Spanish trip planned

Nisheeka Simmons, Staff Writer

This spring, four Francis Marion University (FMU) students will travel to Spain to learn more about the Spanish culture and to increase their Spanish language skills. Sponsored by FMU’s International Exchange Committee (IEC), the trip will take place on May 6- May 14.

Dr. Kristin Kiely, assistant professor of Spanish, will accompany the students attending the trip. According to Kiely, the group will lodge in Madrid but will also visit the cities Toledo and Segovia.

“We will see the Roman aqueducts in Segovia,” Kiely said. “In Toledo, we will see the three neighborhoods- Christian, Jewish, and Muslim- that have lived together peacefully for many years. I’m also looking forward to seeing their distinctive architectures.”

The students chosen to travel to Spain are all Spanish majors and minors. Hannah Fazio, sophomore, Spanish major and business minor, is going on the trip. According to Fazio, after submitting her application, she was very nervous when waiting on the results. Fazio said she was “elated” when she got the good news.

“I am really looking forward to being submerged in the culture and being surrounded by people who speak Spanish as their first language,” Fazio said. “One of my biggest challenges with Spanish is trying to understand the spoken language. I am hoping that hearing and having to use Spanish in a real life setting will help me.”

According to Kiely, the group will visit historic landmarks while in Spain, including the Royal Palace of Madrid. They will also visit several museums, including the Museo del Prado and the Reina Sofia which are both located in Madrid. Kiely, who has visited Spain before, said she looks forward to revisiting an open air market that takes place every Sunday morning.

“It is like a farmer’s market, but they do not sell food,” Kiely said. “There are all kinds of homemade crafts and the whole community comes out. When it ends at about 2 p.m., the residents tend to go our for a beer and just relax for the rest of the day.”

According to Kiely, this is the first trip to Spain that has been organized through the Modern Languages Department and the IEC. Kiely mentioned that the total cost of the trip for each student is $2000, but the IEC funds will cover half of each student’s expenses.

For more information, e-mail Dr. Kristin Kiely at or visit her in CEMC room 133D.