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UCCI students off to study in Spain

| 12/05/2016 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Erica Gordon of UCCI; Garth Arch, Honorary Consul for Spain; scholarship recipients Lydia Ebanks and Lacey Quesada; and Dr JD Mosley-Matchett of UCCI

(CNS): Two Caymanian students from the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) are heading to Malaga, Spain in July for a three-week language programme at the eSPEAK Academy. Funding for the trip was arranged through the Honorary Consulate of Spain. Lacey Quesada and Lydia Ebanks were selected as recipients of the consulate scholarship to represent Cayman in a programme that will not only maximise their learning of the Spanish language, but will immerse them in the Spanish way of life in the heart of Andalusia, Spain.

All funds raised from the consulate’s cultural dinner event, “La Noche Flamenca,” went towards the scholarship. “As Honorary Consul, I am happy to be able to provide this opportunity to young Caymanians, especially to those who may not have thought that such a rewarding and memorable experience would have been possible,” said Garth Arch.

He added that he was able to enjoy a similar experience in Granada, Spain, after attending university in the US.

Quesada, a hospitality management student, said she was thrilled to have been chosen. “I believe this kind of exposure and the consistent practice of a second language would help me tremendously in both my academic and professional careers,” she said.

“I am so excited to explore Spain’s rich culture and beautiful environment as well as to refine my skills in the Spanish language through daily interaction with locals.”

Ebanks, a science major, said she realises the benefits this experience will afford her. “The opportunity to travel to Spain, all expenses paid, is not one that I’d expect to come around often. You can’t even study online at no cost, so getting to travel to Malaga is very exciting,” she said.

A committee from the arts and humanities department reviewed the students’ applications and the decision to send both was vetted by the dean of academic affairs.

“UCCI expects that the students will perform exceptionally well and be good ambassadors for us,” said Erica Gordon, department chair and coordinator of the scholarship search.

“We expect them to learn as much as they can about Spanish culture and the language, while educating those with whom they interact about the Cayman Islands. We hope that they will come back and share what they have learnt with the other students who will then see that there is value in learning the language.”

UCCI, through acting president JD Mosley-Matchett, expressed its appreciation to Arch. “When amazing international opportunities are brought to UCCI, it’s heartbreaking if deserving students lack the funds to take advantage of those opportunities. Our nation is engaged in a global competition and it is essential that our young people are provided with the resources to make their mark on the world stage,” said Mosley-Matchett.

“So, it is with great appreciation that UCCI salutes the generosity of the Honorary Consul for Spain, Mr Garth Arch, for making it possible to send these students to Spain in furtherance of their educational development. We also offer special thanks to Ms Erica Gordon for acting as our liaison with the consulate and coordinating the internal search effort for the students who earned this award.”

Arch congratulated the students, saying, “My heartfelt congratulations to both Lydia and Lacey. I wish them an enjoyable summer in Spain.”

This is the second time that the Honorary Consulate of Spain is sending Caymanian students to an overseas immersion programme. The first recipient of the scholarship was UCCI student Kayla Manderson, who went in 2011.

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Category: Education, Scholarships

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