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King University Spanish Students Journey to Spain

BRISTOL, Tenn., July 26, 2017 – The day after King University held its Spring 2017 Commencement, eight King students, along with Dr. Beatriz Macione and Professor Christina Gomez, traveled to Spain for a 13-day immersion adventure.

Dr. Macione is a native of Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, a city made famous for its annual Running of the Bulls and the road to Santiago. She was able to provide students with a true immersion experience from a native’s perspective. “All eight of our students are either majoring or minoring in Spanish,” said Dr. Macione. “Throughout the trip, students utilized their Spanish skills when interacting with the locals. Totally immersing one’s self into a culture, whose primary language is Spanish, provides a unique learning experience for students.”

The group traveled about 20+ hours to Pamplona, which would serve as their home base for the first nine days. From here, they walked the path the bulls would take just a couple months later. They took walking tours of local cathedrals and churches and plazas as well as to Ciudadela, the old medieval section of the city. They also toured the University of Navarra in Pamplona and its museum; while on campus they enjoyed typical Spanish dishes at the University’s restaurant.

Vanessa Gomez, a King senior, said “I had a wonderful time in my study abroad trip to Spain. I love Spain very much. I enjoyed the culture and lifestyle most of all. I was very happy with everything we did and all the places we visited, but I was especially grateful for our visit to La Universidad de Navarra. Now, one of my options is to attend this university for my doctorate degree in Spanish.”

King junior Allen Clark spoke of how the Spain trip for him was life changing. “I was amazed at how many activities we had the privilege to do and places we got to see. I knew that I wanted to major in Spanish, but actually being submerged in a country where Spanish was the primary language not only improved my listening and speaking skills but also it gave me assurance in my major. This trip has influenced my decision to study in Spain for at least one semester. The whole trip I kept telling myself, ‘I wish everyone I knew was here with me,’ because the experience was definitely something I wanted to share with others. Overall, traveling to Spain with King exceeded my hopes and expectations, and I cannot wait to return to beautiful España.”

In addition to Pamplona, the group traveled part of the Camino de Santiago through Puente La Reina and Eunate. They also visited Castillo de Olite, the coastal city of Donostia/San Sebastián, Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, and Avila. Highlights for the students included ziplining in Toledo and exploration of castles and the Royal Palace of Madrid.

King senior Bethany Campbell said, “When I first learned about the study abroad opportunities at King University, I knew I wanted to visit another country. [However], I never dreamed I would end up visiting the country at the top of my bucket list. During the two weeks we spent in Spain, I made significant progress toward achieving my goals of becoming fluent in Spanish as I conversed daily with native Spanish speakers. I was also amazed to visit many of the cathedrals, monuments, cities, and Roman ruins that I had learned about a year before in Dr. Macione’s Civilization of Spain course. From touring la Plaza de los Toros in Pamplona to eating tapas in the afternoon, to cooking a full traditional Spanish meal with ingredients we purchased at the market, I believe I got a true taste of Spanish culture.”

Dr. Macione commented, “I was very excited to share my country and my culture with my students. The students became a part of it for a short period of time. It was a wonderful experience for us all.”

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.