5 Benefits of a Medical Internship Abroad

Lucy T. medical internship in Madrid (taken from http://luciaenmadrid.tumblr.com/)


(former Adelante intern Lucy T. holding retractors during an actual surgery in Madrid!)

A medical internship abroad can provide huge benefits, here are 5 reasons you should seriously consider doing one:

1. Get hands-on experience you simply CAN’T get in North America – Medical standards and practices are different (well, more lenient, for lack of a better word) in Europe and Latin America in comparison to North America. So who stands to benefit from that the most? YOU. You’ll be exposed to so many different things/getting hands-on experience in ways that would be impossible in any kind of medical internship in the U.S. or Canada. By comparison, in order to be a medical intern in North America, you need to complete medical school and already have a medical degree. Which brings us to our next point:

2. Boost your CV and Resume – If you’re still an undergrad looking to apply for medical school, think about how far ahead of the curve you’d be after completing an international medical internship! You’ll have real, working experience in the hospital, doctors office, operating room, you name it! Just by putting that kind of experience on your CV or resume, you’re guaranteed to stand head-and-shoulders above nearly all other applicants. It’s also an ace in your pocket when your interviewing for medical school.

3. Learn, become more fluent in another language – There is a huge need for medical practitioners to be fluent in another language in order to best serve certain populations. Spanish speakers in particular are needed in states like California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Becoming fluent just makes you that much more marketable when you’re ready to enter the workforce.

4. Gain meaningful experience in a specialty you’re interested in – There are plenty of internships you can do across a wide range of fields; that way, you can make the most of your experience. We’ve placed individuals in nursing, EMT, paramedic, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy internships. In addition, we’ve set up interns with placements where they can shadow surgeons of different specialties.

5. See the world! – If you could travel and see the world while remaining career oriented and working toward your future goals, wouldn’t you do it? Our programs provide a great opportunity to accomplish all of these things!

Medical Internship in Madrid


(photos courtesy of Luciaenmadrid.tumblr.com)

Click here for information on our medical internship abroad programs by destination: Medical in Madrid, Spain, Medical in Seville, Spain, Medical in Marbella, Spain, Medical in Valparaiso, Chile, Medical in Oaxaca, Mexico, Medical in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Tips to Facilitate Your Spanish Language Acquisition While Abroad

Overcoming the Subtle Difficulties in Your Spanish Program Can Feel Daunting… How Can You Get Over the Hump?

We recently came across an interesting story on how study abroad helped an American Literature and ESL teacher in her career. First and foremost, this teacher cited her study abroad experience in Spain as being the catalyst to her career epiphany. The goal of traveling to Spain was to increase her Spanish fluency, like most study/intern abroad candidates. In the beginning, it was overwhelming and even hopeless at times. She struggled more than she ever imagined. As her program went along, she discovered that the key to increasing fluency is in the process and strategies you use to navigate your way through a foreign language.

Here are her tips:

  • In the classroom, sit in front and minimize distractions.
  • When reading, get the gist and overall idea of a paragraph instead of trying to understand the words individually (the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts).
  • If possible, use context clues… if you can’t, then refer to a dictionary.
  • In conversation, use facial and physical cues… non-verbal communication can help you construct meaning.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to slow down or say it again.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions.
  • Lastly, when you need to… speak your native language! It’s totally fine.

These tips helped guide her through a foreign culture and language. More importantly, these strategies also helped her career-wise in gaining a better understanding of how to teach to individuals who may be going through the same thing she experienced. Yet again, this story is another example of how an experience abroad can facilitate professional growth and provide additional tools to leave you better equipped in your respective career.

– Adelante Abroad

(the aforementioned referenced blog is by Elizabeth Tanzer-Ritter : http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2015/02/but-how-did-study-abroad-help-me-in-my-career/)

How to Convey the Benefits of Studying/Interning Abroad


The value of studying and/or interning abroad is incomparable. You will learn more than you can ever imagine and grow in ways impossible to do if you remained at home. But how do you convey this to your friends, who might have never left the country before?  To your parents, who might be helping you pay for your program abroad?  Most importantly, to a future employer in an interview setting or to a graduate school selection committee?

Utilize the P-A-R-K Method to help you reflect and verbalize on your new skill set:  Problem or need;  Action(s) you took;  Result(s) you achieved; Knowledge or skills gained.  Some specific examples, that simply cannot be learned while in our comfort zone / at home:  Developing international professional competencies • Communicating across two languages effectively • Solving problems • Balancing work abroad and life abroad • Embracing change • Working effectively in a cross cultural team • Working in a diverse environment • Managing time and priorities • Navigating across boundaries • Acquiring knowledge • Thinking critically.

It can be difficult to articulate what is learned or developed while interning abroad. Make no mistake, such an experience does have a positive effect on your marketability. A study conducted at the University of Michigan (*) sheds clear light on the favorable traits, gained or enhanced by experience abroad, companies are looking for. Specifically, the study showed that 35%-50% of employers surveyed valued traits including:

  • Interacting with people who hold different interests, values, or perspectives.
  • Understanding cultural differences in the workplace
  • Adapting to situations of change
  • Gaining new knowledge from experiences
  • Ability to work independently
  • Undertaking tasks that are unfamiliar/risky
  • Applying information in new or broader contexts
  • Identifying new problems/solutions to problems
  • Working effectively with co-workers

So, when you are entering the work force as an intern or study abroad alum, make sure to highlight the traits above in your resume or interview. Make sure to document many of your PARK situations. And remember, according to Gardner et al. (2008), “The value of study abroad depends on how well the student can reflect on his or her experience”, or what is referred to as ‘Unpacking’ your abroad experience.

– Adelante Abroad

(*) Gardner, Gross, & Steglitz (2008) Unpacking Your Study Abroad Experience: Critical Reflection for Workplace Competencies. CERI Research Brief 1-2008. Collegiate Employment Research Institute. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State UniversityT-Shaped