This year our school engaged in an exchange with a school in Madrid for the first time. We were excited and also nervous about how it all would go. We found the experience to be truly wonderful for both students and teachers. Huge thanks to Ms Murphy and Ms Moynihan for accompanying the children! It was a huge ask of them and they gave such amazing care to the children with lots or regular updates sent home to parents!
Here are some of the children’s thought/accounts of the experience……
‘When I went to Madrid I stayed with Blanca and her family. Blanca has one younger sister and one younger brother. The food was quite similar to what I have at home. The whole family were welcoming and supportive during my time there.
The school we went to was called Colegio Newman. It was a really big campus, much bigger than our school! They have pre-school, primary school and secondary school all in the same school. In school we di PE, Maths, Spanish, English and Science. We also went on a school trip to Parca de Europa. In this park they have smaller versions of famous landmarks from all around Europe. During our time at school I took part in the talent show and I sang 2 Irish songs. The teachers and students in the school were all funny and kind.
During our spare time we went to a birthday party, on a bus tour around the centre of Madrid, went to different parks, went on the Metro, went to mass, played board games and went to a summer club!
I had an amazing time there and I would totally recommend it to other students!’
‘I thought it was a great experience and their school was huge. The family offered me lots of things to make me feel comfortable and they did. During yard time in school you can play lots of games such as soccer, volleyball, basketball and lots more! I strongly suggest that others should take the chance to do this because they will make memories they will never forget.’
‘We went to Madrid on an exchange programme with J.H Newman College Madrid. Spanish students visited our school a few months earlier and stayed in our homes. There were 10 students from our school picked to go to back to Madrid. We travelled by school bus to Cork airport and then we flew to Madrid. When we got to Madrid we were collected by bus and brought to Colegio Newman where we met our host families.
The Spanish girl I was staying with was Lola and her mother Elena is a teacher in the school. While I was staying with my host family I ate the same food and did the same things as everybody else. During the week I went to school. We had 2 Irish teachers to help us they were Ms. Murphy and Ms Moynihan. The school in Spain was much bigger than our school here in Ireland. There was a cafeteria and this is where we ate our lunch. There was lots of vegetables that I didn’t like but I ate some of them anyway!
During the weekend I went on a bus tour of Madrid. We saw lots of famous buildings and places. While we were there we also went on a field trip to Europe Park. My favourite thing in this park was seeing a copy of the Eifel Tower.
The week in Spain passed very quickly and very soon we were on our way home to our families in Ireland. I would recommend that students go to Madrid next year. It was a great experience. If they feel homesick tell them it will pass in two days and you will feel normal again!’
I was really excited to go to Spain because it was my first time. I thought the trip was a bit too short and I didn’t really visit many places during the first few days because of school. If I had stayed longer I would have gotten used to everything as well. I really loved the Europe Park and Retro Park, these parks were great fun. I got to go to 2 birthday parties while I was there. There was a swimming pool in the complex the family lived in. It was a big pool but I only got to go in swimming twice because I didn’t have enough time to do everything!
I made lots of friends while I was there and they were all very welcoming. The school was so much bigger than ours. I really liked the way they had PE 3 times a week. They had a nurse, PE teacher and lot’s more. I really enjoyed Spain and I hope I can go again!’