Donna, Ben and Emma Stein have recently returned from a 10-day expedition to Andalucia, Spain. Reflecting on their trip and favorite memories and pictures they share their adventure below. Also click over to Facebook to see more photos of their trip.
Interested in traveling with us to Spain this summer and working on your language fluency? It’s not too late! A limited number of spots remain! Please call 800-939-9839 to discuss the trip!
First, the Top 7 Things to Bring with You to Spain
1. An Appetite
2. A willingness to use a lisp when speaking Spanish (that tricky Theta!)
3. Patience (it’s a slower pace)
4. A desire to take mid-day naps
5. Dancing shoes (Flamenco!)
6. Ibuprofen for your strained sight seeing neck.
7. A handkerchief for when you’ll have to leave!
Hola! Amazing how quickly our spanish has improved in just the 10 days we have been immersed in Andalucia. A magical place, full of culture, amazing food, siestas (seriously don’t try to buy anything from 2pm-6pm!), and all those little moments that combine to be the reason why we continue to travel, seeking out adventure, new places and revisiting our favorites.
We arrived and began our exploration at our Spanish Language School in Sevilla, reconnecting with our teachers and the many people that contribute to bringing the work we will do in the classroom to life. We had the opportunity to visit the families students will be sharing their homes with, sharing stories, good strong coffee, and student profiles. Frankly, we couldn’t be more excited. Staying with Spanish-speaking families in groups of 4 students means the cultural immersion of this program will is incomparable. With a very integrated approach to language learning, we combine classroom instruction with real life fun, taking our learning into the cobblestone streets of Sevilla each day while also creating podcasts for posting to friends and family, working towards our International Association of Language Centers (IALC) accredited language certification, all the while bringing fluency within our reach.
Following the itinerary our students will follow this summer, from the storied streets of Seville, we traveled to one of the most unique opportunities of our program – the beach! This summer, we make our home on the sandy surf (or the magnificent pool to escape the mid-day heat) to continue our Spanish language immersion and enjoy ourselves on the wide pristine beach, famous for its water sports, including surfing and windsurfing. We take full advantage of our time here, having our instructors with us, continuing our language classes each day, but in a new context surrounded by the tranquility of this gem by the sea.
For this summer and during our trip, day trips abound! None more storied than Morocco where we see cultures meld together in the port city of Tangier. We visit the famous Alhambra, a storied 14th century palace constructed by Berber rulers and a UNESCO World Heritage site! The Alhambra is a magnificient sanctuary just outside of Granada and we are thrilled to share it with our students this summer.
One of the major surprises of our scouting trip was rounding the corner along the southern coastline to see the monumental Rock of Gibraltar jutting out quite dramatically. We’d always known about “The Rock”, especially in the context of its contested ownership and ancient sea travel, but we’d never been able to visit. So we seized the opportunity and got out our passports. We crossed into the British Overseas Territory, a tiny place at only 2.6 square miles. Gibraltar is a fascinating because it stands at the intersection of Britain, Spain and North Africa and the people (current population 30,000) personify this mixture by speaking a combination of English and Spanish that we found completely befuddling. It will be interesting to see what happens to Gibraltar in the coming years as many in Spain would like to see it return to Spanish control. Also a little known fact, Gibraltar is home to the only free-living primates in Europe, so we took the time to visit with them as well, naturally right?
Fantastic beyond words, and as diverse as we could imagine, we loved traveling in the steps that our own students will tread this summer. With its solid rooting in formal language certification and cultural immersion, Andalucia Mia will be a memorable experience for all of our participants. If you’re interested in signing up for this one-of-a-kind language learning experience abroad in Spain, click here!