by Pascaline Comas –
Park Güell, Sagrada Família, Flamenco Dance Class, and Cathedral of Seville are some of the places and experiences that 59 Sleepy Hollow High School students had the opportunity to enjoy during a nine-day cultural and linguistic trip to Spain from March 27th to April 5th.
Starting with three days in Barcelona, the group moved to Seville for two days before going to Madrid through Toledo, Spain’s medieval capital. Once in Madrid, the students enjoyed two short visits to Escorial and Segovia before heading back home.
“It was really amazing to see places and different cultures that we’ve been studying for so many years, and being able to see them in person was just really exciting,” said Eliza Sandler, 17.
“The lifestyle is very different. I feel like everyone’s just more relaxed; they walk slower. It’s not as busy as it is here,” said Julia Friedman, 16.
The journey was a unique and unforgettable experience for the students who went on the trip.
“I thought the architecture was very different, and I thought it was really rewarding to go. We’ve been studying Spanish for so long that when we finally got to speak the language in cities like Seville and Barcelona, it’s very rewarding,” said Mark Scaglione, 18.
“There are two ways to learn the language, and one of them is repetition, which we take care of in the classroom. The other one is actually to get to experience the language, and that’s what this trip does for our students,” said Edual Collado, the Spanish teacher for 21 years at Sleepy Hollow High School who was in charge of the trip.
“We are in an environment where the locals didn’t speak English, so we were forced to use our Spanish,” Scaglione said.
Not only did they practice their language skills, but students lived an open-minded cultural immersion as well.
“I think it was very eye-opening, because what we learned in the classroom, it’s limited in some ways. So, to be able to actually travel to Spain and interact with people there, it just kind of opened up our eyes to the rest of the world,” Sandler said.
It was a success for teachers since the spirit of this trip was “to get a different experience that is not an American one,” said Collado. “This was a really unique year because we had 59 students. That was the most ever; I usually take no more than 35.”