La Experiencia de Toda Una Vida (The Experience of a Lifetime)


Photo Provided by Chad Duskin

Michael Forster ’15 and Haley Gonzales ’15 stand with the cityscape of Toledo, Spain behind them during their summer trip with the Spanish class last year

Jacob Thompson, Staff Writer and Photogapher

When I sat down with Señor Duskin to talk about the value of language trips, he stressed the importance of cultural immersion and experiencing a whole new worldview as being equally as valuable as the language practice. Language classrooms often times imitate the experience of traveling by using more creative means to learn and memorize vocabulary and grammar concepts. Tying a fun and meaningful memory with a lesson reinforces the learning in a powerful way. According to Duskin, this is but one benefit of traveling abroad.


Señor also spoke highly of how traveling can inspire growth as a person. “Going out of your comfort zone helps establish flexibility, confidence, maturity, and independence.” All of these attributes are undoubtedly important for students preparing for college.


This year, three Spanish students, Jacob Thompson ’15, Morgan O’Hara ’16, and Jordan Smith ’16, are traveling to Costa Rica with Señor Duskin for 8 days of total cultural and linguistic immersion. Each day on the trip includes a language lesson and a cultural activity. Breakfast and dinner are inclusive, and lunch is an opportunity for students to explore and experiment with local cuisine, practicing their Spanish in restaurants and in the marketplace. “These cultural activities are such a cool opportunity because it allows students to broaden their worldview. A lot of the trip is cultural. There’s more to this world than just what you see here at home everyday. You get to learn more than a language” Señor Duskin said.