HS STUDENTS TRAVEL TO SPAIN
HS Spanish Exchange Trip to Castelldefels in Barcelona
Spanish Exchange Trip
By: Mia Perciballi
This past February break, North Shore High School sent a group of 22 students and two teachers to Spain to participate in the second half of an exchange program. I was fortunate enough to be able to be a part of this trip. The exchange consisted of first hosting a student from Spain in September, and then living in that same student’s home when we traveled to Spain in February. It was agreed among the North Shore students that this trip was most definitely challenging, but at the same time we thought that it was deeply rewarding. Getting used to the Spanish lifestyle and culture was for sure difficult, yet we looked beyond the difficulties of getting accustomed to life in Spain, and instead embraced the rewards of being immersed in the experience. The challenges made the trip that much better.
We stayed in an area near Barcelona called Castelldefels, our time was split between the two cities. Castelldefels was where the school was that participated in the exchange with us. It was also where the homes of our host families were. Although we lived in Castelldefels for ten days, the majority of the days of the trip were spent touring Barcelona, or other towns, for example, Girona. During our time in Barcelona, we saw a tremendous amount of the city. We took walking tours led by locals, shopped in both popular and off-beat stores, explored museums,and visited famous monuments such as La Sagrada Familia. Even though we were exhausted by the end of every day, not one student wanted to take a day off. We wanted to see everything. In addition to the daily trips and activities planned by North Shore, we also got the opportunity to
spend time with our host families.
Many of the families that participated in the exchange made plans with their exchange students to see even more of Spain over the weekend when we had free time. Some of the students went hiking in the mountains, some went to the local beach, many of us were lucky enough to attend a soccer game at the Barca stadium, Camp Nou. I was one of the students that was fortunate enough to watch one of the best teams in Europe play, and I can confidently say on behalf of the others on the trip that the energy at this game was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Another amazing part of the exchange were the home cooked meals we ate, and the authentic food we were served in restaurants. The exchange was truly a full immersion into Spanish culture. Overall, Spain was an incredible experience, agreed upon by both students and teachers. We were able to do so much in the span of just ten days.
Also, this trip enabled us to make so many new friendships. Some students are already planning a visit to Spain to see their host partners again, and some Spanish students are planning to come to the US to visit us as well. This trip was an immense success, agreed without question by all those who participated.