Daily Life– Tales from Abroad
School (Granada, Spain)
While in Granada, we attended the University of Granada in order to study Spanish in intensive language courses. In class, the teachers discouraged us from speaking in English, so that even when we were not specifically learning, we were always practicing Spanish.
When comparing school in Granada to school in the US, there are more differences than similarities. First, we only go to school here for 4 hours and study one subject, Spanish. Back home, we attend school for about 8 hours and study a variety of subjects. Another large difference is in the US, the amounts of technology in schools vary, but it is definitely more technologically advanced than here.
One similarity to school in the US is that we still got homework here and still had to take a final exam at the end of the class. Overall, I personally really enjoyed attending school in Spain, and I feel like I truly improved my Spanish. This trip has inspired me to [want to] study abroad again. – Nicole Weaving
Market (Sorrento, Italy)
Getting out of the classroom is always a fun way to learn. As a group, we went to the local market to help practice our Italian. At the market we spoke to the booth workers, asking them how much various items cost. Being in this situation was a great and fun way to practice our Italian.
Our teacher has been teaching us to speak Italian for a week and a half now. Although we were confident about speaking it in the classroom, putting it to the test in real life situations is always scary. However, we were prepared enough from our lessons to hold a conversation with Sorrento natives at the market. We went around asking the cost of items, the hours the market was open, and how many days a week it was open.
Overall, it was the perfect experience to be able to put our knowledge of the Italian language to the test. – Morgan Rogers
Kayaking (Sevilla, Spain)
Kayaking on the Guadalquivir River was an overall fun experience. When we got to the starting point, we split up intopairs of two and chose our kayaks. After putting our lifejackets on and listening to the instructions on how to use the paddles, we set off into the river on our kayaks. Through this kayaking experience, we got to tour the city of Seville from the water. We passed many viewpoints such as the Triana Bridge and Los Remedios Bridge and saw the beautiful buildings that line the river. During the tour, the pairs of kayakers raced each other to see who was the fastest and were splashed with a water gun thanks to Jose (one of the directors).
After reaching a certain point in the tour, we turned around and started to play a few games. We lined up our kayaks to make a huge raft and picked two people from opposite ends to stand up and run across all the kayaks to sit in the other persons spot. During this game, multiple people fell into the water and flipped their kayaks. After the games, we headed back to the starting point. Jose and one of the tour guides gave many people rides by holding onto our kayaks while they sped off in their motor boat. Unfortunately, the water spewing up from the motor boat got into the kayaks and made them sink.
After the tour was over and our arms were hurting from the constant paddling, we docked our kayaks so the next group could use them. We learned that kayaking is not as easy as it looks and takes a lot of arm muscle. – Morgan Marrs, Jessica Shonbeck
Cooking Class (Aix-en-Provence, France)
In this program in Aix, we’ve done many group activities throughout the weeks. From zip lining to everyday lunch, everything we’ve done has brought us closer as friends. One activity that stands out was our cooking class at the home of an IAU professor. After preparing a beautiful dinner, we all sat down and ate together. I really enjoyed the atmosphere we created, and realizing that I had made life-long friends. – Georgia Brabec
Living in Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain)
Our trip to Spain has been pretty fun. Our favorite part so far has been living in Salamanca for 3 weeks. The food is here very good and there are lots of things to do in the city. Meeting new people has been an adventure for us .Living with our host families has been an adventure, our host families are very nice to us and living with them is very different than home. Getting to know locals has made the city easier to navigate and more fun. It’s challenging having to speak Spanish all day since it’s not our native language, but it has made our Spanish better. – Kevin Prophet, Nicholas Karl, Raymond Lewis
– The above post was contributed by students who studied abroad in various ISA High School locations in 2015 including Salamanca, Granada and Sevilla, Spain; Aix-en Provence, France; and Sorrento, Italy. In addition to taking classes while abroad, students participate on a variety of cultural activities to help them become more acquainted with their host country, language, and culture.