David Hitchcock introduces students to Spanish rural life in study abroad stay
Cloistered living in a small rural town is not for everyone, but for six students in a study abroad course, it presented a unique opportunity. Traveling to Mira, Spain, a town of around 1,100, students stayed in a medieval-era house accompanied by Dr. David Hitchcock, associate professor of Spanish.
While there were excursions outside of the town, including two day visits – to Madrid and Valencia, and a one-day trip to Cuenca, the rest of their five-week stay was in Mira, where the group interned with the non-profit organization, Rural Drama Center. The students studied plays of 16th and 17th century nuns and performed a Spanish theatrical piece for the locals. The twist was that none of the students were theatre majors and several hadn’t taken Spanish classes.
The group soon began bonding with the townspeople. Their neighbors would bring fresh vegetables and fruit from their garden daily. On the eve of their departure, one neighbor serenaded them resulting in a group sing-along. Hitchcock said that while the cloistered living environment and the isolation of the small town was challenging, the students learned not only language and thespian skills, but also about the people in this small Spanish town and about themselves.
View a photo slideshow of the trip. All photos and captions courtesy of Hitchcock.
University of Southern Indiana
USI group outside the Centro Dramático Rural. Front: Jackeline Yagual Flores, Jenny Wagner, Mendy Lopez. Back: Dr. David Hitchcock, Lorena Baquerizo, JJ Epperson, Coralys Miranda-Reyes