Susana Delmar could probably describe Cadiz, Spain in one word: gorgeous. But she chooses not to stop with its beauty because there's so much more to share. The city of Cadiz (pronounced KA deeth), located on a peninsula on the southwestern coast of Spain, is also very safe, self-contained and family-oriented. For the past four years, Delmar has arranged for students to travel there; and this year is no different. The international summer program that Delmar started here in 2004 begins again in July. It lasts almost a full month.
"Six years ago I went to the University of Cadiz as a teacher, to take method courses for teachers," Delmar said. "I loved it and I told them I would like to bring students. I created this program and I've been doing it ever since."
The University of Cadiz (UCA) is part of Academic Programs International, which creates programs focused on language and culture, with an emphasis on natural interactions and immersion in the target culture.
Delmar, a native of Mexico and Spanish teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, said the academic program is not limited to F-M students. Because the program is not affiliated with any school, teens from schools around the nation are welcome to apply. She has had students from as far away as Ohio sign up for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ninety percent of her recruits are through word of mouth, she said.
"It is a great program," Delmar declared. "I've never had anybody not be satisfied. I've had a few kids go twice."
The academic/immersion program gives students the opportunity to live in and learn about an entirely different culture. For three weeks, students attend formal Spanish classes at the University of Cadiz, and are placed according to their level of Spanish (beginner, intermediate or advanced). The school is suitable for sophomores to seniors, Delmar said. However, there is another program for the young and eager.