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|Volume 10 Edition 8: May 2011|
Spain Presentation Experience by Lucía Lozano White and Fernando Rueda Delgado
Lucía and Fernando are exchange students from the University of Granada in Spain and have been at UNCG for one year. Lucia is a Biology major and Fernando is studying Exercise and Sport Science.
Our names are Fernando and Lucía—we are international exchange students here at UNCG from Granada, Spain. Our experience at UNCG started in August and we have really enjoyed our time here.
Living at UNCG and in the States has truly been an amazing experience that we will never forget! That is why when Kaitlin, our International Exchange Coordinator, asked us if we would do a presentation for our country at a local high school, we couldn’t say no. As so many Spaniards do, we really love our country and everything associated with it and so we were excited to share it with the high school students, to get them interested in Spain and studying abroad.
On the day of the presentation, we were pretty nervous but ready to talk! Maybe they wouldn’t understand us, maybe they wouldn’t even listen to us or just maybe they wouldn’t like us coming in and taking over their Spanish class! However, as we and other international students here so many times before have found, Americans love our accents—they are more than happy to listen to us go on and on about how Spain and Europe in general are so different in so many ways, and how much we miss our mom’s home cooked food and the sun!
For us it was lots of fun preparing the presentation. It took many hours to look for videos and pick out the best ones. At times this was even emotional—looking back at the World Cup final against Holland and seeing Iniesta score the winning goal in overtime two minutes before the whistle blew. It took us back to that precise moment last year when the whole of Spain took to the streets and celebrated! Listening to Spanish music again, we realized how much we missed anything Spain-related!
This made us look forward to going back home but also incredibly aware that this, our experience at UNCG with all our friends and family we have made here, was never going to be forever.
The high school experience itself was definitely different than what we expected. The school was huge, the students so nice and respectful, eager to ask questions and learn about our experience as international students and what we thought of America. I think the old yellow buses outside the school will probably be one of the many things we will think of when we look back on our presentation at the high school and our year in the U.S., as well as the frozen yogurt the Spanish teacher treated us to afterwards!
Editor's Note: Another teacher, Ms. Luz Algarin, at Grimsley has requested Lucia and Fernando to present in her Spanish class, so they will be returning on May 5.
Russian students not only study Russian, they live it. This year, UNCG concluded its 40 years of Russian studies celebration by inducting students into the university’s chapter of Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society.
Other events of the year include a 24-hour reading of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and a special event called Spektakl’, which is an end of the year celebration that highlights student achievement in Russian. Classes organize skits, songs, or any kind of performance to reflect the work they've done in Russian. This year there were skits in Russian, a Russian music video, poetry recitation, a presentation on Stalin’s purge victims, and lots and lots of Russian food, made by students and teachers. There were also door prizes including Russian books, Russian candy, a Russian calendar, and a tube of authentic Russian toothpaste. The event drew nearly 85 participants, which is amazing!
Additionally, some students participated in community service. Kelsey Maher, who graduates this May, says: “Once a month our group [of UNCG students studying Russian] goes to the Jewish Family Services in Greensboro to have tea and play games with the older Russian-speaking community there. We help them with their English and they help us with our Russian. In essence, it has become a very interesting language tandem.”