Upon finding out I was going to Barcelona for the SWITCH project, I was, to say the least, ecstatic! An experience I was not going to miss. Especially having lived in England for 8 years and having my classmates ask me how many times I’d been to Spain…for my reply to be zero. Barcelona is always been a country I have wanted to experience for myself. Even better with the students that went there with me, as I classify them as two of my best friends. I was also curious to see how the teachers would act outside of the college atmosphere, they are indeed genuine human beings and not just robots for whom education is their life.
Once we arrived in Barcelona, it was very simple for myself and my friends to fit in as we already spoke Spanish. In the mornings, after arriving at the school, we had work to do. We went into classes to explain about the SWITCH project and the blog we have been writing for. We then encouraged the Spanish students to have a go and I enjoyed speaking to them and finding out their stories. In the afternoon we sat in on some meetings, but mainly we took on the initiative to do various Q & A’s (question and answers) with students and teachers alike. This experience made me feel happy to have taken part in an Erasmus-style exchange. Why? Because it made me realise the boundless opportunities ‘us’ UK students have and take for granted, e.g. education that has the potential to go on to bigger things such as university.
Throughout the experience I learnt a lot; from making new friends, to understanding the high fluctuation of immigrants that cross Santa Coloma. In my opinion it was great. I learnt the way in which they teach in Spain is drastically different from in the UK, in the way that they have morning school and afternoon school for different age groups and tiers of learning.
Overall, this experience has made me realise the boundless opportunities I have, and more specifically within education. It highlighted to me the importance of having a thorough understanding of a topic that interests you. Also, the chance to learn from people in a different country is astonishingly rich, intertwined with networking. Something I am very interested in.