Study abroad program held in Spain

Carmen Ulloa

The town of Santander will host Saddleback students who wish to participate in this summer’s session as part of the Study Abroad program.

Santander, the capital city of Cantabria, is located on the northern coast of Spain, between Asturias and the Basque Country overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. According to Santanderspain.com, a travel guide webpage for the city, quiet Santander is surrounded by amazing scenery and lined by 11 sandy and extremely clean beaches where you can catch some sunrays or relax on their crystal clear waters. The site contains detailed information on things to do in Santander. Suiting every taste, the city has a a wide range of leisure activities such as museums , parks ,theatres , excursions and sports .

Carmenmara Hernadez-Bravo, Spanish instructor and chair of Spanish language department and cross-cultural studies, is in charge of this program that offers a rich cultural experience.

According to Hernandez-Bravo, the Study Abroad program is designed for students of all backgrounds, ages, and majors. Regardless of their proficiency level, learners are encouraged to continue with their studies and improve their speaking abilities.

While there is no GPA requirement, students must enroll in the summer Spanish classes in order to apply for the program and get their transferable credit units.

A preliminary workshop was held on Thursday, Feb. 24, to inform those who wish to join.

The learning experience will not be limited to a classroom, Hernandez said, as the idea is to immerse Spanish learners into the culture.

She also explained that the program is hands-on. Students will be exposed to different everyday situations, conversations and contexts. This type of exposure is ideal for developing communication skills, confidence and understanding of the Spanish language and culture.

Local families will accommodate students by providing meals and laundry service once a week. Travelers should go to Spain with an open mind, willing to adapt to a different lifestyle. Tolerance and patience are important. People tend to be warm in their socialization and they express concern and friendship openly. Their manners could be interpreted as intrusive while their intentions are just to be hospitable. Details of this sort are provided by the Study Abroad program in a booklet that contains all information needed, as well as program applications.

The summer in Santander will take place from July 1 to August 1. Summers in southern Europe are known for their high temperatures and heat, which makes Santander an ideal destination. Hernandez said that the city never gets too hot or too cold, making it comfortable for tourists.

Hernandez-Bravo warned the potential travelleras that Spain is famous for its loud people. Walking long distances, eating out, drinking wine, having “tapas” or just coffee are regular activities for the Spanish. She recommended not taking laptops, since Wi-Fi is not a common commodity at public places.

Traveling around Europe is an option for those who wish to do so after the summer program. Portugal and France are neighboring countries and all means of transportation are available for tourists. When visiting other countries within the European community, issuing visas might be necessary in some cases prior to traveling and passports must be taken at all times.

Scholarships are available for students who wish to apply. For further information on deadlines, forms, classes and more contact Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo (949) 582-4362 or email chernandezb@saddleback.edu.

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