The perfect Pre-Med Adventure Past Review

By (Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics., University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 05/18/2014 to 06/21/2014 with

Atlantis Project | Pre-med Fellowship Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Though I was highly confident in my decision to become a doctor before the program, I feel even more strongly about medicine now. Being able to shadow doctors in a system I had never encountered before was a great experience, because it opened my eyes to the multitude of professional opportunities available to medical graduates. In addition to shadowing, teaching through Base5 was such a fun opportunity, and I really got to know the doctors I was shadowing at a personal level. I learned so much about what it means to treat patients and how to conduct oneself in the stressful environment of a healthcare institution. Not only that, but the cultural immersion and social engagement I experienced in Tenerife made the trip very worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Though the program does not include a formal curriculum, I was challenged academically in the Spanish discussion group, Healthcare seminar and shadowing experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The coordinators are not only supportive of each student, but they are socially and culturally engaging. I would have liked to see more of the group manager and formal leaders, but the coordinators did a great job to make sure all of my needs and wants were met.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The residencia was much more than I expected it to be; the rooms were small, but they came with a bathroom and ethernet cord for computers. The food offered at breakfast and dinner was great, and laundry services were provided. The only drawback was wifi connection, which was spotty and unreliable; when it worked, it was great, but usually connection was very slow.

* Food:

There is no denying that the Canary Islands know how to cook their food. I enjoyed every meal I ate during my five weeks, and I was very pleased with each restaurant the coordinators took us to.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went on so many excursions that it was impossible to not feel apart of the Canarian culture and atmosphere. From hitting up the beach to enjoying coffee downtown, we were always doing something that was characteristically Canarian.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Though I personally did not run into any health issues during my internship, the coordinators made sure I knew exactly what to do if any should have come up.

* Safety:

La Laguna is a very safe city; some students stayed out quite late at night and were still able to make it home safely and without worries. There is very little crime in the city, and pick-pockets were of no concern during the entire trip.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Each student must decide for him/herself how much money he/she is willing to pay for food and other personal expenses. I had a pretty tight budget going to Tenerife, and luckily I found it quite easy to stick to that budget while on the island. I was able to have fun, pay for meals and souvenirs and still only spend $350 while on the Island.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to buy non-perishable food at the local grocery stores and eat it throughout the week. Also, take food from the Residencia at breakfast and eat this for lunch at the hospital. There are cheap restaurants in the city where you can have dinner for less than 10 euro; find them and you will not be disappointed by the quality.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

My coordinators always encouraged me to speak Spanish as much as possible--with them, with my doctors and with my peers. They were very supportive of my Spanish learning.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 373 (upper-level by my University's standards)
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Speak to your doctors in Spanish as much as you possibly can. Don't be afraid of saying something incorrectly, because no one will judge you. Your coordinators are great resources for learning new vocabulary and terms--go to them with questions and speak Spanish with them as well. Also, use Spanish whenever you can with locals that you may encounter.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Teaching English through Base5
  • Shadowing in the hospital
  • Traveling across the island
* What could be improved?
  • Group communication
  • Group management
  • Base5 support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You really need to take initiative in both the hospital and Base5 teaching experiences. Sometimes the doctors get so busy that they forget to cater to your needs, so if you don't speak up for yourself, you may get lost in the crowd. Don't be afraid to take ownership of your shadowing experience and ask questions or make requests about what you want to see. Also, the English teaching classes are largely run by you; you don't really have a set curriculum to work with, so you have to gauge your students' proficiency and figure out what they need/want to learn. From there, you get to decide what activities and topics to engage the students in.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!