A group of Year 11 Meriden language students spent the recent school holidays embracing the Spanish way of life during a two-week trip to Spain, where they immersed themselves in the vibrant language and culture.
The adventure commenced in the capital city of Madrid, where the students devoted a day to visiting iconic landmarks and exploring the city’s rich history. They then headed for Valladolid, where they were warmly welcomed by local families, who spent the next twelve days showing Meriden girls what daily life is like in Spain.
Every morning, the students participated in intensive Spanish lessons, providing them with an invaluable opportunity to sharpen their language skills. After their morning lessons, they returned to their Spanish homes for a traditional lunch, embracing the custom of enjoying a siesta. In the afternoons, the group participated in a wide array of cultural activities, including guided tours of the city and its renowned museums, dancing and cooking classes, and even experienced a live soccer game of the Spanish league.
Isabella Rajah Tapia and Zoe Horvat said staying with a local family provided a unique perspective of life in Spain.
“We were able to immerse ourselves in the Spanish culture – something I have always wanted to do. Our host families were eager to assist us in learning Spanish and promptly correct any mistakes we made. They also introduced us to traditional Spanish dishes, which were delicious!”, said Isabella.
“The local family I stayed with only spoke Spanish, so phrases such as ‘Can I help you?’ became a part of my everyday vocabulary. It was an unforgettable experience that extended my learning and provided me with a deep insight into the Spanish way of life”, said Zoe.
Meriden’s Head of Languages, Ms Teresa Alonso-Lasheras, said the experience significantly broadened the girls understanding of the Spanish language and culture.
“Students not only improved their language and intercultural understanding, they also gained independence and problem-solving skills. As the girls navigated the streets of Spanish cities, engaged in conversations with locals, and experienced the customs and traditions of the country, the students absorbed the language and the essence of life in Spain,” she said.
In addition to their time in Madrid and Valladolid, the group embarked on day trips to other picturesque cities like Salamanca and Segovia, further enriching their knowledge of Spanish history, architecture and culture.
Thank you to Ms Teresa Alonso-Lasheras and Miss Charlotte Richards who accompanied the girls for this experience.