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Ken-Ton Students Study Abroad For 10 Days in Spain

Ken-Ton students pose for a photo in Salamanca, Spain

Three teachers and 24 students from Kenmore East and Kenmore West received an incredible opportunity abroad!

Students in the schools’ Spanish World Language study program recently got back from a 10-day trip to Spain where they attended classes, participated in local cultural activities, and tasted new food. The trip was part of our Ken-Ton foreign exchange program with several schools in Europe. Teachers Michael LaPaglia, Jennifer Hottois and Kari Colangelo accompanied the students to Spain.

During the trip, students were able to put their Spanish language skills to the test as they stayed with host families and explored the community. Some of the activities included a guided walking tour of Salamanca, zip-lining and climbing at an adventure park, a Flamenco Dance lesson at a local dance school, a visit to El Escorial de San Lorenzo and the city of Segovia where they were able to observe a Roman aqueduct and the Alcazar Castle, a day-long tour of Toledo and a sword factory, and seeing museums, parks, and the Royal Palace in Madrid.

“Our exchange programs are an integral part of the Ken-Ton experience,” Kenmore East Spanish Language teacher Michael LaPaglia said. “We are so lucky to provide this for our students and build connections inside and outside the classroom.”

While in Salamanca, students and teachers were delighted to meet up with Laura Robleda Fernandez, who lives in Zamora, Spain. Laura spent the year at Kenmore West in 2023 as an exchange student. While in Madrid, the group was visited by 2017 Kenmore West graduate Sydney Smith, who has been living and working in Madrid for the last two years.

“Trips like these can yield a life-changing experience that builds global citizenship,” LaPaglia said. “Sydney participated in the Ken-Ton Spanish Exchange in 2016. She said that during her trip to Spain in high school, she fell in love with Madrid. Living there has afforded her many chances to travel across Europe, make international connections and build lifelong friendships.”

The next trip to Spain for our Ken-Ton World Language students will be in 2026.