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In the World

MED Student Welcomes Foreign Experience in Spain

As a fourth-year medical student working at Boston Medical Center’s East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Meghan Hughes (MED’08) often works with non–native English speakers, but for four weeks this winter, she’ll be the one wrestling with a foreign language. Hughes leaves December 31 for Pamplona, Spain, where she will study neurology at the University of Navarra Medical School as part of the BU School of Medicine’s International Health Studies Program.

“I think working with native Spanish speakers in their health-care system and serving patients in an environment where I am the outsider will be a valuable learning experience,” Hughes says. “I welcome the reminder of what it feels like to be confused and overwhelmed by the information I am presented with.”

In 2004, before she entered medical school, Hughes participated in a language-immersion program at the Spanish School Juan Sisay in Guatemala. She lived with a family for six weeks and returned in 2006 for a two-week program. “I think immersion is the best way to experience a place,” she says. “I am taking every opportunity I can to make the most of this time and experience unique things.”

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.