Students in Barbara Mitchell’s advanced Spanish course participated in a video conference November 16 with education professor Ángel Hernández and his students from the University of Cantabria. This Spanish university is located in Santander, a city in northern Spain.
Mitchell and Hernández organized the conference around four themes – comparing the educational systems in the United States and Spain, student life at the respective universities, popular slang expressions in English and Spanish and a discussion of cultural stereotypes.
The students from both sides of the Atlantic learned a lot about their similarities, but also their differences. For example, PSU students were surprised to learn that higher education is very affordable in Spain and that students are not often required to buy books for their courses or even attend classes. The Spanish students were surprised to find out that many PSU students live on campus. There are no fraternities and sororities at the University of Cantabria as most Spanish students live at home with their parents. It is also uncommon for Spanish students to work while they are going to school.