MCCC heading to Spain

ASpain and all its wonders is the next destination for MCCC’s Study Abroad students.

Journalism professor Dan Shaw, who will lead the Spain trip, has been working for the last two months to plan the details.

“Doing all this research for the trip has opened my eyes about how exciting Spain will be to visit,” Shaw said.

In an online survey during fall semester, Spain was chosen as one of the top three locations students wanted to visit.

Details are still being worked out, but a side trip to Portugal or Northern Africa may be worked into the mix, Shaw said.

The trip is planned to be roughly 16 to 20 days, with a week spent in Barcelona. 

Joanna Sabo, the International Studies Club adviser who has led past trips, said she’s excited about spending time in the east Spain seaport.

“I have heard in Barcelona you’re in a very posh, sheik, modern part of downtown one minute, then a very, very old Spanish colonial city the next,” Sabo said.

Highlights the club is certain to see, according to Shaw, include Museo del Prado, which ranks as one of the must-see art museums in the world, holding some of the finest collections of pre-20th century European art.

Another likely stop is the Alhambra, a fifteenth century palace and fort  that is considered to be one of the world’s best examples of Moorish architecture, located in Granada.

Another feature of the trip, Shaw said, will be the Sagrada Familia, a world-famous cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona.

Students who go on the trip can register for none or all three of the classes that will be offered. However, the  faculty members recommend only taking one or two of the classes.

Gary Wilson, one of the professors participating in the trip, will be teaching an art appreciation course. He said he’s thrilled at the chance to see some of the world’s greatest art works.

“I am looking forward to seeing this art,” he said. “I have been teaching for 41 years, and now I’m finally seeing what I teach about.”

Sabo, who has led three other MCCC Study Abroad trips, also will be going on this adventure. She intends to teach comparative politics. 

“I want them to learn a lot about comparative governments, just by looking in that one country,” Sabo said.

 Shaw plans to teach Photojournalism.

“I think a Photojournalism course really fits Study Abroad, because it teaches students how to tell stories with pictures,” Shaw said.

In last year’s trip to Central Europe, students and faculty spent 20 days in Austria, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Students were able to experience life on  the cobble-stoned streets and see the grand, towering cathedrals.

“I believe the students, the college, and the community benefit from MCCC study abroad, and I would love to see it expanded to offer an opportunity each year,” said Vinnie Maltese, dean of the Science/Mathematics Division.

A video of the 2011 trip is available on the Agora website, www.mcccagora.com. Students interested in the Spain trip should contact Shaw, Sabo or Wilson.