/Summer Spain program set for May

Summer Spain program set for May

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Grishma Rimal
Staff Writer

The historical city of Granada, Spain is set to host 12 Troy students this summer as the university’s study abroad program gears up for yet another excursion to Europe.
The three-week program will begin May 12 and end June 3. Students can earn anywhere from three to six credits registering for SPN 3350, Spanish Culture on Location I and/or SPN 3357, Spanish Culture on Location II.
According to Orlando Pacheco, Troy University’s director of study abroad programs who will also be leading the travelling group himself, the city was chosen because of its historical and cultural richness.
“Granada is a bridge between two civilizations– the European and the Arabic,” he said. “It has a lot of Moorish culture and shows the Islamic influence in Spain. So students get an extra flavor, not just that of Spanish.”
The students will be living with host families who will also provide their meals. Pacheco added that home stays will enrich their experience as compared to living in a hotel because of how heavily they will be immersed in the city and interacting with the natives.
“I’m most looking forward to getting the exposure of another country and being outside of America since I have never left the States before,” said Savannah Hill, a psychology major from Eva, who is attending the trip. Hill also hopes to improve her language skills and mainly develop as an individual by exposing herself to newer things.
Hill, who is also a Spanish minor, says that she chose the program because of her familiarity with the language and the friends she has living in Spain.
The tentative itinerary also includes visits to cities like Seville and Cordoba and notable places such as the Cathedral of Granada, the fortress palace of Alhambra and Sacromonte Abbey where they can view the relics of St. James.
In addition to these visits, Pacheco has also planned a city-wide gymkhana –a race around the city to achieve the fastest time by memorizing the routes– during their first week. “This will help them to learn about the city and the sooner they get acquainted to the place, the better,” he said.
The schedule also includes a free weekend for the attendees to travel on their own, a Flamenco show and if time allows, traditional bullfights.
The students will be taking Spanish classes at an institute on the weekdays to work on their language skills.  On arrival, they will take a Spanish placement test and depending on their proficiency, they will be put in corresponding levels of classes. Pacheco, in fact, recommends that students with little fluency in Spanish apply as he believes that beginners will have a better learning experience studying in an environment where they will be compelled to work on their foreign dialect.
The cost of the trip has been estimated to a total of $2,610 including room, board, excursions and airfare. However, the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness can provide a $750 subsidy, reducing the total cost to $1,860. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is March 15.
Destiny Allen, a sophomore biomedical sciences major from Sylacuga. Another attendee believes that the experience of living and learning in a different environment will be beneficial for her and help her assist in making connections with new people. “I know I will take so many experiences and memory,” Allen said. “I know I will be more independent.”
Students interested in the program may contact Orlando Pacheco in his office at Bibbs Grave 114.