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Healthcare, Spanish & Study Abroad

Written by: Emily Guilford

Bueno! Me llamo Emily. In the summer of 2019 I traveled to Merida, Mexico and lived with a family for about 5-6 weeks while studying with KIIS. I absolutely enjoyed myself while on this trip and learned so much about myself as well about Mayan culture and heritage. I cannot wait to go back one day with my family and friends to show them the beautiful state of Yucatan and the capital, Merida.

Studying aboard in Mexico allowed me to feel more comfortable in my communication skills and to develop more confidence when speaking in Spanish.  One experience in Merida that stands out to me is walking around downtown Merida and some kids were having a “rap battle” in the center square. I was surprised I actually understood a lot of what they were saying given they were singing and speaking very quickly. Today I feel more comfortable at the hospital communicating with patients who speak Spanish, which in turn makes them feel more comfortable because I can speak their main language.

My advice is to dive headfirst into the language and learn as much as possible. It is important to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn as much as possible. Also, go abroad!! It made me feel so much more comfortable in the language even though I had been taking classes in Spanish for over 10 years. Also, taking medical terminology, in English and Spanish are very useful in the medical field. My professor, Ale, was the best teacher ever! She taught the KIIS students along with the nursing students in Merida. Today she has been working tirelessly at the hospital to fight COVID.


Emily Guilford

KIIS Merida Mexico
Transylvania University

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