Sam Fouts / Universty of Iowa
Why you need to be a part of the CIEE Linguistic Immersion Weekend
A bubble-blowing competition, a bracelet war, a paintball showdown, a Just Dance battle and a bow-and-arrow blitz. Would you believe me that all of this happened in the span of 48 hours in the magnificent countryside of Seville’s Sierra Norte? Well, it most definitely did during this year’s CIEE Linguistic Immersion Weekend.
The Linguistic Immersion Weekend is what I would describe as one of CIEE’s most coveted events. For the span of two days, students within the Advanced Liberal Arts program get the chance to put there Spanish-speaking skills to the test by participating in various activities with native Spanish students who help in the growth of their language abilities. That being said, no English is allowed! If one word of the forbidden language is spoken, you risk the chance of getting your CIEE bracelet stolen by whoever heard you break the rules. The person who ends up with the most bracelets at the end of the weekend not only gets the satisfaction of being el mejor en español, but they also win an incredible prize.
Read More: The 6 Best Places to Learn Spanish Abroad
This semester I had the incredible opportunity to participate in this activity and –let me tell you– it lives up to the hype. First off, the location is out of this world. We stayed at Hotel Sierra Huéznar which helped host all the activities and events and, most importantly, provided all the meals which were to die for. Like, literally, I would have sacrificed myself in that paintball activity if it meant I could be first in line for another bowl of pisto. Who am I kidding, I would’ve done it for a simple slice of their bread –it was amazing!
But besides being a hidden culinary destination, Sierra Huéznar is also a nature resort, containing the mesmerizing vistas of the lake and its surrounding rolling hills. And the adorable animals that shared the grounds with us were the cherry on top of this Spanish sundae. Although I could’ve done without the donkeys trying to eat my jacket every five seconds!
But most importantly, the weekend promoted an environment for linguistic immersion. We were constantly speaking Spanish and, with each passing hour, getting better and better with our language abilities. And we were doing it together, which felt really unifying as a group. I can say that after that weekend I already have friends for life with both the American and Spanish participants –and it’s just the beginning of the semester!
Basically, the CIEE Linguistic Immersion Weekend is awesome, and if anyone reading this has the option to be a part of this magnificent event, then what are you waiting for? ¡Apúntate!