On Tuesday 21st January 2014, 18 Spanish students arrived at Steyning Grammar School on a weeks foreign exchange visit.
The exchange students are visiting from Oviedo, in the Asturias region of northern Spain, and will each be spending a week with a family from the school.
The students are accompanied by two of their teachers Mrs Noelia Rodriguez, their English Teacher and Mrs Patricia Bautista, an Economics teacher.
Mrs Rodriguez said: “The students are so excited, and they are looking forward to learning about this part of England and the English culture. Most of the students have never lived with an English family so it will be a new experience for them.”
On arrival at the school the Spanish students were welcomed with refreshments and were introduced to their English student partners who will look after them for the week. Finally they met the other members of the family they will be living with for the rest of their stay.
A full programme of activities have been planned which includes spending time in school with their English partners and time at the weekend with their English family.
The students will also enjoy a trip to London by train to visit the British Museum and Madame Tussauds.
A day will be spent at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard visiting the Spinnaker Tower and HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship and one of the world’s most famous warships. An afternoon has also been set aside for some shopping.
Mrs Brigitte Machin, Head of Spanish at Steyning Grammar School said: “The aim of the exchange is to allow Spanish and English students to find out about life in each others countries, to discover more about the people, the customs, the food and other things that you can’t find in books.
“This visit is to give students the chance to experience an unforgettable English week, with an English family and be considered as a member of the family. The fact is that sometimes you have to live in the country to understand the culture better.”
“The exchange also allows the students to develop their understanding and speaking skills and give them confidence to take risks and be more independent and capable of embracing life more thoroughly in the future.”
Mr Nick Wergan, Headteacher said: “We are delighted to welcome this year’s group of Spanish exchange students.
“A school language exchange is a rife of passage for our language learners, one of these new to be forgotten school experiences. Language learning is a key skill for success, and we are pleased to have similar exchange with our French and German partner schools soon”
On Tuesday the 4th February students from Steyning Grammar School will visit the Asturias region of Spain for their return exchange visit.
Report and pictures contributed by Steyning Grammar School.