Nine Campion students and recent alumni spent over six weeks studying the language and culture of Spain in the Adventist Colleges Abroad program in Sagunto.
The students completed six semester hours of college-level/dual credit Spanish classes on campus. While at first many of the students found the full-immersion in Spanish challenging, they commented on the positivity and energy of the teachers. “I enjoyed how the teachers were so fun and relaxed most of the time and talked about things like food and the culture there,” reflected Carla R.
Sandra A. agreed saying, “I found it valuable that the teachers were understanding and would either talk slower or would help us try to find the translation. Also I just enjoyed how the teachers included humor in their teaching. The teachers, staff, and monitors always were able to find a way to make learning Spanish fun.”
In addition to the classes, a major part of the program is touring the country. The students had the opportunity to visit the major cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, as well as historic towns and local beach cities. Faith E. expressed, “I loved traveling everywhere throughout Spain, but I’d have to say my favorite was Madrid. I loved seeing the European architecture and the food.”
Living and learning in another country came with its challenges, such as the record-breaking temperatures experienced across Europe this summer. Carla explained, “For me the biggest challenge was definitely the heat since we didn’t have air conditioning.”
Thankfully, afternoon trips to the local beaches were frequent, and the students could spend hours swimming and relaxing in the warm waters of the Mediterranean sea.
Unfortunately, the trip ended with headaches over international travel. Due to an airline strike, most of the Campion group was affected by flight cancellations and couldn’t be rebooked for several days, in an unanticipated extension of the trip.
Ultimately, the summer created not only life-long positive memories for the students, but also opportunities for personal growth. Caleb G reflected, “Overall, what I learned from the experience this summer was that I need to be a lot more chill with life and I need to stop worrying so much about everything. It helped me to learn to exercise more patience and to just roll with everything that was happening.”
As a chaperone on the trip, it was an absolute pleasure to lead this group of students. Several teachers commented to me on our students' consistently strong academic achievement, noting how they always had their homework done on time, were prepared for tests, and never complained. More so than other students in the program, our Campion students consistently participated in the spiritual life activities on campus, including leading out in morning worship talks and joining with the praise team for vespers and church. I am so proud of our Campion students and all they learned and achieved!
Jill Harlow, Spanish Teacher