(These testimonials have only been slightly edited)
CENTRO FRAY LUIS DE LEON EN LA UNIVERSIDAD DE SALAMANCA
Es para mí un gran honor recomendar al Centro Fray Luis de León como un excelente programa intensivo para profundizar en el idioma español. Como maestra de español como lengua extranjera, participar en este programa me ayudó a visualizar el impacto de ser bilingüe o trilingüe a larga escala. Durante mi estadía en Salamanca, tuve la oportunidad de conocer a otros maestros de español de otras partes del mundo que se reúnen aquí cada verano para prepararse mejor para cada inicio de ciclo escolar. Fue muy productivo para mí ver cuántas personas desean aprender el idioma español y la comunidad que se forma a base de esos deseos de superación y progreso. Durante el programa, pude observar que el ambiente creado por profesores, organizadores y estudiantes es muy positivo, agradable y sumamente placentero. Los estudiantes que apenas inician su viaje en el español están rodeados de profesionales que los alientan a superar sus miedos y sentirse orgullosos de sus esfuerzos por estar aquí. Yo que soy maestra de español y cuya primera lengua es el español por medio de este programa aprendí a valorar y apreciar mi lengua materna con más detalle. Fue increíble tener la oportunidad de experimentar el español como una ciencia de estudio social, histórica y cultural. Los profesores, organizadores y compañeros de estudio que conocí durante este programa fueron personas muy profesionales, apasionadas en su labor y altamente grandes ejemplos a seguir. Me siento afortunada de haber tenido la oportunidad de haber estado en Salamanca extendiendo mi conocimiento en español para mejorar como profesora y dar crédito de que este programa nos hace ver el presente, paso y futuro del español como idioma que unen y acerca grandes personas amantes de la buena literatura y la profunda cultura española.
Yessenia Iñiguez-Huerta, Hilmat Elementary, Hilmar California
I can honestly say that my summer spent in Salamanca was the best summer of my life. From the magnificent beauty that the city holds in its classic architecture and cobblestone streets, to the friendly locals that smile at you on your way to class, the city is breathing with splendor and bliss.
I learned more Spanish in six weeks than I did in seven years of high school and college level classes. My classes were authentic and stimulating, helping me master the Spanish language and gain understanding of the remarkably rich history of Spain. Every afternoon I met with my conversation class in a quaint café around the city to sip on café con leche and chat casually. At night I went out dancing, meeting people from around the world, enjoying delicious tapas, and practicing my Spanish with the locals. On our excursions, I gained insight into the diverse beauty that is Spanish culture. With our own personal tour guide, we were able to experience the unique personality of each city that we traveled to. Dr. Ferreiro has an immeasurable knowledge for the region; he made the trip pleasant and informative.
“Fun” cannot describe the experience I had. It was amazing. If I could do it all over again I would not change a thing, and, if given the chance, I would do it every summer. This experience changed my life, and I feel as though I am able to see the world through new eyes now. I will never forget my summer in Salamanca.
Sara Emmitt, Western Washington University
On arriving in Salamanca, I was immediately embraced by Spain’s warm and welcoming attitude. Being a small city, it was easy to settle in and everything lies within walking distance. It was great having the opportunity to attend classes with people from all over the world and I cannot speak highly enough of the teachers who were so keen to help their students get as much as possible out of their lessons. The lessons were challenging, but at the same time were conducted with a relaxed approach. Never before had I had attended a class which involved chatting in a café alongside a free drink! By the end of the trip my Spanish had greatly improved and I was so immersed in the language that on leaving Heathrow airport, I answered a man offering me a taxi, in Spanish, and it was a while before I realized why he had such a startled expression on his face.
The classes weren’t all about language, however. From valuable literature classes to cooking lessons, I learnt a lot about Spanish culture. This cultural learning was also enhanced through wonderful city excursions or just by exploring Salamanca itself.
Being a small city by no means signifies that Salamanca lacks things to do. From seeing Harry Potter in Spanish to watching live Reggae in O’Haras, I can honestly say I was never bored. I have so many great memories from this trip and have made lasting friendships that will live with me forever.
Deborah Marx, Bristol University UK
After completion of the month at the University of Salamanca with Dr. Ferreiro, I would highly recommend this program to anybody that is considering it to either simply improve their Spanish-speaking skills or if one has interest in European culture and history. The classes taken through the university are very beneficial and are taught by helpful, intelligent, and friendly professors. Students from all over the world come together with a common goal, to immerse themselves in Spanish culture. Dr. Ferreiro’s classes are filled with information that not only relates to history, but encourages development of spiritual and intellectual thoughts. Furthermore, sitting in a terrace while sipping on one’s favorite refreshment being surrounded by historical buildings is one of my favorite things I’ve been a part of in Salamanca. The excursions accomplish a similar goal while at the same time allowing one to see the very cathedrals, palaces, and castles that are being discussed. The cultural events such as Flamenco concerts, going out to the bars, seeing and dancing to live music are extremely fun. The people and city of Salamanca are incredibly friendly, outgoing, willing to help one learn, and fun to be around and make friends with. I have not regretted my decision at all to be a part of this program.
Alex Hancock, Seattle Pacific University