Bishop O’Connell students study Spanish in Spain

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This summer, six students from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington attended a two-week study abroad program at the University of Salamanca in Spain with Spanish teacher Faryde Yanine.

The students took an initial test to be placed in appropriate levels for the immersive study program in language, literature, culture, business and more.

The program immersed the students with rigorous academics in the mornings and excursions in the afternoons. With guided tours by the university's own professors, they visited important sites, including churches, palaces, museums, libraries and convents in Salamanca, Madrid, Toledo and Segovia.

While in Madrid, students toured the famous El Prado Museum to see masterpieces from Velazquez, Goya and el Greco. At the Reina Sofia museum, they saw Picasso’s famous painting "El Guernica." Other highlights included walks to the Plaza Mayor to enjoy the local food and the monuments in the streets, and a flamenco show in Salamanca.

The University of Salamanca is one of the oldest universities in the world. Built in 1218, it will mark its 800th anniversary next year.

Yanine, who received her master's degree in literature in 2014, is invited to return next year for this landmark celebration.

"I am so proud of these students," said Yanine. "They took full advantage of every experience during this very special program. Their hard work and their enthusiasm payed off. They earned them two college credits and once-in-a-lifetime memories."

The group included Gabriella Grimaldi, Karen Hidalgo, Ryley Howard, Zacharias Muleta, Marinna Rodarte and Benjamin Swoopes.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017