Spain – Madrid

We will list projects on our understanding of Spain on the list below by the end of March.

We hope to be connecting with students from

Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Boadilla del Monte (Madrid), Maria Amparo Mena, Departamento de Inglés, Project Leader, email:  amparo.mena@educa.madrid.org

and other international connections.  We welcome the posting of comments on these projects in the comment box below.  We look forward to learning with you.

Here’s our initial list of projects on Spain:

Danielle – Art in Spain

Natasha – Music and Dance in Spain

Stephanie – Food in Spain

Alison – Sports in Spain

Melissa – Educational System in Spain

Kelsey – Business in Spain

Shelby – Fashion in Spain

Meredith – Famous People from Spain

Sara – Behavioral disabilities in Spain

Stephen – Athletes in Spain

presentation on the American Educational system developed by students

at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Boadilla del Monte (Madrid),  Spain

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83 Responses to Spain – Madrid

  1. Pablo Marcos says:

    Hello everyone!
    I’m glad to see how many people are interested in those topics about our country. We are ready to help you whenever and whatever you want.
    Best regards.

  2. Pablo:

    Thank you for the welcome. I showed the students the video at

    and they wanted to know whether there were urban areas of Madrid. Your community looks both modern and historic and a lovely place to live.

    David Stoloff

  3. Pablo Marcos says:

    Hi! Thank you for your kind comments. Boadilla is today a modern big town with 40.000 inhabitants. There are many urban areas; it’s about 15 km. from the centre of Madrid. Although has artistic heritage, it’s also an important financial centre. One of the biggest european banks, Banco Santander, has its headquarters here in Boadilla.
    Regards.

    • Pablo:

      Might your group be interested in also communicating with Spanish-language learners here? You might write in English and they would respond in Spanish. Any interest on this side of the project?

      David

  4. Ana says:

    Hello everybody!

    My name is Ana and I’m also attending English classes with Pablo at EOI.
    I’ll be really happy to help with your projects.
    I think you have chosen a lot of interesting subjects. Art in Spain could be my favourite but I’m sure we’re going to enjoy working with all of them.
    In my opinion it could be a good idea getting in contact with Spanish learners. We could help each other.

    Ana

  5. Pablo Marcos, Ana, and Professor Maria Amparo Mena:

    Thank you for sending us your questions. I see about 59 questions in your list. I’ve about 20 students in my seminar and will ask them to respond to about 4 questions each. We will try to respond this afternoon.

    Please comment on their postings with any comments or further questions.

    Dr. David Stoloff

    stoloffd@easternct.edu

    • Renewable energies – Rebecca

      1. Have you ever talked about climate change and pollution, energy efficiency or renewable energies with your friends or relatives?

      2. Could you describe how the planet, related to the environment, will be in 100 years?

      3. What do American people think about climate change and about the fact that there aren’t enough energy sources in order to maintain the present standard of living?

      4. How do you think we could divide to a half our green house gas emissions to avoid the dramatic climate change? Do you think the more development of currently society the more emissions we will generate?

      • widzickir says:

        1. Have you ever talked about climate change and pollution, energy efficiency or renewable energies with your friends or relatives?

        Yes, in the United States this has been a very popular topic in the recent years. Last semester I took a class that was called Global Climate Issues, and we did a lot of talking about new ways to conserve energy, I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot.

        2. Could you describe how the planet, related to the environment, will be in 100 years?

        I strongly believe that in the far future our environment will be ideal. With all of the technological advances happening now, I can only image how technology will improve in 100 years. The more technological and scientific research our country does the more change we will have more conservative and reusable energy.

        3. What do American people think about climate change and about the fact that there aren’t enough energy sources in order to maintain the present standard of living?

        Many people agree with this statement, they believe that we don’t have enough useful sources of energy. That’s why there is so much controversy about energy sources in the recent news. But, in fact, many people believe that all of this global and climate change is a pattern that has been going on for years. In my opinion, I don’t believe that is valid, I feel that temperature growth is a reaction from all of the energy we are using and all of the advances we are receiving.

        4. How do you think we could divide to a half our green house gas emissions to avoid the dramatic climate change? Do you think the more development of currently society the more emissions we will generate?

        I’m not really sure how to answer this question. But, I do know that in order to have only half of our green house emissions we need to figure out how to conserve energy and we also should figure out more and useful energy sources for the future.

    • Renewal energies – Amy

      5. Is there any kind of subject where you could explain to your pupils the main forms of using the energy in a better way? In case there isn’t, would you propose it to the school?

      6. Do you agree with the government about supporting to renewable energies? And are you proud of that?

      7. Do you think the government should provide you more facilities to take care of the environment or is this something we have to do by our own?

      8. Imagine the situation in which you can choose between two quite different cars and you have to pay for it exactly the same money. One of them is a conventional fuel car, powerful and luxury one, and the other is an electric one with less power and less luxury. Which one would you buy? Why would you?

      • Amy says:

        5. Is there any kind of subject where you could explain to your pupils the main forms of using the energy in a better way? In case there isn’t, would you propose it to the school?
        Many teachers use science to discuss better ways of renewing energy. Some schools could have a club that focuses on renewable energy and people who want to learn more can attend the club after school. In my high school we had clubs meet once a month during the day so maybe one teacher may start that as a club. I had a global climate change class at Eastern and it was very interesting.

        6. Do you agree with the government about supporting to renewable energies? And are you proud of that?
        I do agree that our country needs to support renewable energies. I am not familiar with any specific legislation, but it is something that our country has addressed hypothetically. Unfortunately, I would say that our government needs to implement programs that encourage people to pursue these facilities on their own (windmills or solar panels), which would take some pressure off of the government to do all of it.

