A project to give international students a deep insight into life in British education and culture is underway.
Broadstairs English Centre is behind the link that involves working closely with Chatham and Clarendon House Grammar School in Ramsgate to provide 24 young people aged 14 and 15 from Vigo in Spain with three weeks life in a British school.
The visitors are linked with buddy students in the grammar school’s Year 11 and sixth form as they experience life inside British education close up.
Andy Somers, who has experience working with international students around the world, is the lead co-ordinator for the link. He said: “This is an important and exciting project for Broadstairs English Centre, and the partnership we have struck up with Chatham and Clarendon Grammar has been superb.
“Their students and staff are extremely supportive of this vital initiative where our international guests have the opportunity to really get involved in school life. This is for three weeks, not just a couple of days, and the Spanish students will experience a range of lessons across the curriculum and timetable each day.
“The overall idea of the link is to immerse our international visitors in our education, culture and heritage. In this way we can broaden the life and learning experiences for children across Europe and in our part of the UK.”
The students are also making a documentary about school life and school sports and will use that as part of a presentation about their visit.
Mr Somers said: “International students across Europe and beyond are very keen to spend time in our education system – and Broadstairs English Centre is providing just that experience.”
The Spanish team leaders are Paula, Alonzo and Jeniffer. Paula said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Spanish students to travel abroad. They will find out so much about the education, culture and heritage of England, and they are excited to be paired with buddies, which is an excellent way of finding out about life through the experience of someone of their own age.
“The visit will help improve their understanding of the English language and give them confidence to speak and chat, and hopefully create strong friendships.”
The Chatham and Clarendon students involved in the project are all studying Spanish and the link will give them the chance to find out more about Spain’s heritage and culture through time in class and socially with their new friends.
Chatham and Clarendon head teacher Debra Liddicoat said: “Our students are so excited to be buddying with the Spanish students and are practicing their language skills and learning more about Spanish culture.”
The Spanish group will also visit London and Cambridge during their stay, as well as taking part in social activities, a coastal sponsored walk with their school hosts from Ramsgate to Broadstairs and back, and workshop sessions with the Teenage Cancer Trust and Kent Fire and Rescue Service in school.