Authored by:
Ryan Lopez

I can't believe that a month has already passed. 

Just four weeks ago, all of us were just beginning our adventure in the airports. Many students had told me that the scariest part of the trip was just being at the airport. Many were unsure about what they had actually signed up for, and the unknown was terrifying. As I watched over this group, I knew that they were in for a fun ride. Having studied abroad myself like most Program Leaders in this company, we all recognize our selves in each of our students.  I saw myself 28 times over as we landed in Mallorca, and I couldn't have been more excited for "the chavales" as they embarked on this chapter in their life. 

Most of us choose to study abroad for the obvious reasons in a Language & Culture program: To learn a new langauge and to adapt to a foreign culture. What most of us don't expect to hit us is the life experience that this type of trip brings to us. We grow to better understand ourselves, and to be able to look at our own society and culture that we come from from a new perspective. It was its own adventure as we got to watch "los chavales" grow and interact in Palma. They made great leaps and I am very excited to see what the future holds for all of them. 

One thing that stood out to me the most was the growth and ability to comprehend Spanish among the group.  One of the most impressive moments was this week, when our Level 2 kids were able to maintain speaking in the target language without wanting to code switch back to English. It is a hard feat to conquer the temptation of speaking your mother language when 27 of your peers also have a native speaker level. But this group accomplished this goal this week, and it was impressive to watch. Everyone was so eager to be speaking that everyone was speaking over each other all class this week.

Tamara remembered the first week when the chavales in her class were very timid and afraid to speak. Now, she says that they made it to a level where their confidence in the langauge has raised the level of their Spanish speaking abilities. 

It has been a great experience watching "los chavales" enjoy this experience all the time improving their Spanish speaking skills. They have made great bonds that I am sure will last long past the end of this great trip.

Gracias chavales, por todo. Aqui es la enlace para vuerstro regalo. Recordaos, "vamos a playa, para curarte el alma.." Ogeeelo...

-Big Chaval 

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