        7. Do you think the government should provide you more facilities to take care of the environment or is this something we have to do by our own?
        Everyone should take the initiative to explore different facilities that allow us to take care of our environment. Of course, some of that we can do ourselves and some of it we can’t. We can recycle, use alternative forms of transportation (carpooling, bicycle, walking) as opposed to burning up gas all of the time. We can also cut down on our energy consumption, littering, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, and composting. However, the government should provide more programs that reward those who go the extra mile: buying an electric car, or a hydrogen car, or putting in solar panels or windmills for alternative energy sources.

        8. Imagine the situation in which you can choose between two quite different cars and you have to pay for it exactly the same money. One of them is a conventional fuel car, powerful and luxury one, and the other is an electric one with less power and less luxury. Which one would you buy? Why would you?
        I would buy the electric car. It isn’t as fancy or classy as the other one, but it allows you to cut down on your carbon footprint. Plus you would save money on gas.

    • American Educational System – Olivia

      1. Are there important differences among different states regarding education?
      2. At what age is compulsory go to the school? Until what age?
      3. What kind of subjects do they study?
      4. What is the relation between families and school? Are families involved in different ways? Could you give me some examples?

      • American Educational System

        1. Are there important differences among different states regarding education?
        2. At what age is compulsory go to the school? Until what age?
        3. What kind of subjects do they study?
        4. What is the relation between families and school? Are families involved in different ways? Could you give me some examples?

        1. If you are going to college to become an educator then in my opinion I would say that Connecticut is the best place to go to school. If you graduate with an education major in Connecticut then you can teach in almost any state where as if you were to go to schools in a different state you have to take a test that has a high fee to teach in any other state. As for the school systems every school varies slightly in their rules and regulations.

        2. For preschool children the youngest is three. For kindergarteners they can begin as young as five. Students then go through elementary, middle and high school graduating at the age of 18.

        3. The basic subjects studied in our schools are history, math, social studies, science, English, foreign language and gym

        4. Schools encourage parents to become involved with the school systems but unfortunately not all parents do. Don’t get the wrong idea though many parents are very involved it all depends on what area they are in. We have organizations for parents such as the PTA which stands for parent’s teacher association. We also have parent teacher conferences but as the students get older less parents show up. Schools will also send out notices when big events are going on.

        • Pablo Marcos says:

          Hi Olivia. Thank you very much for your quick and helpful answers. I wonder if you could explain me the following things related with the previous questions.
          1. In Europe there are a lot of differences between, e.g. Spain and Germany or France about education: ages, programs, legislation in general… Each country has its own rules. Is it the same in the USA?
          2. You mean that attending classes is compulsory until 18, don’t you?
          3. OK
          4. In countries like New Zealand or Finland usually parents participate in classes with their children helping teachers. In Spain it’s not usual. What about the USA?

          Thank you very much in advance.

          • Olivia Muscarella says:

            1. In America every state has its own rules for education. It’s not the countries decision as a whole. In general they are relatively similar over all. I heard in France that students get very long lunches and in America the general time is half an hour but it varies through states.
            2. Yes I did mean that the requirement is attending school is 18.
            4. No parents do not participate in everyday classes.

    • American Educational System – Annemarie

      5. How long are children in schools, how much time every day and every week?
      6. Could you summarize holyday periods per year and how long do they last?
      7. Importance and assignments of tutors in Primary and Secondary school.
      8. Are there more important -e.g. Maths…- and less important subjects -e.g. Physical Education-?

      • Annemarie S. says:

        5. Children are usually in school for about seven or eight hours a day, and 35 to 40 hours per week. We go to school five days a week here, Monday through Friday, and have Saturday and Sunday off for the weekend.

        6. Generally, schools will have a break in the winter for Christmas and the New Year. For the public schools, we usually have a week of for vacation at that time. We also sometimes get a week long break in February for president’s day and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but we don’t always get that. In the spring, we usually have a week off for Easter in April, and for the summer, we get out of school in May or June and do not start again until August or September. In the fall, we will have a week or a few days off for Thanksgiving, too.

        7. In primary school, students do not get a lot of homework. When we do get homework, it is only a worksheet or two, and some reading. Students will get special help in primary school for math or reading, and will go to that tutor during the school day. In secondary school, we get a lot more homework, and tutors are more common. A lot of students have tutors in math, and meet with them after the school day.

        8. The main subjects (math, english, science, history and foreign language) are more important and taken more seriously than classes like gym, art or music. Gym is a required class in most schools, but we do not get as many credits for it. Classes like art and music are electives, and we don’t have to take those unless we want to, but everyone has to take classes in the main subjects.

        I hope this information helps!!

    • American Educational System – Stephanie

      9. Is education free or do families have to pay some money? What is the approximatele percentage of private and public school?
      10. What’s necessary to become a teacher?
      11. What do American people think about teachers?
      12. Are American people proud of their educational system?

      • stephanie says:

        9. Is education free or do families have to pay some money? What is the approximatele percentage of private and public school?
        Education is free if you go to a public school. The government funds public schools. Education is not free for private schools. Twenty-five percent of all schools are private. For more infomation visit:
        http://www.capenet.org/facts.html

        10. What’s necessary to become a teacher?
        To become a teacher you need a teaching certification and a bachelor’s degree. Eventually you would have to get you master’s degree.

        11. What do American people think about teachers?
        American people think that teachers are good role models.

        12. Are American people proud of their educational system?
        Americans are proud of their education system. However, there are a few problems that we are working on fixing.

    • American Educational System – Jessica R.

      13. Do usually children under 3 go to nurseries or stay at home with their parents?
      14. Do they learn foreign languages at school? What is the most important second language?
      15. What’s the difference between middle and high school? Could you explain me about the different levels or grades and their ages?
      16. What do usually young people do after secondary school?

      • Jessica R. says:

        American Educational System

        13. Do usually children under 3 go to nurseries or stay at home with their parents?
        Children under three usually aren’t in school yet, but a lot attend a daycare while their parents are at work.

        14. Do they learn foreign languages at school? What is the most important second language?
        At school, most students are required to take a second langauge. Most students take Spanish because it’s starting to become a really popular langauge here, although there are many other langauges offered. Primarily in high schools children take either Spanish or French.

