Bienvenidos: Students travel to Spain over break

Valerie Velazquez

A group of 14 students traveled through multiple cities in Spain during spring break to experience the culture and advance their Spanish skills.
The group started their trip in Ronda and ended in Madrid, stopping and sightseeing in Cadiz, Seville and Toledo.
Each student was hosted by two families during their stay. With these families, the students had the opportunity to practice their Spanish and integrate themselves into Spanish culture. Hannah Mittleman ’20 said that at dinner, she had long conversations with her host families where she practiced her grammar and verb tenses.
“It was kind of scary at first, but then we started talking and I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, and I’m glad that I got to talk to them because it let me see how people actually live and not just in a textbook,” Mittleman said.
According to upper school Spanish teacher and chaperone Javier Zaragoza, the purpose of host families is to expose students to Spanish life and keep the students safe.
During the week, the students attended Spanish institutes where they could improve their skills and practice grammar. When the group was not in class or participating in activities, scavenger hunts and sightseeing, they were given free time to explore the cities they were in.
“They learn how to travel,” said chaperone Nathaly Blanco. “They learn the culture, they learn the language. They get to interact with different people at the school and with their family, and they get to learn how to be independent.”
Students on the trip said they were grateful for the experience.
“You make friends with the people who are there, you learn a ton of Spanish, you get to eat cool food and you get to go to the beaches that are very pretty,” Mittleman said.