October has traditionally been the “Hispanic Heritage month”, both in Spain and in the Americas. On October 12th we commemorate the arrival of Admiral and explorer Christopher Columbus to the New World.
Today, Spanish is a World language, one of the six official languages at the United Nations, the second most spoken native language only after Mandarin and the official language in twenty countries. Over eight percent of the world population has a proficient competence in Spanish and it ranks third by number of Internet users, after English and Chinese.
In Romania, the Embassy of Spain’s Education Office manages the Spanish Ministry of Education´s foreign policies hand in hand with our partners at the Romanian Ministry of National Education and other agents involved in education such as University of Bucharest or Instituto Cervantes. Together we are educating 21st century citizens in an increasingly open, multilingual, multicultural society.
Cultural exchange, increased mobility of qualified professionals, and mutual friendship and understanding have never been so strong between Spain and Romania, a trend which is also connected to the large Romanian community which has settled in Spain in recent years.
All these facts have encouraged both Ministries of Education, Spanish and Romanian, to build up over the years a successful and highly demanded network of the so called Spanish Sections currently in ten Romanian High Schools, where a mixed Spanish-Romanian curriculum is delivered within the Romanian official Education system. In each of these schools one highly qualified Spanish native teacher is assigned to reinforce the oral skills of the students and prepare them to sit the Spanish Baccalaureate exam at the end of twelfth grade, which adds up to the national one.
Our Office also manages a scholarship program with Universidad de Granada aimed at students from our bilingual sections network in Romania who qualify for the Spanish Baccalaureate. Other Spanish Higher Education institutions will join the scholarship program in the near future.
Partnerships with Higher Education institutions is a priority as an increasing number of Romanian students have shown a keen interest in continuing their University education in Spain. Spain is a very popular choice for education, as Erasmus + statistics clearly show: Spain continues to be a magnet destination for Erasmus incoming students and trainees.
As for the Spanish Sections network in Romanian High Schools, we offer technical and pedagogical support to schools, teaching resources, teacher training programs (in Spain and in Romania) and organize each year a colorful, vivid Spanish Theater Festival in Bucharest which has been a success over the years, and in which each school of our network participates.
Our vision focusses on instilling our students an international approach that broadens their future education, opening up job opportunities and professional development. Thus, being Spanish an international language, our students become part of a global community of over 500 million people.
With eleven Literature Nobel Laureates, the language of Cervantes is becoming more and more influential in business, Internet and international relations. Through culture and education, we work to further strengthen our ties with our partners and friends in Romania.
Everyone at the Embassy of Spain is happy to welcome you all to our fast growing Hispanic community on the occasion of our Heritage Day.