        15. What’s the difference between middle and high school? Could you explain me about the different levels or grades and their ages?
        Middle school comes right after elementary school. Most students use middle school as their transition to highschool. In some towns middle school is grade seven and eight, but it can also include sixth grade. The ages in middle school are about 11-13. High school is ninth grade through twelfth grade, which is ages about 13-18.

        16. What do usually young people do after secondary school?
        Most people finish secondary school and move onto college. The majority of people are doing that here because it a college degree makes it easier to get a job in the future as an adult.

    • American Educational System – Stephen

      17. Are more new technologies present in education? Are there computers in every classroom? Or interactive boards?
      18. Is important artistic education?
      19. Do students usually have lunch at school?
      20. What are most popular extracurricular activities?

      •  17. Are more new technologies present in education? Are there computers in every classroom? Or interactive boards?
        New technologies are becoming more present in education. In every classroom there is at least one computer that the teacher uses. For classes that need computers, there are classrooms with many computers that the students can use. Interactive boards are becoming popular as well. Every year more classrooms are buying interactive boards.

        18. Is important artistic education?
        Artistic education is not important in America. It is a requirement to take one or two art classes for high school and college. Besides that, art is not very important.

        19. Do students usually have lunch at school?
        Yes. Students have lunch at school every day, with the exception of early dismissal days. Students have the option of buying food in the cafeteria or bringing in their own lunch from home.

        20. What are most popular extracurricular activities?
        Some popular extracurricular activities are sports like Baseball and Track and Field, clubs such as Math Club and Choir, and Student Government.

        • Francisco José Olmos. says:

          Hi Stephen .

          We watched your presentation regarding Best Athletes in Spain, and we think you should include these ones below:
          Best rock climber Edurne Pasaban. She is the first woman in the world to climb 14x8000ers , also you should meet Jorge Lorenzo Moto GP world champion, Alberto Contador Cycle rider, Spanish swimming synchronize team.

          Regards.

        • Frank, Teresa and Azucena says:

          Hi Stephen,
          We don’t understand what “early dismissal days” mean?
          Please, could you explain it to us?
          Thanks in advance
          Regards

    • American Educational System – Catie

      25. Are there any extra-curricular activities for the children to attend to after school?
      26. Do the students have the possibility to have breakfast at school? Do they have to pay for it?
      27. Is there any subject about religion?
      28. What’s the percentage of High School graduates?

      • Catie says:

        American Educational System – Catie

        25. Are there any extra-curricular activities for the children to attend to after school?

        Each school has many different clubs and activities for children to do after school. There are the traditional sports like baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, football, and volleyball. Then, there are other clubs like math club, knitting club, rocket science club, etc.

        26. Do the students have the possibility to have breakfast at school? Do they have to pay for it?

        Most Elementary and Middle schools do not have breakfast for students, but a lot of the high schools have breakfast available for students, however, the student has to pay for it, just as they would if they chose to buy lunch at school.

        27. Is there any subject about religion?

        We have separation of church and state here, and so teachers are not allowed to teach anything about religion in schools. There have been many lawsuits regarding this.

        28. What’s the percentage of High School graduates?

        About 69% of students in the United States graduate highschool in four years. Race and economic standing as well as where you live have a great effect on the graduation rate. 46% of african americans do not graduate, 44% of latinos and 49% of native americans do not graduate, and about 15-25% of white americans do not graduate. Most of the places with low graduation rates are low income cities or very large school districts where students who need academic help are not recognized.

    • American Educational System – Christina

      33. What requirements do students have to meet to enter University?
      34. Can students choose their one courses or are there mandatory courses?
      35. How much do Universities cost?
      36. How many students take up student loans to attend University?

      • American Educational System – Christina

        33. What requirements do students have to meet to enter University?

        The general requirements for students to meet to enter the University/College standards are very important. Certain things that are common today are SATs scores, an essay, recommendation letters, general information about you and the application to the University/College by the designated deadline. The SATs is a big test that determines how much you have learned through your past education and can help you get into the University/College. Some University/College require a certain score on the SATs but it can be ignored if other things like your grades are very good. The recommendation letters can help the faculty at the University/College to decide if you are good to the community, etc. Sometimes essays are very specific and sometimes flexible/general. Some essay directions are the amount of words you can submit in the essay and a topic question to write about in the essay.

        34. Can students choose their one courses or are there mandatory courses?

        Students can choose their courses but they also have to do mandatory courses as well. For example, the students have a mandatory course to take for History 121 but they can choose on what category that is under History 121 and the time schedule that is given.

        35. How much do Universities cost?

        Universities cost is very different between each university. For instance, public universities are much cheaper than private universities. For example, in Connecticut, some public universities are roughly around the cost of $20,000-$30,000 and private universities are roughly around the cost of $40,000-$65,000. Also, it depends if you are from a different state going to another state for a university/college. It is most likely cheaper if you go to a university/college in the state you live in, in America. For example, in Connecticut, if you lived in Connecticut and going to Eastern Connecticut State University and live on campus, you only pay around $18,438 (sometimes changes in small amount) per year. If you lived in a different state in America and going to Eastern Connecticut State University and live on campus, you would pay around $28,803 per year! It is a big difference in money costs.

        36. How many students take up student loans to attend University?

        For students, it depends on how much student loans they can use to attend Universities. It all depends on the University and the student itself. It also depends if the student has applied for services like financial aid, scholarships, and other services. But as an example that I found as statistics as of 2010, the students that take loans that either go to 4 year college, 2 year college or less, are 58.8% in America of undergraduate education levels. As you can see that is a big portion.

    • Pablo Marcos, Ana, and Professor Maria Amparo Mena:

      Thank you for asking many interesting questions that raised questions for us, including

      1. What kind of contracts are THERE for students who have finished their degree?
      2. What is the degree which has more possibilities to find a well paid Job in USA?
      3. What is the most common first Job for Business Administration students?

