Solebury School Students Learn Beyond the Classroom in Sevilla, Spain

Celena McAfee
Sevilla Immersion Program News Header Image

Solebury students traveled to Sevilla (Seville), Spain, March 9-23, 2024, for a two-week immersion program over spring break. The group stayed with host families, allowing them to speak Spanish and experience cultural traditions outside of the classroom. The six students were escorted by two faculty members, Lucienne Knight, Ph.D., World Languages Department Chair and Director of Global Education, and Rafaela Garza de la Vega, Spanish teacher. The students who participated in the immersion program were David Dussan ’26, Nick Sargeant ’26, Leo Zhou ’24, Allison Tes ’24, Hudson Ferenchak ’24, and Charlotte Watson ’25.

“We spent time exploring important historical and cultural sites in Sevilla, such as El Real Alcázar de Sevilla, La Plaza de España, La Catedral de Sevilla, and La Giralda,” shared Lucienne Knight. “As the capital of the Andalusian region, Sevilla was founded as a Roman city and witnessed an Islamic conquest during the 8th century. It was conquered again by Ferdinand III, or King of Castille, in the 13th century. As a result, the local architecture bears witness to the city's Roman, Islamic, Judaic, and Christian influences.”

The daily schedule involved morning Spanish classes and scheduled activities for the rest of the day. Students took Flamenco lessons, learned how to make a perfect paella, kayaked in the Guadalquivir River, sampled olive oil at a local olive farm, designed an azulejo (a painted tin-glazed ceramic) tile, and participated in a scavenger hunt in Parque Maria Luisa. Students shared their meals with their host families. 

Sevilla Activities Pictures Spread 1200x250

“The trip was a great experience. I liked getting to experience a different culture and seeing what life was like outside of my country. I’m very appreciative I got to be a part of the immersion program.”
–Nick Sargeant ’26

“I liked our tours of the different attractions in Seville and Granada. The ones I liked most were our trips to Plaza de España and Alhambra. Although we had class in the morning and tours in the afternoon, we still enjoyed quite a lot of free time in the afternoon. We even had two free afternoons to go around the city on our own.”
–Leo Zhou ’24

In addition to spending time in Sevilla, the group took a weekend trip to Granada, Spain, where they visited the Alhambra and Generalife. The centuries-old fortress is known for its palaces and gardens. The students explored Alhambra’s unique architecture and arabesque wall decorations and toured the exhibitions.

The World Languages Department will continue offering the Sevilla two-week immersion program next year so that more students can have the opportunity to go. The immersion program exposed students to life from a different perspective and helped build more understanding between cultures. Our students had a great time in Sevilla! 

See more pictures from Sevilla on Instagram: @solebury_in_sevilla

Photo credit: Charlotte Watson ’25