Spanish Students Immerse Themselves in Spain

10092015_Zaragoza_Spain_blogZaragoza, Spain
Photo courtesy of Beth Miller

Over the summer, many Upper School Spanish students devoted time to brushing up their language skills in Spain. In Granada, Sevilla, Cádiz, and Zaragoza, to be exact. Though they did not formally travel with the School, all spent time learning the language and culture of the country to enrich their St. Anne’s-Belfield School classroom experiences.

“I studied at the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy in Granada, Spain,” said John Leiner ’16. “For a month I lived at the Colegio Ave María Casa Madre, a Catholic boarding school, which is situated 200 yards north of the Alhambra.”

For Leiner, who along with other students pledged to speak only Spanish during the program, days consisted of classes, touring the local landmarks, and exploring the town with friends. Weekend trips to Nerja and Marbella offered glimpses of life in other cities.

Holland Edmonds ’17 participated in a homestay with a local family in Sevilla, and enjoyed the opportunity to experience life with a local guide.

“Sometimes the sixteen-year-old in our homestay, Paola, would show us around some of her favorite places,” she said. “When we were with Paola we got to meet and hang out with some of her friends, which was both fun and really interesting.”

Justin Tennery ’16 and Woods Gibbons ’16 traveled to Cádiz for a two-week immersion course with Centro Mundo Lengua. For Tennery, it was a journey that led to great personal growth.

“My trip to Spain pushed me outside of my comfort zone, encouraged me to interact with people from different cultures, and forced me to become more independent,” he said.

Ev Chapman ’17 studied in Zaragoza for five weeks, and was able to undertake classes in cooking and dancing as well as Spanish language. Extended trips to Madrid, Barcelona, and the beaches of Costa Brava were highlights, but it was the people she met that will remain foremost in her memory.

“The small details and things that I learned in my classes aren’t what are memorable to me; what I’ll remember forever is the people I met and the fun I had,” she said. “I made lifelong friends and now I have a second family in Spain!”

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Basilica del Pilar, Zaragoza, Spain
Photo courtesy of Ev Chapman ’17

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