Studying Abroad?

<p>Well... Right now, I'm a junior in high school and I'm taking Spanish IV. It's my fourth year of foreign language and, to say the least, I really enjoy learning the language. So... when I go to college, I plan to do the whole Pre-Med focus, but I was just wondering... </p>

<p>From a parent's perspective, how would you recommend gaining fluency in Spanish (particularly in Spain)? Studying abroad for the whole year? Going over to Spain every summer? </p>

<p>Any thoughts would be very much appreciated :)</p>

<p>I have a much cheaper way: ask for a job at one of those tiendas, even if it's free work, during HS years :) Also, I am sure you'll find Spanish speaking radio or TV stations locally (hope you live in Tulsa or OKC). At least you can find something on the AM dial. And read beyond what you have in your class. Start with something you are really, really familiar with: the Bible, Harry Potters, Dr. Seuss... The key to fluency is practice, practice, practice. When I first learned English, I even left the radio on through the night. You never know how much you pick it up even in your dreams!</p>

<p>A family friend who majored in this very language and went on to med school solved the problem by doing a residency in Miami and dating some pretty hot bilingual chick :-). </p>

<p>I would add Puerto Rico to your list. Awesome place and all the Spanish you can handle.</p>

<p>Depends what you can afford first of all.</p>

<p>Second, keep in mind the US mexican/spanish is bit different than the Spanish in Spain. My daughter went to Spain with a HS class last year and found out it was a bit different.</p>

<p>If you have a choice, go for 1 year. Full submersion by getting a job there would be the best way. Don't hang in the tourist areas, get apartment in small town where that is the only language you hear and speak. That is how you really learn it.</p>

<p>There are also charity groups that bring medical services to areas of great need in Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala. That would be a semi emersion experience.</p>

<p>I think you might want to post this over on one of the med students forums- to see if it is actually practical during the college year, considering the pre-med track. </p>

<p>It is not always possible to get a job in the EU countries, without proper permits- especially not in today's economy, unless you have unusual skills. Also, you'll need to consider whether you eventually need proper Spanish, including technical terminology, the sort you might need to interface with scientists or bureaucracies - or the more practical language skills for dealing with everyday patient issues. </p>

<p>Volunteering, as Theresa suggests, seems to be a great way to both get your pre-med field experience and practical language skills. You could do this this summer, which would count as a CA EC. And, continue during college breaks, as part of pre-med exposure.</p>