      My students here want to know what is the guarantee for employment after completing a degree in Spain. Are there direct connections between a degree and getting a job right away? Unfortunately, that is not the experience of US students these days.

      I have shown my students this video

      RSA Animate (2010). Changing Education Paradigms. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

      that shows the changing connections between university study and employment. We live in a changing world.

      Thank you for participating in this international discussion. Please do continue to encourage students to comment in the blogspace. We will discuss the possibilities of skyping and other tools in March.

      David Stoloff
      stoloffd@easternct/edu

      • Pablo Marcos says:

        Hi David and everyone.
        Although I have some problems understanding English, I think the video you posted is fantastic and matches perfectly with the situation in Europe and especially in Spain. There are too many people in Spain with a universitary degree, and obviously not so many workplaces for everybody. There has been a very high rate of unemployment in Spain, higher than the rest of Europe. And lately, because of the internacional crisis, the rates are becoming almost unbereable. Then, many people have decided to continue studying and at the end of their studies there aren’t enough qualified jobs. In any case, the average of unemployed people is much lower among graduated people.

      • Pablo Marcos says:

        When students finish their degrees, they usually search for a job. Some of them, maybe 5%, remain at University as scholars. This is a first step to become teachers there, or to begin research or investigation. Scholars are very badly paid and work too much very often at University giving classes or doing whatever their bosses or masters want. So, this isn’t the best way for most of the students. And besides, only the best prepared people will eventually achieve the goals.
        As regards students who want to work, many of them realize that finding a job according with their degrees is almost impossible, and they have to wait around one or two years until they find a suitable or at least acceptable post. Many graduates try to join the public administration. In Spain there are quite a lot of public servants, so if you want that choice, you have to pass a really hard and unpredictable process of publc exam which takes long time to prepare. And few people succeed.
        Because of all of this, more and more people don’t trust in degrees here in Spain.

  6. Renewal energies – Chelesa M

    9. Do you usually take bus, train or riding bicycle instead of taking the car to move you?

    10. Do you recycle (paper, bags, plastics, …)? How often do you do?

    11. Are you used to do some energy efficiency actions such as switching off the lights when you get out, replace the traditional incandescent light bulb or fix the thermostate to 70 ºF in winter?

    12. Do you think that energy efficiency is a good investment or not?

    • Chelsea McNamara says:

      9) Do you usually take bus, train or riding bicycle instead of taking the car to move you?

      When I’m at home I take my car to get from place to place. While many people ride their bikes on campus to get from class to class, I walk everyday.

      10) Do you recycle (paper, bags, plastics, …)? How often do you do?

      I do recycle but not nearly as often as I should. I recycle plastic bottles and newspapers. All of my recyclable items go out every two weeks.

      11) Are you used to do some energy efficiency actions such as switching off the lights when you get out, replace the traditional incandescent light bulb or fix the thermostate to 70 ºF in winter?

      I am used to doing simple efficiency actions. I always turn off the lights when I leave my room and I always unplug things that aren’t being used. Little actions like that can save a lot of energy.

      12)Do you think that energy efficiency is a good investment or not?

      I think energy efficiency is a very good investment. Using various forms of energy can be extremely expensive. Also, certain uses of energy are harmful to the environment and cause pollution. By saving energy, you are not only saving money but you are also saving the environment. Energy efficiency is a great investment.

  7. American Educational System – Nicole

    21. How high school failure is? Is it related with ethnic differences or racial minorities?
    22. How are children with very low or high capacities dealt with?
    23. Is home schooling usual?
    24. Does bilingual education exist in American schools? If so, in which kind of schools and how is it organised?

    • Nicole W says:

      21. Approximately 7000 students drop out of high school every day. This means that 1 out of every 3 high school students fail out of high school each day. It is more common for students of ethnicities and races other than white to fail out of high school.

      22. Children with low learning capacities have the option to take a class called “special education,” where the teachers work with them personally and give the students more attention at a slower pace. Children with high learning capacities are able to take classes that are above their grade level and possibly get into college classes sooner than normal students would.

      23. Home schooling is not normal for the United States. Most children go to public or private schools to help develop their social skills. However, some students can not learn in a public or private school, and need more individual attention, so they choose home schooling.

      24. In the town I grew up in, I was able to learn another language starting in 7th grade. We could choose either French or Spanish, and we were required to learn that language for 7th and 8th grade. Once we went on to high school, we were able to continute our education in the language or stop if we wanted to. Lately, children have been having the option to learn a language even sooner than 7th grade, which helps their knowledge of the language increase significantly.

  8. American Educational System – Chelesa B.

    37. How many and what type of scholarships exist?
    38. How many students attend University and how many graduate?
    39. How many years do students study at University?
    40. What are the most popular studies?
    41. Do students have abroad programs?

    • chelseajoy says:

      37. How many and what type of scholarships exist?
      There are a various number of scholarships that exist, it would be hard to even sum up how many there are. Most of the scholarships, the easiest way to look them up is by your major and what you are going to school for. Many high schools also offer scholarships for their town and graduates sponsored by the people in the community and local businesses.

      38. How many students attend University and how many graduate?
      Depending on what University you go to that is how many people attend and will graduate. For Eastern there are about 5,000 people who attend. The graduation rate for Eastern is 51% so around 2500 people will graduate from here.

      39. How many years do students study at University?
      Most students study for 4 years at a university to get their bachelor’s degree in their chosen major. People who are going for Law or Medicine usually study for 8 years. Also teachers who complete their bachelors and master’s degree usually study for 5 years instead of going back.

      40. What are the most popular studies?
      I’d say the most popular majors are Business, Educations, Political Science, and Psychology.

      41. Do students have abroad programs?
      Students do have abroad programs. I think that the lack of money contributes to less people studying abroad.

    • Francisco José Olmos. says:

      41. Do students have abroad programs?

      There are several abroad programs for Spanish students. For example here in Spain The Erasmus scholarship is very popular among university students to study in other European countries, Also the Leonardo´s scholarship is popular among students of vocational studies and work in European bussines.

