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 Michigan State Students Among Those Joining SRU Instensive Spanish Language Program 



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Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A list of participants and their hometowns is attached



          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Students from Michigan State University will be among those taking advantage of Slippery Rock University’s fast-track, intensive language program in Spanish spring semester as they join 10 SRU
students and others for a semester-long program offering 16 weeks in Spain.

                    Developed by SRU’s department of modern languages and cultures and the Office of International Initiatives, the overseas learning opportunity leaves for Alcala de Henares, Spain, Jan. 1 with the SRU students joined by two students from MSU and another from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. The non-SRU students learned of the program from SRU’s Web site. The entire group will return to the U.S. April 17.

          “Our program continues to attract students interested in intensive Spanish language study,” says Dr. Melinda Ristvey, chair of SRU’s language department and organizer of the program set for Spain’s Universidad de Alcala. Ristvey, who will accompany the group during its orientation, explains any courses taken by the students  -- art, history, music, literature – in addition to the Spanish language courses, will be taught in Spanish giving participants the added opportunity to make use of their current Spanish language skills while quickly expanding those skills and exposing them to the Spanish culture. Course credits will return to the student’s home university.

          The SRU professor says students who plan to teach Spanish quickly realize they need a solid background in the language – like the quality they can receive in a semester’s study in Spain. The program is open to all students who have taken Spanish courses at or above the 200-level.

          Begun last year, the first program attracted 13 SRU students. “We have promoted it on campus – and the students who participated last year have been very enthusiastic in their support. We have also opened the program to students at other colleges and universities,” Ristvey explains noting the interest increase.

          Universidad de Alcala, located about 30 miles northeast of Madrid, enrolls 20,000 students and offers a series of programs for out-of-country students. The SRU contingent, which will stay in apartment-like housing, will join some 120 other students from the U.S. and other countries for study of Spanish as a second language.

          The program ties to other SRU international study opportunities. Dr. Donald Kerchis, director of the Office of International Initiatives, points out that about 10 spring semester courses and programs, involving more than 200 students, include an international component. “The courses that travel to Mexico and Costa Rica will allow those who have previously studied in Spain to make use of their language skills, especially education majors who will be undertaking student-teaching opportunities in the spring.”

         While in Spain, the students will also have time for travel within the country and to other nearby nations.



Students participating in SRU’s semester-long international program in Spain include:


Suzanne Zdarko           Tidioute

Dana Castello           Newtown

Beth Marciniak           Pittsburgh (15214)

Lisa Banyas           Cheswick

Stephanie Buzza  Carnegie

Richard Poole           Pittsburgh (15221)

Timothy Singiser           Boiling Springs

Santina Burakiewicz           Trucksville

Christina Sterck           New Wilmington

Jamie Gates           Bellefonte

Shari Siever           Pottstown (Bloomsburg University)

Russell Climie           Grand Rapids, Mich. (Michigan State University)

Rebecca Climie           Grand Rapids, Mich. (Michigan State University)


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