SPF students take part in the Barcelona Exchange Program


Natalia Nervi

On Monday, Feb. 10, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students participating in the Spanish Exchange Program departed from Newark and headed to Barcelona, Spain, along with students from Piscataway High School. They had a 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 planned.
Each 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 lived with host families and went to school with their pen pals, learning about their pen-pal’s school lives as well as their everyday lives.
On Feb. 12, students visited Las Ramblas, Guell Park, Gothic Quarters, a cathedral and took a bus tour of Barcelona. The next day, the students 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.
Friday, the students joined their pen pals at school once again, and took a boat tour at the Olympic Port. They then spent the weekend with their host families doing various activities the families had planned.
On Monday, the students left Barcelona on a train called La Ave, one of the fastest trains in the world, for a trip 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. Divided into small groups, they also gave presentations to English classes about life in Scotch-Plains Fanwood as well as the United States. The next day they went to Girona, another city in Spain, and visited the Salvador Dali Museum. Saturday, Feb. 22, the students returned to New Jersey. 
Junior Kayla Paprocki thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Here is what she had to say about it:
What was your favorite part of the trip?
My favorite part of the trip was getting to experience a completely new culture and environment that I wasn’t used to. I also loved all the places we visited on the trip, especially the museums. 
Would you recommend going on this trip? Why or why not? 
I would 100 percent recommend going on this trip. I was worried about missing school and everything, but going opened my eyes to so many new things. I’ve always loved traveling- it’s one of my biggest dreams-  so being able to go on the trip was a great experience.