  9. Working possibilities after finishing studies – Brittany

    1. What Kind of contracts are THERE for students who have finished their degree?
    2. What is the degree which has more possibilities to find a well paid Job in USA?
    3. What is the most common first Job for Business Administration students?

    • Brittany L. says:

      1. What Kind of contracts are THERE for students who have finished their degree?
      When students finish their degree, they have to apply and search for employment. Jobs are hard to find in the USA right now, so the search process may take a long time before students find a job. Jobs are not guaranteed after students finish their degree.

      2. What is the degree which has more possibilities to find a well paid Job in USA?
      There is always a need for doctors, nurses and medical professionals. Any type of Medical Degree usually has more possibilities of finding a well paid job in the USA.

      3. What is the most common first Job for Business Administration students?
      One of the most common first jobs for Business Administration students is a Customer Service Manager. This job usually involves working at a merchandise store and being in charge there. Eventually this job allows people to work their way up to becoming a “buyer” which means that they get to choose the products that are in stores. This is not the only type of job someone can find with a Business Administration degree, there are many others, this is one example.

  10. Working possibilities – Ashley

    4. In case any employee was fired; is there any compensation for him?
    5. Is are there many differences in salary and another job conditions between the different states?
    6. If the answer to the previous question is “Yes”; what is the best state to work in USA?

    • Ashley Pine says:

      4. In case any employee was fired; is there any compensation for him?
      If an employee is fired, there is an opportunity for them to collect unemployment, which is like a weekly check, while they are looking for another job. This does not last long, usually about six months, and then you stop receiving the money.

      5. Is are there many differences in salary and another job conditions between the different states?
      There are many differences in salary and job conditions between different states, I believe mostly because of the different needs and demands from the different states for certain jobs.

      6. If the answer to the previous question is “Yes”; what is the best state to work in USA?
      There is not necessarily the best state to work in, in the USA but it does depend on what you are doing for a job. For example, Connecticut (where we live) has the highest paying salary for teachers, and California is has the highest paying nursing jobs.

  11. Four questions we have for our Spanish friends – Jesse S.

    • someroj says:

      Four more questions we have for our Spanish friends

      1) What do you do in your free time?

      2) What is a “Language School”?

      3) Do you live at your Language School? There are a lot of students in college who lives in the dorms at school in the United States.

      4) What is the difference between Language School and your previous schooling?

      • Ana says:

        1) What do you do in your free time?
        I don’t have much free time, but I have a little bit…
        Nowadays I’m spending a lot of time learning English in my free time, but I also like riding my bicycle when the weather is good. I like reading, movies and playing a board game called Go. It is something like chess.

        2) What is a “Language School”?
        A Language School is an institution where you can learn languages. In E.O.I. Boadilla, you can learn English, French and German. The courses start in September and finish in June. We have classes two days a week, two hours every day. There are three levels: basic, intermediated and advanced and everyone last two years. I’m in the first intermediate course.
        We also have conversational classes and others activities such as book club, plays and other events.

        3) Do you live at your Language School? There are a lot of students in college who lives in the dorms at school in the United States.
        No, we don’t. Language Schools are targeted not at young people but at adults. Almost everybody is working. The schedules are adapted to our needs, in order we can attend classes after we finish work.
        There are also many teachers attending English classes in E.O.I.
        English is becoming really important in Spain. There are a growing number of bilingual schools, so teachers needs to learn English if they want to progress.

        4) What is the difference between Language School and your previous schooling?
        My previous schooling was university, but I finished it many years ago.
        I hope it helps.

      • Amparo says:

        1) What do you do in your free time?
        I don´t have a lot of free time. But when I have I like reading, going to concerts, cinema theatre etc. I also like going for a walk and above all during my holidays I love travelling.
        2) What is a “Language School”?
        The Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas are state language schools, where almost 21 foreign languages including Spanish for non- Spanish speakers are taught. Studens from16 years onwards can attend to class, so that means that in one class you get secondary school and universty students together with people who are already working and want to learn a foreing language (the majority learn English) or want to improve their previous knowledge. This year we are celebrating our 100 year anniversary.
        Here is a link (in Spanish) which provides you with some imnformation about the EOI
        http://www.eeooiinet.com/n_eeooiinet/

        3) Do you live at your Language School? There are a lot of students in college who lives in the dorms at school in the United States.
        We don´t live at the Language school. Classes are mostly in the afternoon, from 4 to 8 p.m. in almost all the “escuelas”. So students go home after class. We meet twice a week for periods of two hours and there are also some Fridays in which we have class.
        It is not like in the universities. There you have dorms for students, although most of them are not within the universtity campus.
        4) What is the difference between Language School and your previous schooling?
        Language Schools are only dedicated to teaching foreign languages. My previous schooling was the university, but I also finished long time ago.

  12. Four questions we have for our Spanish friends – Sarah

    • Sarah B. says:

      1. How many years do students study in Universities?

      2. Is home schooling usual?

      3. What kind of transportation is most common? Cars or forms of public transportation?

      4. How long are school hours? How many years do you have to complete for school?

      • Amparo says:

        1. How many years do students study in Universities?
        Students study a minimum of 4 years, after finishing secondary schools at the age of 18. Now the system is changing as Spanish universities are introducing what is called the Bolonia Process which aims at establishing a common European higher education system.
        http://www.ehea.info/
        http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/

        2. Is home schooling usual?
        No , it isn´t.
        3. What kind of transportation is most common? Cars or forms of public transportation?
        It all depends on where the university is. In big cities like Madrid public transport (subway and buses) is the most common transportation but cars are also used.

