Intercambio en Cádiz
Our Spanish Exchange trip with Colegio Argantonio in Cádiz, Andalucia, is running again during 2023-2024. This year, we took on the challenge of travelling to the southern tip of Spain for the first leg of this intense learning opportunity for some of our Year 10 GCSE Spanish pupils.
On Tuesday 26 September 2023, 18 pupils and 2 staff flew from Stansted to Jerez, where we were met by a welcome party of exchange partners and their parents. The young people from both countries had been in contact for a couple of months via social media before the visit and it was great to see their reactions when meeting in person. After the drive to Cádiz, we reconvened at the beach for team building exercises, a first swim of the trip and a classic England v Spain football match!
Day 2 was a more historical day, climbing the stairs of the Torre Tavira in the morning - this tower is the tallest building in the city, but despite this will not be installing a lift anytime soon - to see the 'camara oscura' (dark camera) and incredible 360º panoramic views of the Cádiz skyline and sights. In the afternoon, we headed to La Caleta for a group lunch of fried fish, paella, papas aliñas and croquetas, before spending time at the beach.
On Thursday we were on a culture day, taking in the carnival museum, La Casa del Carnaval, the oldest in Spain, before a trip to the puppet museum, Museo del Títere. In the afternoon, we took a tourist bus around Cádiz, an experience enjoyed by the Brits as well as the Spanish. In the evening, we were treated to a churros feast - there was an order for 5kg of churros but even the hungriest amongst us couldn’t quite manage it all!
We started Friday by trying to work off the churros from the night before (with some having a few more to work off than others)! Fast-forward to surfing and stand up paddleboarding and all the group were involved, some with more success than others. After proving that, for some, stand up paddleboarding is more of a challenge than an instruction, we spent the remainder of the day enjoying some time on the beach, whilst doing our best to shade from the sun.
Over the weekend, pupils were with their families and were treated to all sorts of activities, from a weekend away as a big group to Entre Ramas Aventura (a Spanish version of Go Ape).
Monday morning was the eagerly anticipated scavenger hunt, hotly contested by all teams. In the afternoon we had an interesting flamenco lesson... and interesting too was the realisation that many Brits do not share too close a relationship with grace or rhythm!
On Tuesday we visited Tarifa and Bolonia. The day started with a visit to a famous castle where a leader famously threw his son down to the enemy rather than give up the castle. Before visiting the Roman ruins at Bolonia, we had intended to go to the giant sand dune, however, the heat of the day wouldn’t allow it. The rest of the day was spent admirably marching through Vejer de la Frontera in 30-degree heat.
Our final day saw us visit the partially excavated ruins of a Roman theatre that would once have held 20,000 spectators, followed by a couple of hours of shopping for souvenirs of this memorable exchange.
On Thursday morning we said our goodbyes and returned to the relative cold of England, tired and already missing the beach!
"The Spanish exchange was fun, educational and, all in all, a great thing to have as an opportunity to learn more about the language and culture itself." Amelia
"Doing the Spanish exchange was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned a lot of Spanish and felt very comfortable with my Spanish partner and their family." Molly
We look forward to welcoming the Spanish Exchange partners to Cirencester when they come in 2024 and, in the meantime, pupils are using social media to stay in touch.
Mr Scarrott, Trip Leader