In November our International Spanish Academy program sent twenty students and two educators to Spain for a ten day exchange over the Thanksgiving break. This was the second leg of a two-year cultural exchange between our sister school, IES Julio Verne in Bargas (Toledo), which began last year. This year, our students and educators lived with Spanish families, participated in cultural events, and visited important historical sights.
Our exchange program started during the 2016-2017 school year with Napa High hosting 20 Spanish students and two educators over a ten day period. Our Napa High families opened their homes to Spanish students and welcomed our guests. Students attended school and learned more about the United States and our unique California culture.
Castilla-La Mancha Featured our ISA Exchange
A highlight from the most recent exchange centered around a brief misunderstanding between a Napa student and teacher. The student told the teacher that she was tired and wanted to go home. The teacher, worrying that the exchange was going poorly, asked why. The student responded, “We were up late last night and I’m sleepy. I want to go back home to my Spanish mom and sleep in my Spanish bed.” This highlighted the lasting friendship and mutual understanding that was developed between our cultures and countries. This is the type of exchange we envisioned and hope to continue.
This year, the Spanish Embassy will formally recognize our first graduating ISA class with diplomas. These diplomas will serve as recognition of the journey our students started with dual immersion at the Napa Valley Language Academy and continued in Harvest Middle School. Our graduating ISA students' will continue this life-long journey into bilingual and bicultural understanding after leaving us in June.