Spanish Immersion Experience

istock-000005805619xsmall.jpgEvery summer a select group of students in the college travels to central Mexico for four weeks of immersive Spanish, a language that’s a growing part of the agricultural industry.

“Spanish is becoming a very important language in agriculture, and since a lot of Spanish-speaking countries are agriculturally based, it’s becoming more and more essential for people to speak Spanish if they are to participate in the industry,” said Lanre Odusote, one student who participated in the Spanish for the Agricultural Sciences Mexico immersion program.

To take part students must complete Spanish 107, a course aimed at students in the college. It prepares them for the culture, lifestyle, and atmosphere they’ll encounter and the Spanish language unique to Mexico.

Students were housed by natives in Cuernavaca and Buenavista who spoke little to no English. There they attended Cemanahuac Educational Community, a Spanish language school that is geared toward teaching American students.

For the first three weeks in the school community, the students learned about grammar and differences in American and Spanish culture. They also visited historical sites, including pyramids and museums such as the National Museum of Anthropology, which is dedicated to the history of Mexico from the time of the Aztecs and the Mayans.

The group also concentrated on the development of Mexico’s agricultural industry and how different it is from that of the United States.

“They don’t use a lot of chemical treatments,” Odusote said. “They don’t spray pesticides because in a lot of areas they can’t afford the chemicals, so they find other ways to take care of their crops and livestock. I have an interest in becoming a veterinarian and want to know about veterinary practices in other countries,” he said. “You never really learn a language until you’re placed in the culture.”