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Differences between the United States and Spain – Elizabeth

Hello Academia Manhattan! I have been in Spain for almost a year now, and I’ve noticed a lot of cultural differences between Spain and my home in the U.S.  For example, people here eat meat more often than at home, or at least within my family in the United States. My mother is vegetarian, and I have noticed that in Spain it is less common to be a vegetarian or vegan. I haven’t eaten very many vegetables here compared to in the U.S.  People also use olive oil much more here than in the U.S.! Speaking of food, people in Spain seem to go to bars more often than in the U.S. I’ve seen children’s birthday parties hosted at bars, which would never happen in the United States! In the United States, people under the legal drinking age, 21, are not even allowed inside bars. Here, anyone can spend time in a bar. I’ve also seen Spanish people drink a beer or wine with both lunch and dinner. In contrast, in the United States people usually only drink alcohol with dinner or after dinner, and generally don’t drink it as often, unless they are at an event, party, or some kind of celebration. Spaniards attitudes seem to be more relaxed about alcohol.

In terms of cities and towns, in Spain they are distinct. Many cities here have old neighborhoods that date back centuries and are still more or less the same as when they were built (with modern renovations of course). But there are also archeological remains right in the middle of the city, like the aqueduct of Segovia and the Mezquita in Córdoba.  In the United States, not many cities have these old neighborhoods, and everything is relatively new. Our oldest areas are only a few hundred years old, which in comparison with Spain, is basically new. Many of the towns or villages I have seen in Spain are built clustered together, with most people living within the town limits and in houses that are built right next to each other. There are patios, but few gardens or backyards. In the United States, towns are built more spaced out. It is harder to see where the town ends, whereas in Spain the buildings are built where the town suddenly becomes the country, and there are few buildings outside of it. In my town (Essex, Vermont) we have a town center where all of the shops and public buildings are built, but they are not near peoples houses. We have neighborhoods that are outside the center where there are only houses, and everyone has a backyard or garden. I live on a road that leads to the town center, but more in the country where I have a big backyard, or garden.  There is nothing but other houses and nature around me. That also exists in Spain, but it seems to be less popular to live so far from the town center.

I think the living standards are more or less the same in both countries. I have noticed that apartments and some houses and generally smaller here than in the U.S., but both countries have air conditioning, dishwashers, and that kind of technology.  I didn’t find it very hard to adjust to Spain in that respect. Although there tends to be more noise, especially in cities like Córdoba, compared to the U.S. People spend more time in the street and stay out later in Spain, so you hear people talking or the sounds from bars and restaurants more in Spain than in the U.S.  People are generally expected to be quiet past 10pm (22:00) in the U.S., and neighbors will get mad if people are making a lot of noise outside. Here in Spain I have heard people setting off fireworks at 8am in the streets of Córdoba on a Sunday, but people don’t seem to complain about it or talk to the police about it, whereas people in the U.S. would be more likely to complain.

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Welcome to Villanueva! – Ashley

Hello everyone! This is currently my second week in Villanueva de Cordoba and so far, I have enjoyed every second of it. Before jumping on a plane and coming to Spain, I was still trying to map out in my head how I would arrive to my destination in under 24 hours without knowing a single person in the country. I had to get to Boston’s (Logan) International Airport, land in Madrid (Barajas) airport seven hours later, take a bus with six stops to the train station, wait at the train station for over three hours, get onto a train for two hours which would make a stop in Villanueva de Córdoba, where I would finally meet my host family. Thankfully, the thought of it ended up being more overwhelming then the traveling experience. I arrived to be embraced with a warm hug from my host mom Rafi and host sister Tere and all my nerves simply went away.

Upon my arrival on Monday 4th, I was brought to the Academia Manhattan, which is a fifteen-minute walk from Rafi’s house where I met Lucy, Elizabeth, and Christine. On Tuesday 5th, I had my first session with children who ranged from ages of 3 and 4 years old. The children practiced introducing themselves and were then asked questions that pertained to food. My second session was with a group of high schoolers who were preparing for their entrance exams for College.

During my walk to the Academia I have been exploring new paths and photographing buildings and objects I find interesting. I have taken multiple photos that I think are unique to Villanueva. For example, there is a house that has sea shells for pots and being that it is the first time I’m seeing such object I find that to be very creative.

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I have gotten accustomed to taking the siestas, because back home I do not tend to nap during the day. I have also only now experienced watching the news or other television shows during lunch and dinner time which is also a custom I am not familiar with. When eating back home or in college we tend to talk about our day, future plans, or random table conversations, but watching television is usually only done when alone or maybe during special events i.e. American football games. Thus far, I have enjoyed my stay with my sweet family, and I am looking forward to meeting more people from Villanueva, and the students from the Academia.

-Ashley Aviles

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Speaking & Listening exams – June 4th

Here is the schedule for our upcoming Trinity College Speaking & Listening exams on June 4th. Good luck to all!

June 4th – S&L Timetable

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Verano 2018

Ya tenemos disponibles los formularios de matricula para nuestros cursos de verano y los exámenes de Trinity en septiembre!

Os esperamos en Academia Manhattan!

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Trinity College Test Trialling – Speaking & Listening

Aquí podéis encontrar el horario para nuestra sesión de Test Trialling el 8 y 9 de febrero:

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Trinity Recognition

Os dejamos aquí información sobre el reconocimiento de los exámenes de Trinity:

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Convocatorias Trinity 2018

Ya tenemos nuestras convocatorias de Trinity para el año 2018. Para más información sobre los exámenes, consulta en la web de Trinity College.

