On March 24th, seven Spanish students visited Astor College for one week and participated in activities and lessons whilst being hosted by students of the College. After this visit 7 excited students boarded the plane on 18th April and headed to Florida Secundaria in Valencia, for a fun filled week of cultural activities.
We arrived at the airport and were greeted by the Spanish families the students were whisked away and treated to a traditional Spanish meal to welcome them into the family. On the Sunday, students visited the beach and were treated to paella, one of their traditional dishes. This was a lovely day for the students who then visited a sports centre and spent the evening playing team games.
After an enjoyable weekend and a faint sun kiss glow the students prepared for a busy week of cultural and educational activities. The week consisted of many enjoyable activities such as a tour of the school, traditional Spanish games, painting fans in the design of a Spanish artist, science lessons and percussion workshops. In addition to this, the students participated in regular Spanish lessons to help them with basic Spanish words and sentences to help them communicate with their families and the locals.
Amongst the interesting workshops, the students also had three day trips organised to the City of Arts and Science, the City Centre and one to the Albufera Lake within the National park. All of these trips were very valuable and the students learnt a great deal of information about the history of the city and the changes that have taken place to the environment, specifically the ecosystem.
Alongside the educational benefits of the trip, the students were hosted by a Spanish family. They embraced their way of life and their culture. The English students thoroughly enjoyed the time together and got a real feel for their way of life.
The experience has been wonderful for all the staff and students involved. Lucy Geoghegan, a student involved in the exchange said, "This has been an amazing experience. I have learnt about a different culture and tried food that I would never have had the opportunity to do. I have been to Spain on family holidays before, but have seen a completely different side to Spain, being hosted by a family. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope to visit again."
We hope to continue this link with Florida Secundaria based in Cattaroja (Valencia) next year, enabling other students to gain from this wonderful experience.