Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Spanish Abroad Programs Cancelled

Although I completely disagree with this decision, I thought that it was worth posting in relation to my current studies in Barcelona.

Tom Fuentes, a trustee for the South Orange County Community College Dstrict, unveiled his plan last week to cancel Saddleback College's program with Spain. Students have participated in this program for the past fifteen years. In front of a shocked audience, Fuentes noted that, "One hundred ninety-five years ago, in 1810, my family arrived on this continent from Spain, so I have an affection for that land..." However, his tone quickly changed when he simulataneously attacked the study abroad program as catering to "an elite," yet should be also considered a "death wish" given the al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid last March. He added, "Now, something more... Many of our students in this college, and of its sister college Saddleback and Irvine, past and future today, fight on the battlefield of Iraq under the flag that is behind us. Spain has abandoned our fighting men and women, withdrawing their support. I see no reason to send the students of our colleges to Spain at this moment in history."

Despite this extremely odd course of action, one must question the decision to terminate the program now, nearly a year after the Madrid bombings. Fuentes was also a former head of the Republican Party in Orange County, perhaps a sign that his decision was a result of Bush and Condi's refusals to visit Spain on their European trips, or Spain's decision to leave the "Coalition of the Willing." I am eager to see what may develop within the next several days.


Blogger Aleksu said...

I wonder how many Latin American people send their students to learn English in England.

The Lingua Franca is American English, not British English. Latin American Spanish (think Mexico, Bolivia or Peru) has outperformed Castillian Spanish for a long time now.

Time to be consistent with the way the world is going.

10:32 PM  
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Spanish Abroad Programs

7:11 AM  

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