        4. How long are school hours? How many years do you have to complete for school?
        School hours go from 9 am to 2 pm.
        Primary education from 6 to 10 years
        Secondary education (divided in to cycles) from 10 to 18 years.
        Schooling is compulsory until the age of 16.

        http://www.educacion.es/educacion/sistema-educativo/ensenanzas.html

      • Lola Gurrea says:

        Hi Sara B, my name is Lola, I also study English, in EOI Boadilla del Monte, (I’m at first intermediate level) I’m in the group with Ana , Pablo,etc
        1) Depends, our system has changed recently, a plan or system called Bolonia and that is basically unify degrees in Europe, with a new plan there are degrees of 4 years and another 5 or 6 particular architecture or medicine,etc
        2)No, not official
        3) Depends, parents usually take their children with his car but if the children live a bit away from school, go on school buses
        4) From 9 to 2 or from 9 to 5, depends on is private or public school. Twelve yea
        Hi Abby, my name is Lola and I’m going to try answer your questions
        1) Primary, secondary and 2 years in High School
        2) Yes, most of them. Normally they study in Spain
        3) I think you talk about the secondary level, we have 3 levels: primary, secondary and high school, after the university
        4) By day, going to class, depending on the school can eat there, 6 or 8 hours at day, do their homework, being with their friends and playing sports.
        with my best whishes
        Lola

        • sarahbiro says:

          Thank you Lola! It seems like schooling there is similiar to here in the United States. Here, homeschooling isn’t as popular either and most students take school buses as well, only a few get driven to school.

      • Lola Gurrea says:

        Hi Sara,
        Do students enjoy school? Usually yes, of course, for example in my case when my son went at school he loved his school, they study and practise a lot of sports the problem is the overscheduled.
        Are the instructors very strict?
        yes and no, I mean the children needs discipline and a good education but in my opinion te politicians do not agree whith the right system and they are change the rules, it depend on the politicians in the power

  13. Four questions we have for our Spanish friends – Abby

    • Four questions we have for our Spanish friends

      1. What is required of a student before entering a University in Spain?

      2. Do most students go to University? If so do they usually attend a University in Spain or in another country?

      3. I see someone asked what the difference is between middle school and high school. How are the different school levels defined in Spain?

      4. What does a typical day look like for a student? How long do you go to school for? What do you do after school?

      • Amparo says:

        1. What is required of a student before entering a University in Spain?
        You have to complete your upper secondary studies successfully and to pass the “selectividad” which is a university entry examination.
        2. Do most students go to University? If so do they usually attend a University in Spain or in another country?
        More than 60% of those students who finish the upper secondary studies go to university. The great majority attend Spanish universities, although many of them spend a semester or a term in universities abroad (in EU universities with the Erasmus programs and in other countries it depends on the agreements the universities have signed)

        3. I see someone asked what the difference is between middle school and high school. How are the different school levels defined in Spain?
        We have the following levels
        Pre-school education from 0 to 6
        Primary educuation from 6 to 12
        Secondary compulsory education (ESO) from 12 to 16
        Upper secondary education (Bachillerato) from 16 to 18

        4. What does a typical day look like for a student? How long do you go to school for? What do you do after school?
        Students spend a mininum of 6 hours at school. In some schools the periods are divided, so they start at 9am finish at 1pm and start again at 2pm and finish at 5pm.
        There are many after school activities such as sports, learning to play musical instruments, ballet, learning foreign languages etc.

  14. Four questions we have for our Spanish friends – Lauren A.

    • 1. How are the school systems set up? (What grades are in what level of school?)

      2. When do children start going to school?

      3. How much does it cost to go to a University and what services are available to people to help pay for it?

      4. What do most students do after high school? Do they go on to college or are there job opportunities available for them?

      • Pablo Marcos Treceño says:

        1. How are the school systems set up? (What grades are in what level of school?)

        Escuela infantil: from 0 to 5 years
        Escuela Primaria: from 6 to 11 years
        Escuela Secundaria: from 12 to 15 years.
        Education is compulsory until 16. After secondary school, they choose between working or continuing post-compulsory studies: usually a high school diploma or bachelor degree if they want to go to university or a vocational training, for preparing them for specific jobs.

        2. When do children start going to school?

        Compulsory education is only between 6 and 16 years, i.e. Primary and Secondary School. However, almost 100% of children begin their schooling at 3 years at nursery schools. Public schools are guaranteed for all of them. Nowadays, more and more families have to enroll their children from 0 to 3 years to nursery schools because of labor issues. Most of those schools are private, so families have to pay for them.

        3. How much does it cost to go to a University and what services are available to people to help pay for it?

        You have to consider several points: the enrollment costs from 1000$ to 2000$ per year, depending on the career, public or private university, the geographic region where the university is… You also need books, perhaps 2 or 3 for every subject which usually are really expensive, and lots of photocopies, as well as the living costs of lodgings, sharing a flat with other students or renting a room, pay for food and any other costs you may have. However, there are quite a few grants or scholarships. If you are a good student, I would say you shouldn’t worry about money, because you will be able to follow a degree in any public university.

        4. What do most students do after high school? Do they go on to college or are there job opportunities available for them?

        About this, see above, (after Christina answering questions 33-36) where I wrote down some comments. Maybe too many people go to college because they can’t find a job. In fact, unemployment among young people is becoming more and more a big problem in Spain. Youths continue their studies due to there aren’t job places, and when they finish, their degrees are rather useless to find a job.

      • Amparo says:

        There is a difference between ublic and private universities.
        Public universities cost around 800 euros per year (I don´t know at this moment the equivalence in USA dollars) and pivate universities cost between 8.000 and 12.000 euros .

        Most students try to go to university. The chances of getting a good and well paid job without having an university degree are each time less. Even with a good university degree, it is very diffiult at the moment to get a job in Spain. Many graduates have to work in whatever is available, in jobs which have nothing to do with what they have studied. Salaries are also vey low in Spain, specially if we compare them with the rest of EU countries.

  15. hopperl says:

    American Educational System – Lauren H.

    29. How long are school hours?
    30. How many exam periods are there? Which are the examinations methods used (test, essays, etc.)?
    31. What exactly is “summer school”?
    32. What exactly is “a gap year”? Does many American people have a gap year?