  • Febrero 2018, Test Trialling
  • Mayo/Junio 2018:
    • Reading & Writing (examen escrito): 26 de mayo
    • Speaking & Listening (examen oral): semana del 4 de junio
    • plazo de matrícula: hasta el 28 de marzo
    • formulario de matrícula disponible enero 2018
  • Septiembre 2018:
    • Reading & Writing (examen escrito): 12 de septiembre
    • Speaking & Listening (examen oral): semana del 10 de septiembre
    • plazo de matrícula: hasta el 27 de junio
    • cursos intensivos o semi-intensivos: Cursos de Verano 2017
    • formulario de matricula en PDF disponible marzo 2018

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Trinity College – Speaking & Listening exams

Here is the schedule for our upcoming Trinity College Speaking & Listening exams on September 13th, 14th and 15th. Good luck to all!

S&L schedule – Language Timetable Report

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Bye For Now, Villanueva! – Janine

And… I just finished my last full day of classes! I can’t believe that this summer has gone so quickly. The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me and also pretty amazing. Tomorrow I have three more classes and then I am completely done teaching! On Saturday, I fly back to the United States for a couple more days of summer with my family and then it’s back to Oberlin College for me. It’s been hard work, but so rewarding to watch my students become better English speakers this summer! As my students have learned more English, I also have learned lots about how to plan lessons, manage a classroom, and answer questions. I also have definitely learned lots of new Spanish words, which is exciting. A huge thank you to my host family and all of my students this summer! It has been a pleasure getting to know you all!
During the break from classes at the end of July and the beginning of August, I left Villanueva to take a trip with my mom to Amsterdam. The beginning of the trip was a bit stressful. When I arrived at Atocha station, there was a taxi strike and it was a hard to find a way to the airport! Thankfully I found a 24 hour airport bus and I made my flight in time. My mom and I tried to do as much sight-seeing as possible in six days. We saw so many beautiful places, but my favorite part of the trip was going to a cat sanctuary on a boat in one of the canals, called De Poezenboot. At least 15 cats live on the boat, and people can come visit them every day and adopt them! I also enjoyed Amsterdam’s cheese and some world famous Dutch pancakes. After traveling with my mom, I also had the opportunity to stay with my good friend Emily and her family who live near Hannover, Germany. Emily was an exchange student at my high school, and I was thrilled to have the chance to see her again! Emily and I were pretty lazy, and we spent a lot of time sleeping and watching Dan & Phil videos on YouTube. I also ate a lot of delicious German bread and some fantastic cherry crepes.
When I returned to Villanueva, I was the only summer intern left in town! It was a change of pace to teach and plan classes by myself, but it was also lots of fun planning lessons. I’m thinking about becoming a teacher after college, and it was good practice to teach six classes a day. It’s been interesting teaching such a wide age range of students, from little kids to college students. I also took a short one day trip to Seville to see some of the more famous sights, such as the Plaza de España and the cathedral. Seville is an absolutely gorgeous city.
Although I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family in the United States, I am so glad I came to Villanueva this summer! Hopefully someday I’ll be able to come visit!
Good luck on your exams!

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Villanueva in July and More – Janine

Hello all!
Things are starting to wind down in preparation for the feria, and the other interns are trickling out of Villanueva. Libby and I are the only interns still in Villanueva hanging out in the Academia today, and it seems more quiet than usual. Tomorrow I head out of Villanueva for the break to do some traveling with my mom in Amsterdam, and then I’ll be back in August for a couple more weeks of classes!
I am shocked at how quickly the last month has gone… Time flies when you’re having fun! At the Academia, classes have continued to be busy and engaging. My students have become more comfortable with their use of English, even if they are sometimes rather reluctant to speak out loud. I understand the nervousness that accompanies using a second language- when I speak Spanish it is very apparent that I am speaking with an American accent, and there are plenty of times when I am not 100% sure what is being said in a conversation. One of my classes finds my co-teacher Maya’s inability to roll her r’s hilarious. I suffer from the same inability to distinguish my pronunciation of pero and perro. Still, it has been great to slowly understand more Spanish as my students are also improving their English skills! I still am sometimes shocked when I realize I am understanding and listening to a conversation in Spanish. We also have added a couple new games to the mix in classes. My favorite game involves choosing three categories (like entertainment, money, and travel, for example) and then choosing one letter. Then everyone has to think of words that fit within the categories that all start with that same letter!
These past couple weekends have been relaxing and also fun. A couple weekends ago, I took a trip to Málaga for a beach day with Libby and my friend Emma. As someone from the Great Lakes, it still seems weird to me to be surrounded by salt water. The beaches in Málaga are super busy, but they are also perfect for a lazy Saturday! The next weekend, I spent some time in Pozoblanco in the morning with Maya and Libby. It is very similar to Villanueva, except a bit bigger! Pozoblanco’s main street is beautiful and full of restaurants, and there are lots of cute shops. That night, I experienced the Spanish summer tradition, el botellón, in Villanueva with Luna, Libby’s host sister, and some other interns. El botellón is not like anything I have ever seen in the States. People park their cars, blast music, and drink on the street. It was super strange to see my students there! I truly do not understand how Spaniards can stay out so late. When I asked my students about el botellón during the feria, they said they stay out until 7:00 am. If I tried to stay out this late, I would probably die. Sleep is important! Hopefully everyone has plenty of opportunities to sleep during the day while the feria is happening!

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