Faculty Interview: Spanish Immersion Program
Euroace creates various types of custom programs throughout the entire year for student groups. We interviewed one of the teachers from a week-long program to find out more about her experience with her students in Valencia.
Paz is a Spanish teacher at a high school in Italy who came to Valencia with her students for a Spanish Immersion and Culture Program. Here’s what she had to say about his time in Valencia with Euroace!
1. Why did you choose Valencia as a destination for your Custom Program?
Valencia is my hometown and so when I was living in Italy teaching Spanish at a Secondary School, my first option when organizing a trip to Spain was Valencia! Valencia is a medium-sized, lively city. It’s easy to stroll and/or bike around, with many cultural activities/places to visit and great weather all year round.
2. What did your Custom Program entail?
The program was tailor made! Being a local, I knew exactly what I wanted my students to experience and the Euroace staff were very kind to fulfill every single thing on my list.
The activities we did in order to give the students a full experience with the Spanish culture were: a cooking course (paella), a guided visit to the city centre, a bike tour on the old river bed (from the city centre to the beach, stopping at the main sights and Gulliver’s park), a visit to the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, one day spent at a school, and beach games.
3. Describe a typical day for your students during their study abroad program.
We would wake up and go down for breakfast, where someone from Euroace was waiting for us to start with a short briefing so students knew what was ahead of them. Due to the age of our students, there was always a member of staff coming along for every visit, leading the way to whichever activity was scheduled.
For lunch we would either go back to the hostel or take a picnic with us, depending on the program for the day. Students were able to enjoy some free time and relax a bit. In the afternoon we would take part in an activity and then finish back at the hostel for a lovely dinner. Normally, we would go for a stroll in the city centre before bed time, since the location couldn’t be better.
4.What extra activities or trips did your students partake in during their program?
We only spent four days in the city so we didn’t have the chance to go on any trips outside of the city. I was more interested in them experiencing and being in contact with the people and culture of the country, so Euroace made sure that was always available to us.
5. What activities did the students take part in where they could interact with local people or other international students?
Students were able to interact with local people all day long since the cooking lesson they attended was held in Spanish, the school they spent time at had organised different activities where my students mingled with Spanish school students, guided visits were done in Spanish with a native speaker and some activities required the students to interact with locals (asking questions, finding information), and also shopping (for clothes,snacks, drinks etc.)
6. What were the advantages of taking your students on a study abroad program with Euroace?
There are so many advantages for students. As I mentioned, we came for a short trip therefore the advantages weren’t at the linguistic level, although some of them felt encouraged and more confident to talk to strangers at the end of the trip, especially when among young people.
The main advantage of the trip was that they were able to experience the Spanish culture first hand. They could try the traditional food and drink (paella, horchata, fartons, chocolate con churros, jamón etc.), they were able to gain independence using public transportation, open their minds to new rules and ways of living, and learn how to be responsible in a new environment (traveling in a group you need to take into account other people’s points of view, etc.)
7. What were the students favorite parts of the program?
Our students loved the whole experience, most of them really enjoyed the day spent at a school mingling with other teenagers. They also liked the bike ride visiting some sights and they were very keen on cooking and eating all together traditional dishes!
8. Is there any advice you’d give to other staff leaders before embarking on a Custom Program to Valencia?
I would tell anyone thinking about taking students or embarking on a Custom Program themselves to go to Valencia! There is usually a lot of paper work involved and it requires laborious preparation, however it is absolutely worth it. It’s one of those memories that will last for a lifetime, for the students and yourself! And if there is any doubt, question or uncertainty about the trip, let the experts give you advice and suggest the best options for you. I am glad to recommend the Euroace staff, they are very friendly and professional and will make sure your stay will be a memorable one!
If you are interested in learning more about custom programs, you can find more information here.