    29. How long are school hours?
    When you’re in Elementary School (between the ages 5 to 11) you spend about 8 hours in the school. Then when you move into Middle School (between the ages of 12 to 15) you spend about8 hours. When moving up to high School (between the ages of 15 to 18) this is again about 8 hours in the school, but the schedule can depend based on the amount of classes a student takes. Then the last kind of school you can take is College you can go to this school at any age. The amount of hours at school depends on the amount of credits and course load you decided to take.

    30. How many exam periods are there? Which are the examinations methods used (test, essays, etc.)?
    In high School and College there are two exam periods every semester. There is a mid-term which is an exam over the material that you have learned in the class so far. Then there is the final which is a test on the material you learned after the mid-term. The style of the test depends on the Teacher, they decided if there will be an essay or opened test.

    31. What exactly is “summer school”?
    Summer school is offered to High School students that are failing a class and need that class to graduate. They offer these classes so students don’t fall behind. Then, college offer summer school, so students can take classes in another school and transfer the credits to their school. College students may do this because they want to lighten their course load for the next semester.

    32. What exactly is “a gap year”? Does many American people have a gap year?
    A gap year is when a student takes a year off between high school and college. They may do this because they are not sure what school they want to go to or want to make money to pay for their College.

  16. Ana says:

    Art in Spain.

    As I’ve already told you this is my favourite subject, so I decided starting from the very beginning of Art in Spain.

    You have to travel back in time, until 12.000 or maybe 15.000 B.C.

    We have one of the most important painting caves in the world. The original one is closed and only scientists are allowed to visit it but an identical copy was made and everybody can enjoy watching such a wonderful buffalos, horses, goats and stags.

    They seem to be alive!

    I hope you like it

    Ana

    • Amparo says:

      Ana has started with our most important pre historic caves. Art in Spain is somethig very difficult to reduce to a few lines as there is so much to be said. But anyway one of the characteristics which distinguishes Spain from other European countries is the Moorish influence. The Moors dominated Spain for seven centuries ( from 715 until 1492). The Moorish influence is still very strong in the South of Spain and you can see it not only in the way people build their house, but also in food, music dances etc. Also, the languages is influenced by the Moors. There are many words in Spanish which derive from Arabic.
      Anyway just to give an example of one of the most important Moorish monuments in Spain here you have a video about the Alhambra in Granada.

      • Manuela and Guiomar says:

        In the same way as we had the Moorish influence we had have the Roman influence that was also very important.
        Spain had been dominated by the Roman between the 218 a.C. and the begining of V century. The Roman changed the society in all the different aspects, political, architecture, art…
        In the art aspect they brought a lot of things that in our time are a very important tourist attractions. One example of that is El Acueducto de Segovia that is located in the city center of Segovia. In the Roman time it was used to bring water to the town.

  17. antonia says:

    I´m Antonia from EOI Boadilla, Madrid.
    About eating in Spain I have to say that We cook in a mediterranean way. It means
    olive oil, a lot of vegetables and fruits. The special meal here is the paella, made
    with rice and meat and sometime with seafood. If you want to eat well and helthy
    come to Spain, you would enjoy it for sure.

    • Amparo says:

      I totally agree with Antonia. Our basic diet is the Mediterranean diet, based on the use of olive oil, vegetables, fruit and pulses. Having said that I have to indicate that there are many differences between the different regions in Spain. In regions close to the coast fish is very important whereas in regions inside the country meat (pork, beef, lamb and poultry) is more often consumed.
      The meal times are also different from those in the America. We normally have a light breakfast between 7 and 9 in the morning, lunch between 2 and 3 pm and dinner between 9 and 10 pm.
      Unfortunately during the last years our healthy Meditarranean diet is becoming less widespread as families don´t have so much time to cook and tend to use pre-cooked meals whith high contents of fat, which has derived in an increase of obesity in the Spanish population, specially among children.

  18. Ana says:

    I feel really proud of Art in my country. The other day I started from the very beginning but today I would like share with you some works of art by one of the most famous Spanish architects, Antonio Gauidí.

    One of his brilliant buildings “La Sagrada Familia” was inaugurated in November 2010.

    Gaudí was one of the architects who had an important role in Spanish Modernism, but he was not the only one.

    Modernism Architect built mostly houses for the richest family in the industrialised society at the end of 19th century and in the early 20th century.
    His houses are full of flowers and full of colour. Some of then looks like in a fairy tale.
    Fences became a dragon in Guell’s stable and chimneys look like ghost or mask in “La Pedrera”. Batlo house and Güell Park are my favourite. Here you can visit then

  19. Manuela and Guiomar says:

    Hi! we are Manuela and Guiomar, two students at the E.O.I. in Boadilla del Monte.
    We want to talk you about de music and dance in Spain. The most typical is the Flamenco music is very famous all over the world. This kind of music has it own dance that most of the tourist who visit our country like.
    Now we want you to see a few videos about the Flamenco music.
    The first one is a video of a typical flamenco party, the man who is singing is the best flamenco singer in all the story of this music. The video was recorded many years ago. Now this kind of dance has changed and become more modern like all the society.
    It has many good dancers who travel all over the world showing their dance. This dancers become famouse because their way of dancing it.



    We hope you enjoy our most famous music and dance. If you have any question, just ask us.

    • Natasha says:

      Hi,
      Sorry for the late response but I do want to to thank you for posting the videos. They were very useful also knowing the best Flamenco singer of all time will help me when it comes to presenting my powerpoint. There is so much information on the different music and dances in Spain but the one that is commonly mentioned is the Flamenco. I was just wondering when searching online for the types of outfits worn during the dances I noticed a variety of styles. Do the dancers dress according to thier class when performing in a street festival or are the fancier costumes usually for entertainment purposes?

  20. Ricardo Tomás and Ricardo Martín says:

    Sports in Spain:

    Dear Alison, Nice to talk to you, we are twoEnglish students at Boadilla del Monte languages school.

