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MLA 675: Spain: Intensive Language Study

January 10, 2022

While it is crazy to say, our final week in Spain came to an end, and we are already back in the United States. The past three weeks have been incredible and taught us so many things. While our last week in Spain was cut short due to COVID-19, we were still able to squeeze in amazing experiences that ended up being highlights of our trip.

After our final day of classes at our language school, TANDEM, we all received our certificates of course completion, which were given to us by our lovely professors. During our time together, our professors not only taught us about numerous aspects of the Spanish language, but they also taught us about the history, culture, and heart of the Spanish people.

Student Jillian Arbeiter with TANDEM professor Maria Jesus

One of the many cultural aspects we got to experience first-hand was dancing! On Monday, our class was given the opportunity to take a private flamenco lesson at a dance studio where we learned postures, counts, and footwork, which we eventually combined into a small routine that we “mastered” with the help of our instructor. Perhaps there are some soon-to-be dance minors in our group…

Flamenco dance studio

To close our culinary tour of Spain, we had the absolute honor of taking a special cooking class with Chef Alejandro at El Espacio Gastronómico (a cooking school), where we learned to make traditional gazpacho, two kinds of paella, and a special dessert called torrija. Dishes of paella in the cooking class lead by Chef Alejandro

While preparing the torrija, Chef Alejandro told us he had worked at this cooking school for almost three decades. He loves his job because it allows him to combine his two passions: cooking and teaching.

Group picture during cooking class with Chef Alejandro

In our last remaining days, we enjoyed visiting local sights such as the gorgeous Parque del Retiro (“Retirement Park”), the El Oso in La Puerta del Sol sculpture, and El Corte Inglés (a Spanish bakery). While enjoying the view in El Parque del Retiro, there was a young man reciting poetry by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, which made the experience all the more magical. What a perfect way to end a trip!

Our study tour is incredibly grateful to have had this experience. The country and people of Spain have taught us more than they realize, and we cannot thank them enough for their warm welcome. Additionally, we would like to thank Professor Matt Borden and all those who made this trip possible for us. It was truly a life-changing experience, and I can confidently say it will be one of the biggest highlights of our college career. For now, we will not say goodbye, but rather, see you later, Spain. Hasta luego España, you now have a piece of our hearts.

Students in the airport coming back to the United States

-Jillian Arbeiter ’23


About the Spain Study Tour


Jan. 1-22, 2022


Modern Languages Prof. Matt Borden


In this study tour, students will enjoy numerous and diverse outings and will take part in many cultural events such as dance lessons, cooking lessons, museum and palace tours, language exchanges with Spaniards, a Real Madrid soccer match, and more!