United Cultures: Facilitators of Awesome

Over the past two and a half months, fellow student Luci Sena and I have been keeping you up to date through blog posts and pictures of our many different experiences and adventures during our time in Spain. Have you been faithfully reading these posts, thinking to yourself, “I wish I was able to experience something AMAZING like that!”? If this sounds like you, keep reading this blog!

If you are currently a JCC student, you may or may not be aware of the MANY opportunities available through JCC’s experiential learning programs. No matter what your major is, it is likely that there is an internship that fits you! I definitely recommend browsing the internship listings on the JCC experiential learning website. I have had nothing less than a flawless experience with everyone involved at JCC with setting up the internship and keeping in regular contact with them throughout my time in Spain. If an international internship teaching English interests you, APPLY, APPLY, APPLY! I recommend this opportunity to come to Spain to anyone with aspirations of becoming a teacher, and anyone who wants to experience complete cultural immersion!

The logo for United Cultures S.L.

If you are a high school student in a school district in Chautauqua County or surrounding areas, LISTEN UP! Have you ever wanted to participate in an foreign exchange student program? Lucky for you, the Ministry of Education of Castilla y León (the region of Spain where I have lived during my internship) is looking to create student (and teacher) exchanges with schools in the United States. They would like to sign an agreement with US school districts that simply opens the door for this to take place. If a student exchange interests you, mention this opportunity to your school’s administration. School administrators can contact Heather Espeso, director of United Cultures S.L., for more information regarding this opportunity. Heather’s contact information is available on the United Cultures S.L. website.

Last, but certainly not least, host families are wanted! Every summer, Heather brings a group of students from Spain to the United States for the month of July. They come to be completely immersed in the American culture (like I am doing here with the Spanish culture). This year, she has 30 students and she is looking for host families in Jamestown, Warren, and surrounding areas. As Luci mentioned in her latest blog, her family will be hosting this summer! It is certainly a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about the Spanish language and culture and make a lifelong friend in the process. My host sister, Carolina, has been to the United States for the past two summers, and she absolutely loved it. Claudia, another one of my host sisters, will be coming with Heather this  summer as well. She is anxiously looking forward to her chance to experience American culture firsthand! Again, for more information about this opportunity, visit the United Cultures website, contact Heather directly via email at unitedculturessl@gmail.com, or call 814.726.2879 to speak with Heather’s grandfather, Phil Cerra, who can relay messages to Heather so she can call you directly from Spain.

Blake Peterson with his host sister, Carolina, at the dinner table.

My host sister Carolina loved staying with a host family in Warren, PA for the past two summers!

If you are interested in hearing even more about our time in Spain, be sure to check out our presentation at JCC’s Scholars Day on April 30th! There are so many opportunities available for people who want to have an experience like I have had over that past two and a half months. As my time here quickly comes to a close in a week and a half, I am able to say that this has certainly been a life changing experience that others should take part in in some way as well!

About the author

Blake Peterson

Hi! My name is Blake Peterson and I am a freshman at the Jamestown campus of JCC. I graduated from Southwestern High School in 2013 and I am working toward an associate's degree in math & science at JCC before transferring to a four year school to pursue a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering. I love all of the opportunities JCC has to offer! For example, this coming spring, I will be spending the semester as an English Instruction Intern in Valladolid, Spain. I am greatly looking forward to this experience and sharing it with others through this blog!