Taking classes in C diz: An unforgettable experience
For the fourth consecutive year, high school Spanish students have a chance to travel to the oldest city in Europe -- C diz, Spain. Susana Delmar, a teacher in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, arranges a study abroad program through the University of C diz that lasts almost an entire month. The program is independent from F-M, but students can earn college credits. Teens from any high school are welcome to apply; the typical ages are between 16 and 18.
"They get to experience a different culture, they get to practice what they've learned in Spanish and they get to be in a setting that's very safe," Delmar said. "They can actually use what they've learned and practice it with native speakers."
C diz is located in the southwestern coast of Spain. Built in a peninsula-island, the city is surrounded by the sea on three sides and is only accessible by the "Puerta de Tierra" (land door), built in 1755. Its population is approximately 160,000. Narrow streets and short distances result in more pedestrian traffic than vehicles. It takes about 30 minutes to walk the length of the island and about 15 minutes to walk from side to side.
"All the buildings are about two to three stories high and it's mostly residential," Delmar said. "There's no malls [or] big stores. All the stores are like your little corner store -- a grocery store would typically be the size of a Nice n' Easy."
In support of the buddy system, students are placed two per host family (handpicked by Delmar) for the duration of their stay. The families they reside with are instructed not to discuss politics and to speak only Spanish, even if they understand English. Delmar said she typically places a high level student with a lower level student to avoid miscommunication.