Join the Spanish club as they travel abroad

Published by Molly Kay on

Nick Tratz, Spanish professor and club advisor, visits Ronda, Spain during one of his many Spain trips. He went in 2019, and now his students will get a chance to travel to Spain.
Photo provided by Nicholas Tratz

The Spanish Club, as well as other interested students, is traveling abroad in June of 2024 to Spain and Morocco for 10 to 11 days guided by EF Tours, an educational tour company.

The group will travel to four locations in Spain and four in Morocco, Africa. Students will sign up directly through EF Tours and pay for their own program fee, but fundraising will help with incidentals. “We can work on fundraising activities and get students’ financial aid figured out to see if we can get financial aid to (help) pay for things,” says Nicholas Tratz, Spanish instructor and club adviser.

Some details are still being figured out by Tratz and two Spanish club members Mark Elmore and Sonja Carleton. Both, alongside Tratz, have taken a lot of initiative in planning the trip, but a hard deadline has not been set for the signing up, “I envision that students will probably still be able to sign up for the trip through the fall term because we (will) have students who are coming onto campus for the first time,” Tratz says. This is not set in stone, as planning for that trip only started in December.

Mark Elmore, Spanish Club member, has been very involved in the trip planning alongside Nicholas Tratz and Sonja Carleton.
The Mainstream

The $5,500 cost of the EF Tours program covers flights, ground transportation, all entrance fees to museum and tourist sites, hotels, as well as most of the meals except lunches and some dinners. Fundraising will help cover the cost of meals not included in the program and help to get passports and possibly the cost of traveling to the PDX airport.

There are three payment options available on Ef Tours’ website such as a monthly payment plan dividing the payments up by the number of months before departure, paying in multiple chunks, “which can be beneficial if we have big chucks of money coming in from fundraising and financial aid,” Tratz says. Students can also pay for the trip in one payment. 

Tratz has traveled to Spain multiple times and once lived with a host family in Costa Rica while in graduate school. “I am most excited to share a place that is so near and dear to my heart with the students and see their excitement about exploring a new place, and honestly the culture shock”, Tratz says.

Elmore is a student veteran, so traveling is not unfamiliar to him. He wants to add more to UCC campus life and feels the trip will open more opportunities, “I want to build up the college more. Even though I’m going to OSU, I’m still going to be here through Spanish club and taking the EMT course.” Traveling to Morocco with the Spanish club will be the fourth continent Elmore has traveled to.

The financial aspects have proved to be the most difficult part of planning the trip. “Nothing else has been too crazy,” Elmore says. Elmore is pursuing his degree in theology at OSU and enjoys history and is looking forward to seeing the palace of Charles V in Granada, as well as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Carleton is working alongside Elmore and Tratz for planning the trip. The first step for the trip was looking at the EF Tours site: “Senor Tratz got us a bunch of information about how the French club went on a trip and gave us their (trip) information.” One difficulty Carleton has encountered is the scheduling because the trip will require students to ask teachers to allow them to take finals early: “The week we are going to leave is finals week. I think that won’t even come until the end cause a lot of students don’t even know what they’ll be taking at that point in time,” Carleton says.

Carleton is planning on going to local businesses and asking for donations for the educational trip as well as will be holding some bake sales with the help of her sister. Carleton has not traveled outside of the United States, so she is looking forward to experiencing stepping into a new culture: “I feel like I’m going to be in a whole other world, the whole language is different, the way they do things is different,” Carleton says.

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