Middle Fourth Spanish Scholars Explore Salamanca | Epsom College
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Middle Fourth Spanish Scholars Explore Salamanca

In 1487, Christopher Columbus made his way to Salamanca to bend the ear of Fray Diego de Deza, the confessor of Queen Isabel of Castille. He hoped that by so doing he would gain an introduction to the Reyes Católicos. After five years of persuasion, the monarchs finally gave their backing to his plan to search for a western route to the Orient.

500 years or so later, a group of Middle Fourth Hispanists set off on a journey of their own, in search of linguistic and cultural enrichment in the city that hosted Columbus all that time ago.

The University of Salamanca is the third oldest university in the world and, as such, its blond sandstone walls ooze the spirit of learning. The pupils were able to drink from this fount of knowledge every morning at the ISLA language school, which shares a square with the convent where Columbus schemed and plotted.

The afternoons were dedicated to pursuits cultural (city tour and cathedral visit), hedonistic (karaoke and salsa dancing) and epicurean (tapas tour and churros con chocolate). On the final evening, the pupils prepared post-dinner entertainment to review the week that had been. Through the media of poetry, song and farce, they demonstrated how much they had taken from their time in Spain.

Whilst they may not have returned home with a new continent to their name, it is very much hoped that the pupils will have gained an added insight that will give real life context to their language studies.