During October half-term Form 7 students of Spanish spent a week on work experience in one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, Alicante.
Their placements included a kindergarten, hotels, events centres and an indoor rock climbing centre. They all agreed the trip was worthwhile and helped improve their confidence when speaking Spanish as well as their comprehension skills.
To view more images of the trip view the photo gallery
The students recount their experiences in their own words below:
We landed in Alicante safe and sound and travelled on the bus to our hotel where we set up camp for the week. For lunch we went to a sports bar to watch the football and then spent an afternoon at the beach. In the evening we embraced the Spanish culture and ate tapas, the dishes of which were a mixture of squid, octopus, steak, omelettes, shrimp and prawns.
We started the day finding out the locations of our work placements. Felix and I visited our places of work, which were an indoor rock climbing centre and Alicante's Event centre respectively. Then we all met up back at the hotel and went to the beach where we relaxed following a busy start to the trip. We went in the sea and played some beach football. In the evening, we explored the Castle and saw some unbelievable views of the city. We finished the day off by having a meal together and looking forward to starting our work experience.
It was our first day at work and I was certainly feeling very excited and ready to speak Spanish. I travelled to my placement by bus and met Acer, the main instructor, at the Indoor Climbing Wall. We started to prepare for our first customers and when they arrived, I put my Spanish language into action. It was a group of Spanish children on a school trip, who had come to have a rock-climbing session. I started to talk to them about their school and their general interests, like what football team they supported (most saying Real Madrid!). After a good first day of work I returned to meet the others and we went to the beach. The weather was glorious so we stayed there for a couple of hours. In the evening, the teachers took us out for a meal near the port, under the beautiful setting of the Alicante moonlight.
Tuesday was an opportunity for everyone to settle at work, or at least to try and do so. As some of us shared lunch breaks, we met up together and went to a sports bar to watch some football and enjoy local tapas. Once everyone had finished their work, we visited the air raid shelters in Alicante. This tour was both informative and interesting and we were able to listen to it in Spanish, thus furthering our immersion. We were taken down two different shelters, both very dark and dingy, and we all agreed that we definitely wouldn't want to get stuck down there. We all enjoyed a quick meal after this, but most of us just wanted to go back to the hotel and get some rest for Wednesday.
On Wednesday we all went to our jobs. I started early by having a quick breakfast then I caught a bus to the kindergarten. In the evening the teachers were very kind, because they paid for us to have some traditional food such as paella and gazpacho. We ate in the old part of the city, which the castle overlooked and it was great to be immersed in the culture. It really made you appreciate the area and history of Alicante.
After a day of checking-in customers of all different nationalities, helping them with their bags and all sorts of hotel reception admin at the seafront hotel, I made my way to Postiguet beach where I met up with the others at about four o’clock. We relaxed on the beach, trying not to burn and swam in the sea for a couple of hours before we ventured off to find somewhere to eat. After eating we met up with the teachers and the trip supervisor and headed off to our escape room. This was a really entertaining experience that involved a lot of teamwork and logical thinking, as well as a large shout in celebration as the winning team escaped from their room and got to watch the losing team struggle to complete the final few tasks. Once the two teams had time to discuss their different experiences, we left and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the next and final day of work in our respective placements.
The last day of work soon came round quickly for all of us and by this time everyone had really settled into their jobs and there was definitely some confidence gained by all of us in speaking the language.
After all of us had finished work for the day we got ready to head out and watch an incredible flamenco show, which was filled with Spanish music and dancing. It had a great atmosphere that I believe none of us will forget. Once the show had finished it dawned on us that the trip was nearly over and the walk back to the hotel was filled with talking about the best bits over the week; the great food like tapas and paella, the escape room’s challenge which was one of the groups favourites, the sun and the beach of course! And many more! The evening closed with a much needed sleep before setting off back to sunny England the following day!