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Postcards from España 1: Scavenger Hunting in Segovia

Los ganadores (left-right): Blair Pearce, Anna Rehder, Delaina Hawkins, and Danny O'Dowd.

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Every summer, Foreign Languages and Literatures instructor James McConnell takes a group of NC State students to a study abroad program in Segovia, Spain. This program is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (CHASS) and the College of Engineering (COE), and is designed for engineering majors/minors.

During their time in Spain, students explore the city and surrounding area to immerse themselves in the language, technology, and culture of this beautiful region of Southern Spain. The classes, excursions, and field trips offered also encourage students’ abilities to use the language in authentic settings and to allow them to study and experience the rich culture of the region.

Every year, James and his students document their adventures in Spain using a blog. This time around, we will be sharing some of their posts on our website. We hope that by reading about these students’ summer of adventure and learning abroad, future students and their parents will be able to see first hand the innumerable benefits that our students get from language and cultural immersion through any of our multiple Study Abroad programs.

Here is the first post, the first day after their arrival…

Ginkana – Scavenger Hunt

May 17, 2016

Segovia is not a huge city but it is a bit expansive and it can be a bit difficult to find certain things. Instead of overloading everyone with a lot of information on the arrival day, a “scavenger hunt” seemed like a better idea but boundaries would also be necessary to avoid ventures into the countryside.

The group was split into 4 smaller groups of 4 people and we met at the aqueduct at 4 pm to begin the adventure. A PowerPoint with photos of locations around the city was made and the groups had to use this on their smartphones in conjunction with a city map to find each location and answer a question about the location in addition to taking a group photo to prove they were there. “The clock is set at 90 minutes. GO!” As time winded down, groups started to filter in and share their photos in addition to an explanation of the location. 

After everything was done, the winning group was, aptly named, Los Ganadores (The Winners)! Anna, Blair, Danny and Delaina found nearly every location and received a prize of well over 1000€ each! Chocolate euros, that is. And the knock off version of the Kinder Surprise eggs (those things are expensive!). Each group did an excellent job so everybody received chocolate as a reward and then hung out at one of the locations, 100 Montaditos, for a bit before heading off to do their own thing.  

The treasure hunt was fun but it was also very functional: now everyone knows how to navigate the city without getting lost, where we meet to take the bus for excursions, where to buy an adapter for electronic devices, where the medical clinic is located, how to find a pharmacy, where to buy a phone, where there are coffee shops with free internet, a place where you can call home inexpensively and of course, where to find McDonalds. Nooooooo! Oh well. You can’t win them all. 

Good job everyone!

By James McConnell

More posts are available on the Segovia 2016 blog.

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