Located on the Mediterranean, Alicante is small but vibrant city with many historic buildings and cultural attractions, magnificent beaches and leisure facilities.
For some it was the first time travelling abroad and the trip offered a real insight into the country’s culture, people and way of life as they put their language skills into practice.
From ordering their breakfast in Spanish and getting to grips with a different school environment at our partner school, I.E.S. Las Lomas, in Alicante to exploring the city’s historic Santa Bárbara Castle with its breath-taking views and tasting ‘chocolate con churros’ at a typical Spanish Churrería, the girls really got a flavour of life in Spain.
Every night the girls were challenged to write up a diary in Spanish as well as ordering all of their meals, using public transport and talking with their local guides in Spanish.
Trip leader, Mrs Kate Cox, said: “The focus was for the girls to really immerse themselves in the language. It was a bit of a culture shock for some, especially in the hustle and bustle of the city centre, but by the end of the trip everyone had grown so much in confidence in their speaking skills and the girls were chatting away in Spanish wherever they went.”
It was a packed programme during the week which included exploring the narrow streets which snake around the beautiful Barrio Santa Cruz district; getting a taste of Spain’s chocolate making heritage at the Valor Chocolate Factory; finding out about Alicante’s famous bonfire festival ‘Las Hogueras de San Juan’ ; trying some authentic Tapas; and much more.
In the port of Alicante, there was also the chance to discover the fascinating world of professional sailing at the Volvo Ocean Race HQ. The girls were given a guided tour of one of the yachts used in this gruelling round the world yacht race, considered the Everest of Sailing, giving them a real insight into the extremes of life on board for the competitors. They also got hands on with the exhibits and interactive installations in the museum, learning all about the history and technical aspects of the race as well as the important issue of marine plastic pollution.
A highlight of the week was heading to a local secondary school where they met the students and took part in lessons, workshops and even a Zumba class! The girls were overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received from students with some even forming new international friendships and hoping to start up regular correspondence.
Catherine, in Year 11, who hopes to study Spanish at A Level next year said “going to the school was amazing – the students were so welcoming and friendly!”
The girls have returned to school with greater confidence in their language skills and cannot wait for their next adventure abroad!