In April of 2020, Alex Basbas, one of three Spanish teachers at Hollis Brookline, will be taking foreign language students across the world to Spain. Any student interested in this trip will be able to experience the Spanish culture first hand.
“This will be the fourth Spanish trip,” Basbas said. It rotates each year due to the other subjects, like AP history classes and french classes too. Students attending this trip will be apart of a new experience. There are two new destinations on this trip that the school has never visited before; Northern Spain and Basque Country.
EF, Education First, creates travel packages for the school and is responsible for organizing most of HB’s school trips. “I looked at it [the EF package] and found that I wanted to make a few modifications,” Basbas said. Basbas, and the other spanish teachers, want to be able to provide the best experience possible to their students. They want to be able to share the language they love and teach with their own students.
Kristen Roy, another Spanish teacher, explained that it’s not just the destination that makes this trip worth going on for Spanish students. It’s “ [her] wish is for the students to have fun but be vulnerable enough to accept the challenge of living and breathing the Spanish language and culture.”
Not every person is given the opportunity to be able to immerse themselves in the culture that they are learning. For example, there are many schools around the country that don’t offer trips like the ones that Hollis Brookline is lucky enough to put together. “The culture piece of this class is so hard to fully achieve in a classroom setting, it really requires going out into the Spanish speaking world,” Basbas explained.
It’s not just the teachers who believe these trips are worth it, it’s the students as well that believe they will gain something from the experience. “It’s a good way to dive into and embrace the language you are learning in school,” Teresa DeMaio ‘20, who attended the trip to Spain in 2017, said. Not only can students achieve a better understanding of the Spanish culture, but it also helps their use of the language. “It helped me with pronunciation because I saw true natives speak it,” said DeMaio.
As for choosing to attend the trip, there is no set deadline, but staff have to buy their tickets by a certain time, so it’s essential to sign up soon, Basbas said. If there is any Spanish student who is at all interested in this trip, there is still plenty of time to sign up! If anyone has any interest in attending the trip, at all, contact Alex Basbas or Kristen Roy. This might be a student’s only opportunity to attend a Spanish-based trip in their high school career, or even their whole lifetime.