By Theresa Tudisco
On July 2 to the 28th, students and faculty with the study abroad program will leave JFK airport and head to Madrid. Students will earn 6 credits for participating in the program. Each student will have someone of their age, from the university to show them around the campus. The trip will cost $2,725 plus a $200 application fee. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase their own plane tickets. The university has a gym, pool, tennis court, soccer field and basketball courts on campus. These activities give the new students plenty of time for them to bond with the students of Santiago.
After attending the first of two meetings before the trip, all the students agreed that they are going to experience traveling and explore a new environment. “Once you start traveling, you never stop.” Says Professor Maria Nieves Alonso-Almagro, who was also speaking at the meeting with Dr. Menéndez.
The program fee includes room and board, books, medical insurance, just in case something happens, a cell phone, entrance fees to the museums and a 3 day outing. Those three days include going to La Coruna & Betanzos. Rias Biaxes and Lugo and St. James Way. Students attending this program must come to class every day. Class will start at 9:15 in the morning, where they will take a language and culture class. There will be a break for lunch and then the students are dismissed from class around 5:30 at night.
“This is my 8th year doing this program. The first group from 1996, still gets together in New York City for dinner.” Says Doctor .Ana Menéndez-Collera. College Coordinator of Foreign Languages and Professor of Spanish. “There will be two or three faculty members going to Santiago, Spain with the students.” Adds Menéndez. Students are offered to take any Spanish class from 101 to Advanced Grammar & Composition. The culture classes offered are Spain to 1900. Modern Spain, and Spanish Society through film.
The program also allows students to participate in extracurricular activities. They will take a tour of the universities historical sites, such as the roofs of cathedrals and plazas. A tour of the city and explore the towns central market. There will be a tour of islands, and swim in the waters of Atlantic Islands Park. Students will also be allowed to attend a fireworks, a fair, lights and music show. At the end of the trip, the students will participate in a graduation ceremony and will receive a certificate.
“This is my first time in the study abroad program to Spain. The only fear I will have is when would be the best time to call my mom and my friends. “States Jose Santiago, a Liberal Arts major. Once the students are done with their school day, they are allowed to explore the streets of Spain. There are many restaurants and bars to explore. Students who can’t afford to pay for the trip by themselves, are eligible for financial aid or a $1,000 scholarship and grants from USC.