    In our country the main sport is soccer (we call it as football), and the matches are watched on TV by millions of people. Basketball is also very popular but much less than football. In the last 5 years Formula 1 has experimented an important growth with Fernando Alonso’s arrival winning the championship twice.

    Rafael Nadal as the number one in world tennis has a lot of fans (speciality girls) in our country.

    Of course we are very, very very proud with the world football cup that we won last July in Southafrica against Holland.

    The most popular football teams are Real Madrid and Barcelona (90% people follow these teams) but in my case (Ricardo Martín) I support Atletico de Madrid (I have a season ticket) and I usually go to the stadium every two weeks and we hate Real Madrid the other team of the city. Last year I went with my daughter to Germany for the final Europa League and…We won after 16 years without any victories…

    In the Olympic games unfortunately we don’t obtain good results except in individual cases.

    As you can realize Spain is an important country in sports but on the other hand our economy goes worse and worse (we haven’t any cup in this area) 🙂
    it’s a pity¡¡¡

    We hope that we had been useful for you. If you have any question don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards, Ricardos.

  21. Rafael says:

    With respect to the Spanish fashion, there are a lot of designers with great prestige, such as: Vitorio & Luccino, Custo Barcelona, Carolina Herrena, Tous and so on.

    On the other hand, in Spain we have the biggest company of cheap clothes around the world. This company is called “Inditex” and the most popular brand and shops of this company are : Zara, Pull And Bear, Bershka and Massimo Dutti (please, check the following website http://www.inditex.es/en/press/photo_gallery/our_commercial_formats/). Inditex designs woman and men clothes.

    Another big Spanish company related to fashion world is Mango, which recently opened a men’s department called “HE” (In this link you can check the list of Mango shops around the world http://shop.mango.com/preHome.faces;jsessionid=BCB6490C5E6A3895CE6822F0B82585DD )

    Zara and Mango are fashion references around the world. In this sense, different famous actresses have participated in diverse commercials, for instance Scarlett Johanson or Penelope Cruz. (I put an example of the Scarlett commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNp-cj5dEA8 )

    These are differents examples of fashion in Spain. If you have cuestions, please let me know and I will try to answer at soon as posible.

  22. Ricardo Tomás and Ricardo Martín says:

    Hi Stephen we have seen your presentation and we have enjoyed a lot with it. Only we can help you with several points:

    1. The right surname of Xavi is Hernandez not “Hernades”
    2. Raúl doesn’t play with Real Madrid since last summer, he decided continue his career in germany playing for Schalke 04 a team which permit him playing Champions League and obtain the reocrd of goals in this compettion because in his last team he didn’t play usually. And Since 2008 he haven’t played for national selection.
    3. Villa appears with a Valencia’s shirt but actually he plays for Barcelona and with Messy and Pedro make an impresive three forwards with a lot of goals…

    We think that it is all.

    Regards…

  23. Pablo Marcos says:

    Hi everyone! Here you can see our PowerPoint presentation about American Educational System. Thank you very much to our american friends who kindly helped us.

    http://interboadilla.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/37221886/American%20Education%20System.pps

    Best wishes.

  24. Pablo and others there:

    Thank you this clear presentation from Madrid. I will share it with the students here and encourage them to comment.

    • landryd7 says:

      I have a few questions for anyone who would like to answer:

      What would you say is the most important aspect to Spanish life in Madrid, Spain?
      (example: religion, education, arts, business, government, family, food, etc)

      What is one of the most popular/desired occupational fields in Spain?

      Are there any stereotypes about Americans in Spain?

      Thanks,
      Danielle

  25. landryd7 says:

    Hi,
    My name is Danielle and I am a student in the International and Cross-Cultural Education class at Eastern Connecticut State University. It’s exciting to be able to communicate with people across the world!!

  26. ristowj says:

    Pablo and other students,
    That presentation was really interesting! I like the points about the American Educational System.

    -Jess Ristow

  27. Nerick Griffiths says:

    Hola!, Soy jamaicano, estudiante de espanol y deseo tener comunicacion con jovenes espanoles para intercambiar ideas de nuestras culturas.

    Saludos!

  28. GAYE-ANN FINDLAYSON says:

    Hola! soy jamaicana, alumna de la Escuela Normal de Sam Sharpe. es mi deseo encontrar a hispanos jovenes para compartir nuestras culturas y tambien , quiero mejorarme en espanol. (^_^)

  29. landryd7 says:

    I have a few questions for anyone who would like to answer:

    What would you say is the most important aspect to Spanish life in Madrid, Spain?
    (example: religion, education, arts, business, government, family, food, etc)

    Do you experience all four seasons in Spain?

    What is one of the most popular/desired occupational fields in Spain?

    Are there any stereotypes about Americans in Spain?

    Thanks,
    Danielle

  30. Dear Participants in International and CrossCultural Education, Eastern Connecticut State University:

    Thank you for participating in this international discussion. Our semester at Eastern CSU is heading to its closing so this class will not be using this blogspace for discussion much after May 11, 2011. We hope to have another class interested in international discussions starting during summer 2011.

    We have enjoyed the online discussion and getting to know you. I am thinking that an even more direct way to support an international discussion would be to use FaceBook. Would that work for you?

    I have developed a FaceBook group called International and CrossCultural Education, Eastern CSU at

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_206409209382175#!/home.php?sk=group_206409209382175

    Please consider joining that group and continuing the discussion with this spring 2011 class. There should be another class in the summer for further discussions.

    We hope to hear from you again soon.

    David Stoloff, Professor, Education
    Eastern Connecticut State University
    stoloffd@easternct.edu

  31. lathamkelsey says:

    My name is Kelsey Latham and I am very interested to get the spanish perspective on how you feel about your country’s economy. I would love to hear your opinion on what is currently going on in your country and the impact it is having on you. Also, I would appreciate some feedback on the powerpoint on business in Spain and how accurate the information is from your point of view.
    Thank you and hope to hear from all of you!

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