From touring Madrid and Toledo to visiting a local school to spending the day in the mountains in Buitrago de Lozaya, no two days were alike for our 12 students who traveled to Spain in June. But the true highlight of the 10-day trip was the time they spent bonding with their host families.
"A major highlight on our trip was the time that our students got to spend with their host families and Spanish friends," said Spanish teacher Erica Roth, who co-chaperoned the trip with Upper School teacher Emily Falk. "I think many of the students formed life-long friendships with their Spanish host students, and many have discussed going back to visit in the future."
Outside of exploring the Spanish countryside and attractions, students spent afternoons and weekends with their host families learning about it means to be a Spanish teenager today. For many, that equated to eating tapas in the center of Madrid, relaxing at the pool, visiting their school, and sharing music, stories, and conversations. Students also participated in fun outdoor activities such as obstacle courses and bubble soccer.
The trip served as the second half of the School's Spanish-Exchange program for the year, which welcomed 12 students from Colegio Árula for an 11-day visit to St. Anne's-Belfield in September 2017.
"The exchange program was a great way for students to learn about the many similarities between life in Charlottesville and life in a small town in Spain," noted Roth. "Students also experienced cultural differences, and spent time discussing similarities and differences between their lives and those of their host students. The program provided a true global connection that allowed students to live first-hand our shared human experience."
The trip was made possible through a partnership with WorldStrides, and travel scholarships were funded through the School's Brownfield Fund for International Studies.