SPF students visit Barcelona with the Spanish Exchange Program


Natalia Nervi

On Monday, Feb. 11th, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students from the Spanish Exchange Program here at the high school departed from Newark Liberty International Airport and headed to Barcelona, Spain. The students prepared themselves for the long journey ahead, with trips to famous locations in Barcelona as well as Madrid, such as Las Ramblas, the Salvador Dali Museum, Retiro Park and the Prado Museum.
Each SPFHS participant was paired with a pen pal from a school in Barcelona, Col.legi Sagrada Familia Sant Andreu. When not out on various excursions around the city, the students stayed with their host families and went to school with their pen pals, observing and learning about the students schedules and what they do during their everyday lives.
On Feb. 13th, SPFHS students visited Las Ramblas, Guell Park, Gothic Quarters, a cathedral and took a bus tour of Barcelona. On the 14th, the students began their day at their pen pal’s school and then took a trip to the Montserrat Monastery, the religious heart of Cataluña. They listened to a boy’s choir and met the monks that reside there.
The next day the students joined their pen pals at school once again, and took a boat tour. They then spent the weekend with their host families doing various activities.
On Monday, the SPFHS students left Barcelona for an excursion to Madrid, the capital of Spain. For the next three days they explored the city, visiting places like the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, saw a Flamenco show, the Real Madrid soccer stadium, and Retiro Park.
On the 21st, the students returned to Barcelona and spent the day at school following their pen pal’s schedules. The next day they went to Gerona, another city in Spain, and visited the Salvador Dali Museum. Saturday, Feb. 23rd, SPFHS students returned to New Jersey
Junior Clara Masback had a great time on the trip and learned a lot.
“There was not one moment that I was not smiling or taking in the culture around me,” Masback said. “I loved visiting places like Parque Guell and Palacio Royal de Madrid because I’ve seen so many pictures from there and I actually got to go and see it for myself. which was really cool.”
Masback thinks that an exchange program like this one is something everyone should try.
“I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone. It was the best trip I have ever been on because it was so unique. I got to travel to a new country with my close friends and completely immerse myself in the culture which is so rare,” Masback said. “With this trip, I learned how a person my age lives in a different country and how it is similar and different to my life, and I visited smaller places that is not known to everyone which was cool. I also made such a strong connection with my pen pal and I think I will be friends with her for my whole life.”
Photos courtesy of Melanie Litwin