Skip To Main Content

Proctor en Segovia: First Impressions

Proctor en Segovia

Ten Proctor students have begun another spring term in Segovia, Spain, participating in Proctor's linguistic and cultural immersion off-campus program. They follow in the footsteps of previous Proctor groups but bring their unique perspective on daily life, history, culture, and host family experiences. These students chart their own course, soaking up all the learning this trimester of immersion has to offer!

Proctor Academy Experiential Learning in Spain

Annika '25

When I set foot off the plane into Spanish territory, I did not realize how different everything would be. Arriving in Segovia, the smell hit me almost instantly. I knew you could smell stone, but the streets of this Segovian medieval city are fragrant in a very odd yet wonderful way. On the first day, any time I took a breath in, it felt like I was inhaling centuries of stories, told and untold. The aqueduct, built over 2000 years ago, reflects the light of the same sun every morning. It has seen the changes in Segovia over centuries, the people, the buildings, the advancements in technology, and its discontinuance in 1973. Even after it no longer carries water, it is still very much alive and the heart of Segovia. The stone seems to last forever to carry on the stories. 

Proctor Academy students study abroad in Spain

I remember walking home from school Saturday night, around 10 o'clock. I passed underneath the aqueduct, and I felt the whole right side of my body warm with the glow of a lantern held by a Nazareno - a person with a tall black hood and cloak, walking solemnly to the beat of the drum in penitence for his sins. This was one part of many Semana Santa processions - for Holy Week in Spain. They were truly different from what I may experience in New Hampshire but hauntingly beautiful.

Proctor Academy students learn about Spanish culture

Isaac '25

So far, since we've been in Segovia for almost two weeks, I have experienced many things that have changed my view of other cultures and different countries. Subtle things like eating very little for breakfast and eating dinner later at night are normal practices I have had to get used to. Or something like people walking slower and taking their time, without rushing things, have made me slow down my pace and showed me that some things do not need to be done fast. For example, we went to a restaurant, and after we were done eating and ready to go, they did not bring the check for another 45 min. In Spain, people like to enjoy their time at restaurants and talk, so there is no rush to go anywhere else.

Proctor Academy students arts afternoon activity in Spain

During this last week, it was Semana Santa, known in other countries as Holy Week. It is a holiday to celebrate the resurrection and crucifixion of Jesus. Many processions show the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, and this is the most important week of the year for Spaniards. The processions were very slow and methodical. There was somber music that set a solemn mood and the participants showed their dedication and faith in Jesus because he will take their sins away from the last year. 

Proctor Academy students learning through cultural and linguistic immersion

We also went to La Granja, a town close to Segovia. La Granja is known for its historical place built by a Spanish monarch, a token from the 18th century. La Granja was very empty and mellow. Everyone kept to themselves and enjoyed the sunny weather. La Granja is also a beautiful small town with colorful buildings and amazing architecture.
 So far, my time in Spain has been amazing, and I hope it stays that way for me and for everyone else in the group.

Proctor en Segovia experiential history study abroad

Jane '25

When our group first landed, we were immediately thrown into the pace of Spain. Greeted by Ross, Ale Young, and Kara Jacobs, our group was escorted into a restaurant, where our tired brains had to snap awake, order some food in Spanish, and hit the road from Madrid to Segovia. Knowing we had a big day, I tried to close my eyes on the bus. But soon enough, my eyes darted around from excitement, looking at these new surroundings. Snowy mountains met my gaze on the right and green meadows of sheep and cattle went on for miles to the left. Time was ticking and I felt my heart rate rise, knowing I would meet my mysterious host family soon. Stepping off the bus, I was greeted by a man in his mid-60s named Miguel. He immediately hugged me and escorted me and my bags to his small car in the parking lot. With a quick wave and a shout of "See you in three hours", Ross, Ale, and Kara disappeared from my view.

Proctor Academy students live with host families in Spain

When it comes to language, speaking is my strong suit. I began to talk to Miguel, who listened and responded with a short sentence in which I comprehended one-quarter of the words he had said. Cars and buses and people whizzed by the little car, but it was over soon enough. We parked and hauled my bags up the apartment building. As soon as I stepped into the modest and beautiful home of Miguel and his lovely wife, Cruz, I felt at home. 

Proctor Academy experiential learning about history in Spain through travel

Check out more photos from Proctor en Segovia Spring 2024!

  • Off-Campus Program
  • Proctor en Segovia