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Toledo

St. Andrews in Spain: Un Viaje Especial

With the summer holiday just around the corner, many members of the St. Andrews International School Bangkok community are already yearning for quiet beaches or their distant homelands. Meanwhile, four ambitious and open-minded St. Andrews students have opted for a new and different type of learning adventure. Mirko (Y12), Karl Michael (Y9), Matthew (Y9), and Vince (Y8), have stepped up to the challenge of embarking on a four week immersion program in Spain, in search of language learning and cross-cultural experiences. Oh, yeah — and there’s the football.
Vince
I’m excited to learn more about how to adapt to other people and different surroundings. Vince

Classroom experiences have helped these four boys to study and practice Spanish language, and explore hispanic cultures for some time now, but at last they have a chance to take it to another level. This fully immersive programme in Illescas, Spain, is offered by holaspanishimmersion.com, and combines formal lessons, a sports programme, and leadership training that allows the students to open their minds and open doors for their future. Perhaps most importantly, the students will stay with a host family, where they will have rich opportunities to apply and build on what they’ve been learning in the classroom. “I already know how to ask questions for basic information or clarification, so I can take it from there,” said Matthew.

Spain 3
A different language is a different vision of life. Federico Fellini

Holaspanishimmersion.com (HSI) has much information on their website about their location, and some of the opportunities for fun activities that they have in their unique setting:

“HSI is based in the small town of Illescas, which is ideally situated halfway between the Spanish capital, Madrid, and the medieval city of Toledo. As it is only 22 miles from either location, students will have easy to access to a wide variety of cultural activities, from Madrid’s world-renowned art museums, to exploring Toledo’s rich history. Being based in a small town, rather than a city, means that our students will have a fully immersive cultural experience in a safe and friendly environment. Illescas itself has a rich cultural history that stretches back to pre-Roman times. Several paintings by the 16th century painter El Greco are displayed in the town church and the town also features in Cervantes’ famous novel, Don Quixote. Today, Illescas is a bustling, family-orientated place, with all the facilities that you’d expect to find in any modern town.”  - holaspanishimmersion.com website

The chance to pay a visit to massive football clubs such as Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid is also a special draw for the students. Indeed, talking about football in Spain can often serve as a great way to break the ice, and begin to communicate with people. “I’m a Barcelona fan, but I’m really looking forward to visiting the Madrid clubs.” smirked Karl Michael. Luckily, these students are well-versed in football banter that will help them to make those initial connections.

 

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

These boys and their teachers have invested many hours of work (and fun) in learning and living with Spanish. Those efforts are about to result in some huge dividends in the form of friendships and memories that could form a lasting, formative part of their life experience. We can follow along with daily reflections in English and Spanish on their blog, which will become active when the adventure begins in the coming weeks.

¡Buena suerte y buen viaje chicos!

 
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

Walker, there is no road,
the road is made by walking. Antonio Machado