A group of ten Spanish students, aged between 14 and 15, have just spent four weeks living and studying in Brighton, as part of an educational programme organised by UK High School Immersion. The Spanish boys and girls were ‘buddied’ with a group of language students from Longhill High School where they came to study every day. The students were immersed in all classes with their ‘buddy’, enabling them to be fully engaged in the learning taking place. This method of ‘immersion’ helped the Spanish students and their Longhill counterparts to practice their language skills as well as enabling them to form firm friendships over the four-week period.
The Spanish students were welcomed into the homes of local families in the area, where they enjoyed being treated as part of the family. “The family I stayed with were very friendly and the food was great.” 14-year old Mireia told us. “I enjoyed being in Brighton and got to spend time in town and at the beach, which was fun.” Ainoa, aged 15 added, “I did miss my family, being away from home, but I got to talk to them every day on Facetime. I’m going to miss the friends I’ve made so much when I go home – I will be coming back to Brighton for sure!”
As well as studying academic subjects during their time at Longhill, the Spanish students and their buddies got to spend time together taking part in some fun activities after school. They enjoyed a drama workshop run by Ms Rhodes, a cookery session run by Mr Norris and a glass-blowing workshop run by Mr Dodd. All activities were overseen by Head of Languages, Ms Stallard and her team – so a big ‘thank you’ goes to all staff involved for their hard work in making the students’ time here so rewarding.
We asked Year 10 student Kaia what she would remember most about the Spanish students’ visit. “My lasting memory will be the friendship I’ve made with Ainoa. She is a funny, lovely girl – everything you could want from a friend.” We asked whether they had things in common, “Yes we have lots in common. You might think the language barrier would prevent friendship, but it doesn’t. “ Kaia added, “Although she’s from a different culture, she’s intelligent, understands what’s happening and picks up on what you want to do. The friendship we have is worth keeping, so we will definitely stay in touch.”
So, with mixed feelings, the Spanish students head back to Barcelona – excited to see their families after four weeks away from home, but sad to leave their new-found friends from Longhill High School.