Culture and Language Tour to Spain

July 28, 2016 at 10:39 AM

With thanks to Spanish teacher, Mrs Merxte Martinez

During the July holidays, 27 students accompanied by four teachers travelled to Spain to immerse themselves in the culture and the language of the country.

For many of the students, the trip was a long-awaited dream come true, as they had been studying the language for nearly five years. Finally, they were able to travel to Spain and experience first-hand the culture of the country they had read so much about and put their language learning to the test.

Barcelona was our first destination where we began each day with guided tours of the city,  such as the beautiful Gothic and Borne districts. In the following days, we experienced the incredible architecture of the talented Antoni Gaudi while visiting La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Casa Batllo, as well as spending an afternoon on a scenic bike ride and enjoying a team treasure hunt in the city. The Barcelona Aquarium was the final visit before heading off on a 6-hour train ride to Granada in the south of Spain.

Granada was the first city where the students were placed in homestays for seven nights. The warmth and friendliness of the people made it easy for all the students to feel part of the families. Throughout the week in Granada, the students also took daily lessons at a Spanish language school which greatly helped them improve their Spanish language and conversational skills.  Most students would agree that the highlight of their stay in Granada was the visit to the Alhambra, an old Moorish palace and fortress atop a hill overlooking the city, reminding us that the Moors had once reigned the city for 700 years.  To complete our stay in Granada, we went on a tramp through the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada mountains which contains the highest point of continental Spain at 3478 metres above sea level.

We were extremely lucky to have local Spanish guides in every city we visited which allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the long history and the cultural aspects of each place. Despite the incredibly high temperatures of 45degrees Celsius most afternoons, the guides were able to bring to life many of the historical moments that had taken place in the amazing palaces, cathedrals and streets we visited.

We visited a total of five cities in the south of Spain, Granada, Nerja, Cordoba, Sevilla and Cadiz, while also spending five nights in Barcelona as our starting and finishing point. The opportunity of being totally immersed in the everyday life of the families and other places we stayed has certainly changed the way the students see their own country, their traditions as well as their place in this constantly changing world we live in. We will be forever grateful for the hospitality and warmth of everybody we encountered and hope that for many of these students, this trip will become the beginning of many more life adventures.


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