Archives for June 2014

Arrival in Madrid!

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Today we all safely arrived in Madrid despite a couple of delays! After a short rest, we took to the streets to explore. We visited Puerta de Sol, Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, and Plaza de Santa Ana. We even had some time to sit down and watch part of the USA vs Germany fútbol match. We then had a delicious introduction to Spanish cuisine with croquetas, paella, tortilla, calamares, y albóndigas!

We spent most of the day speaking in Spanish and are impressed with this group’s ability to converse!

Tomorrow we are off to a day of museums!




Mary Belz


Je m’appelle Mary Belz et je suis très contente d’être votre « Local Leader » pendant votre séjour à Nice et à Paris. Pendant l’année scolaire, je suis professeur du français et de l’anglais. J’aime bien voyager, manger, lire, et parler en français !

Cet été, on va passer des très bons moments ensemble en ce beau pays. On va explorer Nice et Paris. Vous allez habiter avec une famille française. On va déguster de la cuisine française, parler le français, et vivre comme les français !

Je suis ici pour vous, donc ne hésitez pas de me contacter avec toutes vos questions ou vos soucis.



Megan Keller

Megan Keller

Hi! My name is Megan Keller, I’m 26 years old, and currently working on a Master’s degree in developmental psychology in Paris. I grew up outside of Boston and I went to the University of Maryland, College Park where I studied French Language and Literature and Psychology. During my junior year at Maryland I studied abroad in Nice, where I lived with a host family and took classes at the Université de Nice. After that I spent a year teaching English in an elementary school in Lille and have now been living in Paris for two years.

I love traveling and going to museums and concerts. I can’t wait to meet you all and share this great experience with you!



Dave Whiteside - Southern Spain chaperone

Dave Whiteside



My name is Dave Whiteside and I’m from a small town south of San Francisco called Los Gatos. However, for the past four years I’ve been living in Granada, Spain teaching English and soaking up the wonderful culture and life this country has to offer. I am very excited about being a part of the ECI team again this summer and sharing this amazing country that I’ve grown to love and call a second home with you all. You’re sure to have a great time as our trip will be a mix of relaxing on the beach, meeting some locals through our language partner sessions, marveling at the architectural wonder that is the Alhambra in Granada, and getting a first-hand introduction to Spanish culture through many other fun activities. If I can give you one piece of advice to help prepare yourself for the journey, it’s to come with an open mind and a hunger for learning and new experiences so that you can become totally immersed in the culture and make the most out of our trip. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Nos vemos pronto,

Dave Whiteside, US Chaperone, Southern Spain Program 2014



Hola chicos!

Mi nombre es Patricia y voy a ser vuestra Local Leader este mes de Julio en España. Yo soy del sur, de Andalucía, y estoy emocionada por conoceros y acompañaros estas semanas para que disfrutéis de la cultura, el ocio, el clima, los lugares y la gente de aquí. Estoy segura de que será una experiencia inolvidable para todos y que mantendremos un buen equipo de trabajo y diversión.

Tanto el US Leader como yo trataremos de hacer vuestra estancia aquí una experiencia genial, que aprovechéis al máximo este tiempo y que os logréis sentir parte de este país. Además, esperamos que esta experiencia os sirva también para hacer nuevos amigos con quienes mantengáis el contacto y en el futuro volváis a España para seguir disfrutando de vuestra cultura de acogida.

Un abrazo.

Nos vemos pronto.

Patricia Rodriguez, Spanish Local Leader, Southern Spain Program 2014


Sarah Behm - Salamanca Chaperone


My name is Sarah Behm, and I can’t wait for our Spain adventure! Last summer was a blast. We shared several fun memories from hilarious photo shoots at the soccer stadium in Madrid, tapa tasting adventures in Salamanca, and reminiscing on the gorgeous beaches of Nerja. The 2013 group shared that the month flew by far too fast, but that the friendships would always last!

I grew up in Novato, California and now live in San Francisco. During the school year I am a part-time school counselor and conduct youth empowerment trainings all across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam.


I have been going to Spain every summer with a group of high school students since I lived there for two years from 2004 – 2006 while I received an M.B.A. in Madrid. I have also spent some time living in Mexico, Eastern Canada, and Australia. As you can see, I live to travel! And even more than traveling, I love to introduce people to the Spanish culture, language, and cuisine!

Get ready for my Spanish food challenges – you will be confident in understanding the difference between a tapa, pintxo and pincho by the end of our trip!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Hasta pronto,

Sarah Behm, US Chaperone, Salamanca Program 2014




Me llamo Ioannis Antzus y durante vuestra estancia en España seré vuestro Local leader. Durante los últimos años he estudiado la lengua y la cultura de mi país y creo que os seré de gran utilidad en la inmersión cultural y lingüística que vais a emprender. Además, me gusta mucho conocer gente y entrar en relación con personas de culturas distintas de la mía, por lo que estoy seguro de que esta experiencia será muy gratificante también para mí. Mis aficiones son salir con los amigos, ir al cine, y practicar deporte, en particular el padel y el fútbol.

Como monitor del grupo haré todo lo que esté en mi mano para que os sintáis como en casa y para que vuestra estancia en España sea lo más satisfactoria posible. El viaje está perfectamente planificado, así que sólo tendréis que ocuparos de aprender y de disfrutar.

Con muchas ganas ya de conoceros, os envío un saludo cordial,

Ioannis Antzus, Spanish Chaperone, Salamanca Program 2014