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Granada's Volunteers

The students from this past fall semester had one thing clear at the beginning of the semester. They didn't just want to come to Granada and study Spanish; but they were determined to live and breathe the language and immerse themselves fully into the culture. These students proactively showed an interest in volunteering. Some wanted to see another side of Granada, to experience what it's really like to be Granadian. Others wanted to give something back to Granada, to show appreciation for everything that the city has given them. Yet, all of these students had one common goal, which was to overcome any cross-cultural or linguistic barriers and to maximize the positive outcomes of their experience. All of them agreed that volunteering was by far the best way to truly integrate themselves into the Spanish culture and experience another side of  Granada. These students volunteered at a variety of different organizations. One student, for example, went to Calor y Café, an organization that gives food and shelter to the homeless. There he served coffee and cookies, played dominoes with the regulars, practiced his Spanish and made a lot of new friends for all walks of life. A few of our students had an amazing experience volunteering at ASPACE, an organization that works with young people with cerebral palsy. They got to do lots of fun activities with the kids such as bringing them therapeutic swimming lessons and horseback riding. They also brought them to some professional soccer games and to the movies. Volunteers helped out the teachers in the classroom and also at lunch time. Teaching was also a popular volunteer activity this semester. A few of our students went to an elementary school called Virgen del Pilar. There they helped out the teachers and planned special activities for the kids in English including songs, stories and games.
 Other students volunteered at an organization called Juventud Idente, where they worked with the after-school program. Here they gave English lessons and helped the children one on one with their homework. After all the amazing and unique experiences that these students have had while living in Granada, it's going to be hard to say goodbye. They truly left a lasting mark on this city and will be missed by everyone who got the chance to work with them. Thank you to all of you for making this such a memorable semester!

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