is open for 2020 Medical Spanish Immersion Programs…



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1-3 Week Medical Spanish Immersion Programs in Ecuador: 

1 wk Ecuador Programs: June 13 – 20, 2020 | June 20 – 27, 2020

2 wk Ecuador Programs: June 13 – 27, 2020

Immersion program details:

  • Fly in and out of Quito (UIO)
  • Attend 1-2 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes including medical and general focus
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of Quito or Cuenca in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Learn about access to healthcare and standards of care for the mainstream society and those who live in poverty so that you gain perspective
  • Provide preventative health care education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting

Travel: Fly in and out of Quito, Ecuador (UIO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

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3-6 Week Combo Medical Spanish Immersion Programs in Ecuador and Costa Rica

Wilderness medicine course scheduled for June 6-13, 2020

3-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Program:  June 13 – July 4, 2020

4-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs:  June 13 – July 11, 2020 

5-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs:  June 13 – July 18, 2020

6-week Ecuador & Costa Rica Immersion Programs:  June 13 – July 25, 2020

Immersion program details:

  • Experience 2 countries in 1 trip!
  • Fly in to Quito (UIO) and out of San Jose (SJO) 
  • Attend 1 – 5 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes (mix medical and general Spanish)
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of San José, Quito & Cuenca in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Learn about access to healthcare and standards of care for the mainstream society and those who live in poverty so that you gain perspective
  • Provide preventative health care education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting

Travel: Fly in to Quito, Ecuador (UIO) and out of Costa Rica (SJO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

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1-5 Week Medical Spanish Immersion Programs in Costa Rica:

1-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – July 4, 2020 | July 4 – 11, 2020

2-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – July 11, 2020 | July 4 – 18, 2020

3-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – July 18, 2020 | July 4 – 25, 2020

4-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – July 25, 2020 | July 4 – August 1, 2020

5-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – August 1, 2020 | July 4 – August 8, 2020

6-Week Costa Rica Programs: June 27 – August 8, 2020 

Immersion program details:

  • Fly in and out of San José (SJO)
  • Attend 1-6 weeks (Mon – Fri) of Spanish classes including medical and general focus
  • Visit various precarios in the outskirts of San José in order to develop educational charlas that help the communities improve quality of life.
  • Learn about access to healthcare and standards of care for the mainstream society and those who live in poverty so that you gain perspective
  • Provide preventative health care education in conjunction with existing local efforts in these communities in order to help without hurting
  • Working with children and their families on general health and hygiene practices

Travel: Fly in and out of Costa Rica (SJO)

Reserve your spot with $500 deposit

*The dates listed above are Saturday – Saturday dates. Official program start days are on Mondays, but we request that you arrive on the Saturday prior to the Monday start.

All of our programs include basic travel medical insurance with trip interruption, delays, lost bags, etc. Here is the standard description of coverage for your included travel insurance plan.

If you you have any uncertainties about your upcoming adventure, it might be a good idea to use extra protection 😉 . If you’re looking for a Cancel for Any Reason policy, we suggest you shop for it here:

Extra travel insurance

A few video testimonials from recent travelers:

More thoughts from recent travelers:

Best Medical Spanish Immersion Trip

For me, this trip taught me lessons that they do not include in the medical school curriculum. I was able to gain an understanding of the culture of many of my future patients. No other experience in school has taught me this much about another culture, about healthcare abroad, and about myself. And Spanish has been a goal of mine for years, and after this trip I feel that I have finally made some significant progress. It’s true that immersion is the best way to learn. I am excited to be able to use Spanish with my patients in a few months to connect with them on an entirely different level than I could have before.

–Camri M, MD

Spanish Immersion for Healthcare

I loved being put outside of my comfort zone. While I was nervous about living with a family I didn’t know and not being able to speak the same language as them, they were very accommodating and very nice. The instructors (Rory, Leslie, and Dr. Steve) continually encouraged me to speak in Spanish. In fact, if I could do the whole thing over, I would stay for the 4 week program instead of the 2!

