Student Trip to Granada Helps Create More Global Citizens
Steve Adubato talks with Candice Bland, a Spanish teacher at Hightstown High School about the significance of her students’ trip to the University of Granada in Spain and how it has helped them become better “global citizens.”
"We welcome Candice Bland, who is a Spanish teacher at Hightstown High School. Good to see you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. You do an amazing thing. You take your students to Spain? Yes. Where in Spain? To Granada. Granada? To the south of Spain, Andalusia. Who are these students? [laughter] They are my students in levels Spanish three, four, honors, and AP, or do enrollment. Hmm. Who want to enrich their Spanish language skills, and extend the school year, because it happens after the school year, in the Summertime. And they, I start promoting it. Hmm. Come June, for the following July, and they just start signing up. So it's been happening for about six years now. It's a beautiful thing. And we're gonna, instead of just talking about it right now Candice... Sure. ...we're gonna show a video from the Classroom Close-up series produced by our friends at the New Jersey Education Association. Candice Bland, and her students, going to Spain. [music playing] [speaking Spanish] My name is Candice Bland, I am a high school Spanish teacher here at Hightstown High School. During my graduate degree at University of Delaware, I won the fellowship to go to the University of Granada as a professor for a year. I really just remained friends with all of my colleagues in the University of Granada, and about six years into my teaching career, they started sending me emails like "Candice, why don't you bring some students over?" And finally, in the year 2010, I decided to take them up on their offer. When we get to Granada, we pull up, you know, to the Plaza, all the families are standing there waiting. So they get off the bus, they have the pictures of the kids, they're like, "Oh, you're mine! You're mine! You're mine!" And they go home, they get showered, they have their first dinner with their family, and then the next morning, it's time to go to the coursework. [speaking Spanish] They were studying enriched classes, immersion classes, in the morning, and then in the afternoon's doing cultural excursions. It really is a life changing experience. And for me, that happened when I was fifteen, with a similar program. To have the opportunity to do this in high school, I mean it just opens up your eyes to a world that is just so amazing. I mean, traveling
really broadens your perspective on life. What was one of your favorite excursions that you went on? It really, like, opened my eyes, because this a whole nother culture, a whole nother, like, way of expressing yourself, a whole nother artform, and I got to experience that firsthand. I want them to be more of a global citizen..."