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54 students join AUS cultural trip to Spain
The visit began with a walking tour in the capital city of Madrid, where students explored the historical city center and other areas related to the royal dynasties of Spain. The students visited Plaza Mayor, a large rectangular, stone-paved plaza with ground floor arcades from the 17th century; Plaza de la Villa, a three-sided square and site of the Casa de Cisneros, a palace dating from the 16th century; and the Royal Palace.
The group then travelled by the AVE high-speed train to Barcelona, where they explored the architectural legacy of one of Barcelona's most famous sons, Antonio Gaudí. The students visited the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Temple designed by Gaudi in 1881; Passeig the Gràcia, the widest avenue in town with plenty of houses designed by Gaudí; and one of the masterpieces of Gaudí's architecture: the Casa Milà, widely known as La Pedrera House. To conclude the Barcelona tour, the students visited the FC Barcelona football team's Camp Nou, where they visited the team's changing rooms, TV room, the pressroom, the Fundacio Zone and the Presidential Box. The students also walked on the grass field, sat on the team bench and had the opportunity to lift the European Champions Cup.
Back in Madrid, the students also visited the Camp Santiago Bernabeu of the Real Madrid football team. The tour depicted the history of the century-old football club. The students also visited the trophy room, which displays a large part of the club's history and its victories. They also toured the 80-year-old Las Ventas Bullring.
The trip also included a visit to the city of Toledo, where they saw the gothic cathedral, Saint Tomé Church and Santa María La Blanca Synagogue.
The visit ended with a dinner program in a traditional Spanish restaurant hosting Flamenco shows, a genre of traditional Spanish music, song and dance.
"It was such a rich cultural experience. Seeing the monuments and historical sites in person was an experience of a lifetime. I have made new friends and the administrators were very supportive and helpful," said Ali Lootah, a senior design management student.
"This is the biggest group we have organized so far due to our students' increasing demand to take part in cultural trips. I am glad to know of our students' growing interest to experience and gain firsthand knowledge of other cultures around the world. Through these trips, we aim for our students to acquire practical knowledge, skills and experiences that augment their perception of cultural diversity for their personal and professional growth," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The AUS delegation was accompanied by Dr. Munketh Taha, Director of Student Development and Organizations, and event supervisors Virgilio Mateo Jr. and Raja Subramanya. The trip was organized by the Office of Student Affairs' Student Multicultural Learning Program.