–Amber G, RN

Why does learning medical Spanish even matter?

Learning medical Spanish matters for a variety of reasons:

  • It makes a tangible difference in the lives of your underserved patients every day
  • Your patients are immediately put at ease when they see you trying to meet them where they are
  • You understand your patients more easily, so you are naturally less frustrated
  • Your SSO patients get faster and better care
  • You feel better about your work with Spanish-only patient

How does Common Ground do medical Spanish immersion?

When you learn medical Spanish on immersion with Common Ground, you learn it by participating in a well-rounded total Spanish immersion context. For example,  we include medical outreach work (volunteer medical projects in underserved communities), medical Spanish classes, host family lodging, and weekend adventures. You work hard and you have a lot of fun; but there is a bigger picture.  The real reason that we invite you to participate in this medical Spanish immersion trip, is that you take medical Spanish back to your home community and you give better care to your patients for a lifetime!

Learn more about how we’ve intentionally designed the following experiences to create a total medical Spanish immersion program for you:

Here are our locations in EcuadorSpanish Immersion in Ecuador

What are our guiding principles for medical work abroad? Read our Medical Mission Statement to see how we practice responsible and respectful medical mission work abroad while you learn Medical Spanish in Costa Rica.

Medical Spanish Immersion & International Rotation Informational Webinar. This video is 22 minutes, so grab some paper to make notes, and dive in to the details of the best medical Spanish immersion trip for healthcare. In this info webinar you will learn all about:

  • The purpose and mission of our programs
  • How the 4 unique components work for you
  • Our goals for you
  • 3 ways we help you make a difference with your Spanish-only patients
  • The day to day schedule on immersion
  • The towns we’re based in
  • How to be certain if this trip is right for you
  • Schedule and budget requirements
  • Program inclusions
  • Additional budgeting items to consider

By the way, if you’re working on learning Spanish for your healthcare career, we have the medical Spanish you need!

Medical Spanish Immersion FAQs

How is this program different from other medical missions or medical Spanish seminars abroad?

Common Ground’s medical Spanish immersion programs are unique in several ways from other travel programs available to healthcare professionals and students. Primarily, the differences relate to pre-trip preparation. Secondly, the integration into the local communities and the type of medical outreach work we do is unique. Finally, out-of-class learning experiences and program supervision make this trip the best medical Spanish immersion program available.

For a more detailed explanation of how our programs are different, read our blog post here: ( Most importantly, if you’re not sure how to choose between the programs you’re considering, we’ll be happy to help. For example, we can give you a free comparison/contrast with any other program you’re considering. In short, it will be our pleasure to help you make a well-informed decision on which program will be best for you.

*What about Continuing Medical Education (CME) for providers & Continuing Education (CE) for nurses?

This live activity, Medical Spanish Immersion in Ecuador & Costa Rica, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 22.50 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. As such, physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #14584, for 20 Contact Hours per week of immersion. 

Who usually travels on these medical Spanish immersion programs?

We accept healthcare students and professionals from across the country on these medical Spanish Immersion programs. Therefore, while everyone has unique careers and varying professional aspirations, they all have something in common. Above all, the one thing that EVERYONE has in common is a sense that they need Spanish for their work with patients. For example, some students are participating in a formal International Rotation through Common Ground.  Others are just trying to bolster their Spanish before they hit the job market.

There is usually a high number of RNs and Nurse Practitioners on our programs as well. However, regardless of your profession, our goal is to match your expertise with a need in the communities where we work to benefit the local population. We have a small team of physicians and PAs that help supervise our programs in Costa Rica and Ecuador, therefore we’re able to ensure that our outreach work remains ethical, accurate, and applicable to the local populations that we serve.

How can I prepare for the Medical Spanish Immersion?

