14 June 2017
From Valerie Mangini:
I was honoured to have participated in the recent Spain Study Tour held by School of Languages as an accompanying teacher.
The tour is an intensive 3-week Language and Culture In-country Experience. It is designed for South Australian secondary students of Spanish looking to increase their proficiency in Spanish language and culture.
One of our own Open Access College students was on the tour and here is a recount of her experience:
From OAC student, Isabella:
During the April school holidays, I had the opportunity (alongside 10 other Spanish students from South Australia) to travel to Spain on a study tour through the School of Languages. It is an understatement to say that I thoroughly loved the trip to Spain. Coming in I did not know anyone, but I left being able to call my fellow travellers family. That is something that doesn’t happen every day.
Prior to arriving in Spain, I believed that I had a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the Spanish language. This was not the case. Studying in both Salamanca and Granada, as well as communicating with the locals and other students whose common language was Spanish allowed me to break through a language barrier that I never knew existed. My understanding of not only the Spanish language but also the Spanish culture now is far beyond what I anticipated I would learn in a mere three weeks.
The Spanish people were so welcoming and friendly and I couldn’t have asked for better homestay families. I am still in communication with one of my host parents. I enjoyed the afternoon cultural activities and the weekend trips, as well as the free afternoons where I was able to explore the cities beyond the ‘tourist areas’.
The two trips that I enjoyed the most were the weekend in Sevilla and the tours through La Alhambra. It was in Sevilla that I was able to experience several parts of Spanish culture and history through seeing the Plaza de Toros, Torre de Oro, Parque de María Luisa, Real Alcázar de Sevilla and many other historical landmarks. In going to La Alhambra I was able to experience and learn more about the Arabic influence on Spain and the Arabic culture in general. My favourite section of La Alhambra was Torre de la Vela.
I have made friends through this experience, that I may not see often, but I know that anytime I see them we will be able to reflect on our time in Spain and talk about our new experiences. I also have made friends in Spain. I know I will be able to contact them whenever I am in or around Spain.
Being able to study and travel at the same time at such a young age is one of the best opportunities that I have ever taken part in and I would do absolutely anything to go back and do it all again. I strongly encourage anyone with the slightest interest in studying languages into the future to apply for opportunities like this, you will never know how much it can change your outlook on life.
Plans for the 2018 Study Tour are currently underway. For further information please contact the School of Languages Study Tours Coordinator, Ben Anderson [email protected]