The Uniqueness of our Study Abroad Program: Spanish in the Community and Volunteering
Our Study Abroad programs aim at guaranteeing the immersion of the student in the life and culture of Soria. In order to achieve it, our programs have three main elements:
- Our academic-technical courses, which focus on linguistic and cultural competences and are described in the section “Study Abroad Program in Soria.”
- Social, sports and cultural activities, educational and cultural trips to enjoy the environment and participate in social life.
- The experiences of immersion in the life of the community, in order to work on intercultural competence and autonomous learning, around which we have organized our complementary program called “Spanish in the community and volunteering.”
This complementary program aims at bringing learning outside the classroom. Students in this program will be able to find opportunities to use Spanish while speaking with people, and while living and working within the community.
In many Spanish courses, students are not in contact with people from the community outside of the student’s center. However, at CIAM we have developed the “Spanish in the community and volunteering” program so that students have the opportunity to participate in social, sports, cultural, and professional activities and volunteering.
Some examples of the activities included in the program are described below. In them students participate as observers and carry out cultural research supervised by a tutor of CIAM team.
Spanish in the Community
The language of leisure
- Spanish in the city’s festivities (Fiestas de San Juan): The last week of June, before the first summer course, students can enjoy the most important festival in Soria, which is renowned all across the country.
- Spanish in the municipal band: Students have the possibility to rehearse and eventually play with the Soria Music Band. It is an immersive sound experience.
- Spanish in sports: Students can be part of a team, depending on their interests. They can choose between soccer, basketball and other team sports. Team work prepares for future professional life. Almost everything in life involves working in a group.
The language of the media
- Spanish and the radio: Students attend live local and national radio broadcasts. They can even participate!
- Spanish and television: Students attend the recordings of local programs. They are behind the scenes in the recording studios, interviewing reporters and program hosts.
- Spanish and the press: Students spend time with local journalists in their daily work. They can also work as journalists themselves or reporters of their country in Soria while practicing and improving their Spanish.
- Spanish and web design: Students witness and learn from the work of a digital designer, who is a technological artist.
The language of jobs
- Spanish with a rural doctor: Students have the chance to put themselves in a health worker’s shoes in their daily work, while learning about our health system and empathizing with the patients of rural areas.
- Spanish in the Museo Numatino and its excavations (archeology): Becoming an archaeologist for a few weeks is a cultural and anthropological journey that students love.
- Spanish in education: During the fall, winter and spring, students can be with a teacher or a professor during classes and participate, for example, during English classes. In the summer, students can participate in activities and camps with children, where they will be able to do micro-teaching sessions.
- Spanish in the local administration: Students also have the opportunity to observe the work of technicians in local environmental programs and heritage restoration projects, among others.
- Spanish and its legal language: Students will be able to closely follow the work of a lawyer.
The rural Spanish
- Spanish with a forest ranger: Students can observe the daily work of a forest ranger in order to explore the Spanish language as they explore the forests of the area.
- Spanish at a ranch: Students might choose to be with a rancher while he does his job. They will learn about life cycles through Spanish.
- Spanish with a rural veterinarian: Students can be with a veterinarian in his daily work in the rural environment. It will fill their hearts!
- Spanish in the natural parks: This involves accompanying, in their daily work, an engineer responsible for the natural parks of the area: the Parque del Cañón del Río Lobos and La Fuentona, among others. A landscape that will remain with them forever.
- Spanish and alternative energy sources: Students might want to go with technicians to wind or solar parks and learn about their job. It will help them breathe and learn about green energy in our community.
Spanish in volunteering
- Programs with the Red Cross: It involves programs to help minors, women, drug addicts…
- Programs with NGOs. Students can participate in community development programs with the NGO Cives Mundi.
- Spanish in a nursing home: Students spend time with the elderly and practice Spanish at the same time.
How is the Spanish in the community and volunteering program organized?
- Once the students are enrolled, before arriving in Soria they receive a questionnaire that must be completed. The questionnaire is essential in order to design a tailored program for the students. Through the questionnaire and online interviews, we learn about the students’ interests, education, and desired schedule. A CIAM tutor will find the most suitable experience for each student.
- Students will be assigned a CIAM tutor, who will be with them through the entire process.
- Once students are in Soria, tutors will thoroughly explain that in this program students are the protagonists of their learning and the aim is to learn how to learn. Students will receive guidance on the tasks they need to carry out during the program (interviews, surveys, video recordings, diary, etc.).
- Students must meet with their tutor two or three days a week in order to talk about the activities and tasks.
- On the last day, either in an individual or group tutoring session, students will present the results of their work through an oral presentation and a written dossier.
- Tutors will assess the entire process, the students’ attitude, and the project carried out during the stay.
- The entire process includes 1 hour of tutoring before arriving in Soria and 1 hour per week once the program begins. In case a student or the director of a program wishes to increase the hours of tutoring or to have an extended Spanish in the community course, they can request a new estimate for the program.
- Experiential Learning: This program embraces John Dewey’s maxim of “learning by doing” as the best way to learn. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience. Students learn by doing and reflecting on the experience in which they are involved. That is why tutoring is so important in this program.
- Task-Based Learning: CIAM designs the tasks to be carried out by students, which are linked to different scenarios in which they must get along.
- Students learn to learn: by working on tasks, students look for strategies to solve problems.
- Motivation: there is no learning without emotion. These experiences activate all the sensory perception channels (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, etc.) of the students.
- Attention and openness to curiosity in order to learn. Francisco Mora Teruel, a Neuroeducation expert, says that we can only learn what we love.
The schedule of the Spanish in the community and volunteering program must be combined with those of the intensive, individual courses or any other course that the students have chosen.
Características del curso
- Duración From 15 days onwards
- Nivel From B1
- Nº alumnos 1-10
- Material si
- Alojamiento no
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