Excitement was in the air as twelve Campion students arrived in Spain after spending most of the past school year preparing for the trip by saving their money, working extra jobs, and completing lengthy applications. The students flew into Valencia on the Eastern coast of Spain and then traveled 30 miles north to the ancient city of Sagunto where they will be spending the next six weeks studying Spanish at the Adventist Colleges Abroad institution, Escuela Superior de Español de Sagunto (ESDES).
“You get to be around a lot of Spanish-speaking people and you get to really get into the language,” said Jessica D, incoming junior at Campion. “All of the teachers and monitors just speak in Spanish, so without even realizing it, you are being absorbed in the language, and you get all these new words in your brain, even if you don’t really know what they all mean. It makes me think, I could really get into this and learn the language!”
Around 70 students total are in the summer program from different Adventist universities and a few academies, with Campion having the largest group from any one school. On the first day, students had an orientation and took a Spanish placement test. In the afternoon, they visited the beach in Sagunto. The town is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and the water is warm and calm which makes it ideal for swimming. “My favorite part about being here so far, is going to the beach and meeting lots of new people,” said Megan M.
The typical day includes classes in the morning and either a trip to the beach or a selection of cultural workshops in the afternoon. An important aspect of the program are the monitors, or student workers, who plan fun activities and interact with the American students throughout the day in Spanish. Delanie K. commented, “I appreciate that the monitors take us in as their own and they welcome us to their school as their friends. They don’t make it seem like there is a language barrier because they are just so kind to us.”
The program is also full of excursions to various tourist locations nearby. In the first week, students spent a day touring Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, which is only about 30 minutes from the school. Valencia has beautiful architectural sites in the center of the old city, as well as a very modern arts and science district.
The next trip was a tour of the ancient castle in the local town of Sagunto, parts of which were built during the Roman empire nearly two thousand years ago. “My favorite part of this trip is experiencing a new culture and being exposed to a different side of the world,” concluded Delanie K.
The students in Spain have many more adventures to come, so watch for some of our highlights on Campion’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Article by Jill Harlow