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South students sí Spanish culture

Posted By Denebola On March 19, 2008 @ 7:25 pm In Features | Comments Disabled

By Estie Martin

Twenty-one students from the Colegio de Jesus y Maria in Valladolid, Spain came to Newton South to experience American culture from late October to mid-November. This past February, 13 Newton South students explored Spain through both their own eyes and the eyes of native citizens on South’s first ever exchange program to Spain.
Accompanied by Spanish teachers Jill Christensen and Kara Sargent, seven sophomores, five juniors and one senior stayed in Madrid for the first few days, visiting historical landmarks and museums such as El Prado.
The highlight of the trip for almost all of the participants was their stay in Valladolid for two and a half weeks. Located about two and a half hours north of Madrid, Valladolid is the capital of the province Castilla y Leon, and “is much more similar to Boston than it is to Newton, sophomore Gil Metser said.
The students stayed in their exchange partners’ apartments in the center of the city. They attended El Colegio de Jesus y Maria, a private school which required its students to recite the “Our Father prayer each morning. “They were a lot more informal with their teachers. They called them all by their first names, Metser said of the Spanish students.
Students at El Colegio de Jesus y Maria have the choice of taking either history and language classes or science classes, while they are required to take religion and English classes.
The American students attended these classes most days, and helped out in English for seventh to twelfth graders. The English teachers there “spoke to us in Spanish and had terrible English. They used words that no one uses in real life, junior Dani Pensack said. During their English classes, the kids split into groups of four or five to ask each other questions.
Sophomore Lucas Voss-Kernan described the Spanish kids as being “more interested in our social lives than anything else. Almost all of the kids had never left Spain, and most were from very similar backgrounds.
In addition to attending school, the participants of the exchange traveled all around the province of Castilla y Leon to cities such as Salamanca, Toledo, Avila, and Segovia.
The students also visited the wine vineyard of Arzuaga and came into contact with hundreds of deer and wild boars. Many students considered this another highlight of the trip.
One of the biggest differences South students noticed between South and El Colegio was the number of extracurricular activities available.
The school had no sports teams, and only a few of the kids participated in sports or other extra-curricular activities outside of school. Because colleges in Spain only look at exam scores, there is much less competition in schools.
All in all, the trip was a success. “I made so many friends that I know I’ll have forever, sophomore Rebecca Robinson said. “I want to go back this summer!
The grade below at El Colegio has already received pamphlets about next year’s exchange, which will hopefully be continued in years to come.

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Article printed from Denebola: http://www.denebolaonline.net

URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/03/19/south-students-si-spanish-culture/

URLs in this post:

[1] Theft sends Spanish student back: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/theft-sends-spanish-student-back/

[2] South heads to Spain: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/09/23/south-heads-to-spain/

[3] Letters from Jingshan: A South senior and her overseas journey to Beijing: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/12/17/letters-from-jingshan-a-south-senior-and-her-overseas-journey-to-beijing/

[4] South speaks: Spanish: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/south-speaks-spanish/

[5] Student recounts February trip to Peru: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/student-recounts-february-trip-to-peru/

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