Gearing Up for Cultural Immersion Abroad: Comillas

April 1, 2014

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to participate in an informational group chat concerning the upcoming summer MMLA program in Comillas, Spain. Several people in charge of different facets of the program participated and engaged with students and parents, answering questions and providing logistical information. From the teachers to parents and other students, everyone seemed just as excited about the inaugural year of this program as I was. It turns out we’ll be staying in a beautiful hotel and taking classes near the main part of the town of Comillas. While the dorms last summer in Pomona were very nice, I’m certainly not complaining about this arrangement.

As students, our schedules are even more full than they were last summer, with time devoted to class, cultural activities, meeting others in the Comillas community, and learning about the economy and government of the resort town. We also get a siesta, which I think is a fantastic idea. As we’re in such close proximity to the beach, I’m hoping we’ll get to go at least a couple times. We will get chances to visit nearby museums and go out on a fishing boat among other cultural activities.

I’m looking forward to the experience my classmates and I will share in Spain as it will be an even truer immersion into the language. Interacting with locals our age as well as various other residents of Comillas on a daily basis will definitely help our conversational Spanish skills. I hope the fact that all the conversations we overhear and signs we see will be in Spanish will make the language feel even more natural and leave us with no excuse or reason to need to use English.

I can’t wait to attend the Academy in Comillas and I know it will be a great academic and cultural learning experience as well as a great trip to the beautiful coast of Spain. All I have to do now is remember all those Spanish vocab words I’ve forgotten over the past few months.

Maddox Kay is a high school junior from Los Angeles, California, who enjoys music, sports, especially basketball, and learning Spanish. In 2013, he attended the Spanish Academy at Pomona College, and this year will travel abroad to Comillas, Spain, for the new Spanish Academy abroad.