Student sickness leads to Spanish hospital partnership

CEDARVILLE — Who knew that one student’s sickness could lead to Cedarville University’s partnership with one of the largest hospital groups in Spain?

Starting this fall, Hospital Quirón Salud Valencia began accepting Cedarville University students for intern placements. Quirón Salud has 70 different hospitals located across Spain where undergraduate and graduate students can study and complete internships and nursing clinicals.

The partnership began this summer when a Cedarville Institute of Spanish Studies student became ill while studying in Valencia, Spain. The undergrad was taken to Hospital Quirón Salud Valencia for care, and it was from this experience that the internship program for U.S. college students was discovered.

Andrew Wiseman, director of international programs and professor of Spanish at Cedarville, met with the hospital director, who offered the university openings for student interns.

“This has really opened the door for us,” Wiseman said. “It was really providential that we were there; we hit it off with the internship director.” Sharing a meal together, a tradition in Spain accompanying business transactions and partnerships, helped cement the relationship between Cedarville and Hospital Quirón Salud Valencia.

The hospital is a bilingual environment, allowing students with an intermediate knowledge of Spanish to participate in the program. Although they might not be fluent in the language, the students will be fully immersed in Spanish culture as they live with host families and serve in local churches.

Wiseman noted that students can intern “in all areas of the hospital, from behind the front desk to the neonatal area.” Other departments include marketing, business and public relations.

Two Cedarville students — Alex Hentschel, a senior international studies and Spanish major, and Nicole Terrell, a junior Spanish student — are currently interning at the hospital.

“The students are going to be able to take class, intern at the hospital, serve with the local church and spend their afternoons on the Mediterranean,” Wiseman said. “It is a great opportunity for Cedarville students. It’s an incredible added value to a student’s education.”

Said Hentschel: “I’m enjoying the opportunity of experiencing a different culture and becoming fluent in the language. The internship is a great way to serve others while I’m there. It’s about being a blessing wherever you go.”