Preparation is one of the key elements of our Mission Statement for responsible international medical work. Therefore, you can and should be preparing as much as possible with your Spanish language before traveling. As mentioned elsewhere, beginners are accepted onto the programs without hesitation. However, you will never regret a single minute of Spanish preparation before you travel. There is a truism when it comes to language immersion programs: the more you know before you travel, the more you learn while abroad.

The stronger your foundation is in Spanish before participating in a program, the more you have to build on when you are in-country. You will also be joining a series of live webinar meetings online to help you prepare. For example, we’ll review logistics and plan the medical outreach work that you’ll be participating in. We typically have 4 meetings in the 2-4 months preceding a program that systematically help you prepare for your travel.

Can I join if my Spanish is beginning level?

Yes, of course. Our Medical Spanish Immersion Programs are designed to improve your Spanish while you help communities with specific needs and learn about concepts of health and factors that affect healthy living in Latin America. We strongly believe that improving your Spanish proficiency is key to providing enhanced service to your Spanish-only patients in your home community, so we don’t turn people away at any level.

However, remember that as a beginner, you face frustrations and challenges that intermediate and advanced level speakers don’t face. For example, it takes you longer to get comfortable with your host family, you strain harder to follow conversations and presentations that we receive. Additionally, you work harder to develop and facilitate your charlas. That said, it’s totally worth it. In fact, every trip beginners thank us for allowing them to participate because they can’t believe how much progress they’ve made with their Spanish.

How are the facilities chosen where we will be working?

We work with different non-profit groups with different missions. However, they all focus on bringing health education & healthcare to the poor and under-served in several different communities around Costa Rica and Ecuador. We spend significant time in schools or other public meeting places in these communities in order to deliver our preventive health education and respond to the identified needs of the community. For more information on our guiding principles for health work abroad, please see our mission statement.

What medical issues do the target communities we’ll be working with suffer from?

Of course this is variable, but in general we see individuals with high blood sugar, high blood pressure, malnutrition, oral health needs, STIs, anxiety, depression, and a handful of other common conditions. In general you can expect a large amount of preventative health education to women and children. Therefore, we focus heavily on educating our patient populations so that they can make informed health decisions when we’re not present. You will receive much more detailed information about the specifics of the medical outreach work and the communities in which you’ll be working during pre-departure orientation.

What about donations?

During your pre-departure course, we may ask you to collect both physical and financial donations for your work on immersion. Your donations will relate directly to any charlas that you will be giving in select communities. For example, if you’re giving a talk on oral hygiene, we will suggest that your charla group try and secure toothbrush and travel toothpaste donations to accompany your charla. Other situations may lend themselves more to health education materials as donations. So, no rush at the moment, you will receive more details on the talks you will be delivering and have the opportunity to define your own donation items during your pre-departure preparation.

What sort of liability insurance do I need for this immersion trip?

Medical liability insurance is not required for the work we do since we do not provide medical care as a general rule. If, however, we have the opportunity provide primary care to patients, we take special caution. For example, it will always be underneath the supervision of a local healthcare worker and his/her organization. Because we want to always provide sustainable medical outreach services, we spend a lot of time educating patients about healthy lifestyle options in resource poor settings. This is great for you as a participant as well because you get to practice explaining the very same educational topics that you need to explain to your patients back home as well. For more information on our guiding principles for health work abroad, please see our mission statement.

Should I bring medical equipment?

Since our work is primarily educational, nothing is REQUIRED. However, you may have opportunities to use some basic equipment during a health education piece. For example, portable items like: stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, bp cuffs, thermometers, glucometers, etc. Contact us any time for more info on the specific medical Spanish immersion program you’re considering.

Can I bring my family with me?

Of course! We’re happy to have your family join you on your immersion program. This does require some additional planning. Therefore, we will want to know that you’re thinking about bringing a spouse and/or children sooner rather than later.

CLICK HERE to see the ratings and read the reviews for this Medical Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica & Ecuador