Thinking about ditching the job search for a while...


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I strongly recommend Guatemala as your destination. To be honest, it is unlikely that you will find actual nursing work in another country. I've looked for this a lot! Not many places are going to be interested in mentoring a new graduate who isn't even fluent in the language.

Guatemala is a very inexpensive country to live in with great infrastructure for teaching Spanish and for volunteering. I studied there for one month after graduating from nursing school. My school administrator could have set me up with a volunteer position in a midwifery clinic where I would have been able to learn from the local midwives and assist with deliveries to a certain level for half the day, and then study Spanish the other half. I ended up opting not to do this for various reasons, but I know it would have been a great experience. My school was great. Most Guatemalan Spanish schools are very small, and mine felt like a little family. Good Guatemalan schools have a one-on-one tutoring format. They place you with a family and organize cultural activities and field trips with the students.

When you get back, you won't have nursing experience, but you will have the language skills and you will have a good answer to "what have you been doing since you graduated?".

Do it!!! I'm happy to provide more information about Guatemala if you're interested. Guatemala is cheaper and has better infrastructure than anywhere else I've found.


231 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I feel like we are living parallel lives. I graduated in Spring 2010, no job, so I decided to travel in South America instead. Looking back, I don't regret it at all! I traveled for five months.

I do not know much about Guatemala in particular, but really any country will have options. There are tons of Spanish schools down there where you can take Spanish lessons - in any country (some better than others).

You really need a game plan. Are funds a serious issue? You should know that while some countries are more expensive (Chile), many are A LOT cheaper in terms of cost of living than the US - so most places will seem like a bargain. I spent about $1000/month, and that includes meals, lodging, and visiting tourist places as well. Do you plan to be stationary, or do you want to travel around and visit more than one place? Both have pros and cons.

There are probably companies that can hook you up with some nursing volunteer positions - but that will cost you a pretty penny for the convenience. My advice is to research these options, but then do it on your own.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, here or PM me. I'm always willing to share my traveling advice!


185 Posts

Thank you all so much for your input! Yes funds is an issue, not sure yet if it's serious or not due to the fact that I THINK I will be getting graduation money from family and friends etc. and I also plan on doing a little fundraising if I need to...

I was looking at the companies you were speaking of that can hook me up with nursing volunteer opportunities mainly because of the security factor that they can provide as well. I'm a little hesitant to try and go on my own due to this, also because they can get me with a host family which will help me with using my Spanish.

So you say Guatemala is a good place to go? Is the Spanish they speak there pretty "clean" Spanish if you will- I mean is it a good place to learn the dialect and usage of the language that will be most familiar with what is used in Mexico/U.S.?

birdie22- I was planning on being stationary but I guess I haven't really thought about that much now that you bring it up! Is it better to travel more? How did you handle expenses if you don't mind me asking? Also- when you went "on your own" did you use hostels/hotels or find a host family of sorts?

I have so many questions and now that I'm pretty sure this is something I'm definitely going to do, I don't even know where to start! It's almost as overwhelming as the job search was- probably much more fruitful :)


185 Posts

I really appreciate any help that you guys can give me- If you have some time would someone mind checking out these sites and letting me know what you think about these companies? Or let me know how I could take the information I know from these and create a trip on my own...

the only thing about finding a company like this is that it will be really expensive especially if I go on a 6 month trip. I guess I just wouldn't know what to do if I did the trip on my own and I think I would feel lost without some sort of "home base" out there or people to talk to about what's going on. Thanks again for all of your help and if anyone has any more advice feel free to PM me- or if you would prefer me to PM you just let me know.