Students Travel to the Bronx for Spanish Language Immersion Trip

Friday, June 08, 2012

Nine Fairmont State University Spanish students traveled to the Bronx, New York, for a Spanish immersion and service-learning experience on May 13 through19.

Dr. Julie Sellers, Spanish program coordinator, designed and led the trip and related workshops and classes, and Rosalba Ovalle, adjunct instructor, served as chaperone. Participating students were Chelsea Matheny, Miriah Mills, Jessica Seevers, Brettney Cole, Sarah Halbert, Sean Marion, Christina Snodgrass, Damon Waters and Danielle South.

During their stay, students lived with Dominican-American, Spanish-speaking families and participated in different workshops aimed at growing their Spanish language abilities and their knowledge of Dominican culture. 

Highlights included workshops with author Elizabeth Balaguer and musician Enriquillo Tejada. Participants visited the Dominican community of Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, the Hispanic Society museum and the Bronx Zoo, and viewed a documentary and movie about Dominican immigration. All activities were conducted in Spanish. In addition to these activities, learners participated in service projects, including the after school program at Sacred Heart School and the Highbridge food pantry.

FSU worked directly with the INEC Caribbean and Latin American Institute in the Bronx. The INEC made all arrangements for host families, workshop locations and special guest lecturers.

Participants have created a blog in Spanish and English, and they are adding to it weekly as part of the summer course associated with this trip. Check it out at

For more information about Spanish courses at FSU, visit

About the photo:

Back row: Chelsea Matheny, Miriah Mills, Jessica Seevers, Brettney Cole, Sarah Halbert, Sean Marion. Front row: Christina Snodgrass, Damon Waters, Danielle South, Dr. Julie Sellers.