Following a highly selective application process, Carolina Day School senior, Carson Slosman, was awarded in March a Junior Travel Award trip to Peru through the National Spanish Examinations (NSE). This national award is given each year to 24 students from across the United States who become eligible by earning high scores on the National Spanish Examination and then submitting to a selection committee samples of their written and oral work in Spanish.
Carson participated in the trip to Peru from July 20–28, 2017, traveling with the 23 other NSE winners, three chaperones, and a Spanish-speaking tour director. The trip included visits to Lima; Cuzco; several Sacred Valley landmarks including Ollantaytambo Fortress, Pisac Indian Market, and a Wildlife Sanctuary visit; sunrise at Machu Picchu; Lake Titicaca; Sillustani Temple; a visit with families on the Uros Islands; and a hike of Taquile Island.
When asked about the trip, Carson said, “The most exciting part is immersing myself in another culture. Communication is such a big and beautiful thing. If you can communicate with people in their national language, the communication can be so much more pure. It was such a beautiful experience that I shed a few tears. The people were so warm and welcoming. The kids played with us, the people let us dance with them, they let us wear their traditional clothing. Even the tour guides became part of our family.”
Carson added that the support of CDS and her Spanish teacher Rayito Calderon was invaluable. “I would definitely not have been able to do this without the incredible support here at CDS. That support was brought to me; I didn’t have to seek it out. I’ve taken Spanish since Kindergarten here at CDS. Without all that, I wouldn’t have been able to go. I’m so grateful.”
For more information about the National Spanish Examination (NSE), a program of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), and the Junior Travel Award, visit nationalspanishexam.org.