Northern Spain: OU Students’ Colorful Classroom

Here, the group stands in front of one of Barcelona’s most iconic skyline structures---the Sagrada Familia.

Over winter break, a group of Oglethorpe students and staff traveled to the  “land of the setting sun” to discover northern Spain’s rich past and incredible culture.  

Led by Dr. Mario Chandler, the short-term study abroad trip focused exclusively on the extensive cultural and linguistic diversity north of the Iberian Peninsula. 

“It was my hope that my students would gain a greater appreciation for the mind-boggling complexity of Spanish culture,” said Dr. Chandler, who, in the past, has led groups of OU students to both Central and Southern Spain. He wanted them to see that there are many components (Basque, Celtic, Moorish, and Roman, for example) that make up the Spanish ‘whole.’ 

Several students reported that they were able to use the language skills they’d learned in the classroom while out and about in Northern Spain, acting as “consummate ambassadors” for their country and gaining more confidence in their Spanish skills. 

Bilbao, Spain: The short-term study abroad group visited the Guggenheim Museum, featuring modern and contemporary international art.

“Everywhere we went there was an opportunity to utilize our knowledge,” said Jimmy Turner, a Spanish major who had never traveled overseas before.  “I took the opportunity to test out my skills by speaking with a concierge at a hotel in which I was staying. We spoke for about two hours about sports, America, friction amongst the autonomies, and many more topics. It was an exciting experience because it showed me where I was in my Spanish and helped me improve my skills.” Continue reading