ULM students traveled to Spain this summer accompanied by
Christian Rubio, assistant professor, and Bryan Butler, instructor,
in the foreign languages department.
On June 8, twenty students departed from various parts
of the United States for Spain. After a long journey, students
were placed with families throughout Madrid. They attended
classes at Enforex, the major Spanish language institute
which offers instruction to students throughout the world.
Students were immersed in the language and were able to work
on their communication skills, putting into practice what
they learned in the classroom. They had a great opportunity
to listen to native speakers; according to Nicole Morgan
of Bastrop, “I liked the teachers at Enforex.”
In Madrid, students were able to visit different places,
including El Museo del Prado. Andrea Rawls of Bastrop said, “I
really liked El Prado, the paintings were fantastic.” They
also visited the Royal Palace, and many of the students were
impressed by its magnificent architecture.
Others took advantage of the proximity of other cities and
went to Segovia, a city outside of Madrid named a Cultural
Heritage Site by the United Nations. Jennifer Price of West
Monroe said that Segovia was one of the highlights of her
visit in Spain. She also said that she truly enjoyed the
visit to the Alcazar (a castle made to defend the city);
the Cathedral of Segovia, one of the few gothic churches
left in the world; and the Roman Aqueduct.
On June 16, the group departed for Barcelona for the second
week of the trip. In contrast to Madrid, Barcelona is a more
European city. It hosted the Olympics in 1992, and one can
see the modern buildings along with the well-known modernist
architecture by Antonio Gaudi.
The students took a walking city tour, arranged by Enforex,
and they visited the Gothic town of Barcelona. Some of the
students were able to see the Parc Guell, a place resplendent
with modern art, including its benches. Lydia Head of Tioga
stated that it was her favorite part of Barcelona. Many of
the ULM students also visited the beaches. Kendell Harris
of Monroe said that it was a privilege to say that he swam
in the Mediterranean Sea.
On June 23 the group took a trip to Andorra, a European
independent state. The drive took them through impressive
sights, capped by a beautiful view of the Pyrenees, where
Andorra is located. The students were able to shop in various
places before returning to Barcelona. That night, the city
celebrated the day of San Juan, a celebration that many
people call “the
longest night in Barcelona.” There were fireworks throughout
the night, and some students went to the beach, where the
main celebration took place.
ULM students departed for the United States on June 24.
Some were looking forward to seeing their loved ones, while
others wanted to stay longer. Kanna Shepherd of Lake Providence
said, “I wish I had more time there, but I definitely
want to go back one day.” Others, such as Becky Buchannan
of Roll, Ariz., said they want to experience more and have
inquired about opportunities to teach English in Spain, a
program sponsored by the Department of Education of Spain.
As Christa Wade of Farmerville concluded, ”My experiences
with the Study Abroad program have been invaluable to my
education…I feel that studying abroad allows you to
experience the culture of the country and interact with the
people on a more personal level. I was fortunate enough to
complete the Culture and Civilization of Spain course at
ULM before going to Spain…Being able to visit places
and see things that I had studied about helped to reinforce
and enhance what I learned in class. Reading about and seeing
a copy of a certain work of art allowed me to draw a picture
in my head of what I thought it would look like, but it did
not compare with seeing it in person and experiencing the
textures and vibrant colors, as well as the sheer size of
some of the paintings.”