Spain trip leaves students wanting more

For a little less than $3,000 each, 13 OCCC students spent two weeks in Spain at the end of the spring semester, improving their Spanish language skills. They were joined by students from Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah.

Ginnett Rollins, Modern Languages director at OCCC, said the best part for the students was trying to communicate in Spanish.

“The immersion experience of actually going and trying to communicate in Spanish was one of the most important things the students got to experience,” she said.

Rollins accompanied the students on their trip. From May 17 through June 1, the students traveled to Madrid, Cordoba, and southern Spain,

OCCC student Lizette Gonzalez said she considers herself fluent in Spanish, but said she found some vocabulary differences in her Spanish travels.

“Sometimes we did bump into each other because some words didn’t mean the same thing,” she said.

The thing she said stuck out most to her were the regional flavors of the language within Spain itself.

“Every time we kept on moving south, their accents kept on changing,” she said.

Gonzalez says she paid for her trip through installment payments.

Christian Alyea, Oklahoma Study Abroad director, organized the trip and accompanied the students as well.

Gonzalez said Alyea was lenient but remindful of when the payments were due. She said a lot of her funding was donated through her GoFundMe account.

Rollins said the trip included a three-credit-hour Spanish class, which students could take for credit or audit.

Gonzalez said the three-credit-hour class called for a reasonable workload.

She recommends students take advantage of OCCC’s study-abroad trips because they’re some of the most cost-friendly in Oklahoma.

Paris Burris, who has since graduated from OCCC, also went to Spain.

“Cadiz was my favorite place,” Burris said. “We went to the beach, and it was beautiful and relaxing.”

Burris said it was nice to see a different culture, to be out and about and active.

“The most shocking thing to me was the food,” she said. “In Spain they eat ham with everything, and the way they make it is completely different than in America.”

Burris also recommends the Oklahoma Study Abroad program to those who don’t mind being active and on the go.

“It’s affordable and educational,” she said.“The good thing about this trip is, it made me not only want to spend two weeks abroad, but a whole semester.”

This coming spring, a travel destination for modern language students is expected to be Paris, France. For more information on that trip, contact Rollins at

Leave comment