Proctor en Segovia: Anticipating Andalucía

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As they have for decades, Proctor en Segovia students closed out their winter 2022-2023 term abroad by traveling south to Andalucía and the city of Granada. There they explored its UNESCO World Heritage sites and monuments and immersed themselves in the region's rich history and culture that has absorbed the influences of many groups, primarily from North Africa, over the centuries.

Proctor Academy experiential learning in Spain

Hieu '23 - Anticipating Andalucía

This was our second excursion, and I'm pretty sure the general consensus was that we were super excited to spend the next five days together. Also, knowing that we were hitting the last two weeks here in Spain, we were going to give Andalucia our all!

Proctor Academy learning through cultural and linguistic immersion
Views of the city of Granada and the Alhambra.

We made our way to the train station in Madrid and took the train to Granada, a city shadowed by Sevilla (the capital city) but full of the rich history and culture of the earlier Moor settlers. We learned a little about how the Moor's religion affected the architecture and food of the people in Granada, with influence mainly from Morocco. The train only took 4 hours and 30 minutes, considerably better than a five-hour car ride as we had plenty of legroom to play with, and we were not cramped together in a small car. Looking back, the train ride was so much fun as most of us sat near each other which enabled us to play fun games to buy time. We first played a game where one person would say a letter and we all would say the first word that we could think of with that letter. Everyone got very creative with that game as we started to say words from different languages that started with that letter. We then transitioned to an observation game, where you have to observe a person's body language and figure out the pattern of their action in order to get the answer correct. The train filled with laughter and frustration, and the next thing we knew, we were already in Granada. 

Proctor en Segovia history class on the road
A history lesson inside Granada's Alhambra

On our way to the house we were staying at, we encountered a huge mall. For the next two days, that mall was on everybody's minds as we all wanted to buy gifts for our family and friends back home. We finally got the green from our director Luis that we could spend a little more than an hour in the mall. The mall was even more spacious on the inside, with a basement and a second floor. I was determined to walk around this entire mall to find at least one thing I could bring back home as a gift. I encountered this Spanish perfumería and thought everything there smelled light and calm. I was able to buy perfume for my mom and cologne for me and my dad. At the end of the 1 hour, I saw that everyone was able to buy at least one item, and we all left very happy, knowing that we were not going home empty-handed. 

Proctor en Segovia students visit Granada

When I first heard about our plans to go to Granada, the cooking class was at the top of my priority list of things to do. I was so happy we were able to learn how to cook proper Spanish cuisine in Granada. We arrived at the store at around 11 AM and found out that we were cooking paella con pollo, which is this flavored rice dish with chicken. We split into two groups. One would make the paella, and one would make crema catalana which is like a rich creme brulee. I was with the paella group and was in charge of cutting the vegetables and creating the mixture that was going to go in the rice and give the dish flavors. I was super careful and measured everything out perfectly, knowing my component of the dish was one of the most important parts in making our paella delicious. 

Proctor Academy students study abroad in Spain

In the middle of cooking, we got treated to a little snack of bread with shredded tomato and jamón, it was so good, and it really freshened us up for the final push in putting our dishes together. The rice was cooked and seasoned perfectly, the chicken was crunchy, and the crema catalana was so rich and sweet. It really was the cherry on top to top out our amazing day of cooking. At the end of the class, we received our aprons as a memory that we together were able to create this amazing memory with food.

Proctor Academy experiential learning about history in Spain through travel

Cosi '23 - Flamenco in Granada

As we were halfway into our last excursion, we had had very full days, but Friday was by far the most packed. That night after a busy day of cooking class and long walks up the side of mountains. We got ready for a night out in the old city of Granada and then walked from the cars on the top of the hill to the small room where we'd watch flamenco dancers and musicians.

Proctor en Segovia learn about Spanish food culture

The performance was confusing at the beginning until a tall brunette walked on the stage. She began quietly and then took over the whole stage. I was mesmerized by the clapping and the constant encouragement by the other performers. Once she was finished she smiled at our group. I really loved watching her. The guitarist was crazy. He played with ease, but it was hard not to watch him play and he was playing so fast it was incredible. When the shows were over the light would go completely white. By the end of the performance, my hands were hurting from watching them clap. The way they clapped so loud and always with the beat and with each other was wild. After the show, we went out to a Moroccan restaurant. The food was amazing, along with the aesthetic of Granada. All of Granada was amazing, especially the Moorish-influenced architecture. I really loved being able to see different parts of Spain while learning about its history.


Proctor Academy students learn about Spanish art historyThe exquisite carvings and muqarna honeycomb vaulting inside the Alhambra.

Click Here For More Proctor en Segovia Winter 2023 Photos


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