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Exchange participants’ compositions Their experience in England 2018-19

Fotografía de Úrsula J. 3º ESO A

Úrsula J. 3º ESO A Hi! I am Úrsula, I'm one of the 18 students from Spain who did the Exchange. I suffered a lot before the trip, I was too excited from last year because my parents didn't allow me to go to England at the beginning. Finally, I was lucky and I have been there, so now I am going to tell you my experience and everything I have learned about the English culture school, language.... I had a boy as my partner, his name is Dylan, he's 14 years old, just like me and he is in the year 10 at school. In England the courses follow a different system, they start studying compulsory studies when they are a year younger tan us, they are five years when they enter year one, and they are in the same school until year 11. Then, they can keep on studying if they want to. For example, the year 6 is equivalent to our fifth of primary school in Spain. They have optional subjects apart from the obligatory ones. Dylan has chosen business studies, economy basically, and computer programming. He wants to work in a company. The lessons are organized differently. Also, the groups are different depending on the subject . First, they go to a class called form; there they get registered for the whole day, it takes 5 minutes, it is done at 8:00 a clock.

They are with their school family, it is the people wearing the same color and the jacket, in the rest of the classes, they are mixed. In Bexley Grammar School, the students have to wear a uniform. After that, they go to two different classes with different persons, then it is the break, it lasts 20 minutes. Most of them don't eat anything and they play football or talk with friends. They go to three more lessons of 50 minutes and then they have the lunch time, which also takes 15 minutes. Some students bring food prepared from home, but most people buy something at the canteen. One fact that impacted me a was that they cannot use cash, they put their fingers in a machine and that's how they pay. Then the last lesson begins at 14:15 and finishes at 15:05. They study very similar things and the lessons are taught like in Benalmadena, but the marks or the punishment, if you don't do the homework, are different. They are graded with numbers up to 9 being this, the highest reachable mark. If they don't bring their homework done they have a detention if someone is annoying, the teacher takes out the child off his or her class without thinking twice, except the easy-going teachers. English people are very concerned about studies, so normally, most of them pay attention to the teachers. They are very organized, including their circulation in the halls and in the stairs; they move in the clockwise direction, the opposite to here. Also, on the roads, and in the cars, the steering wheel are the other way around.

When the class finishes, they talk with friends or go to the locker, they also go to the toilet,‌ the same as here. The canteen is divided into four areas, three of these parts have tables to eat and the other part is a kitchen and a mini market where students buy hot and cold food. In terms of decoration, the school has halls in white and blue and it is big and it has many buildings which are blue and very old. Another curiosity is that the lockers, apart from the number, they have the name written. The classes are quite similar, they also have digital board but they don't have individual tables and the teacher's computer is next to the board, so the teacher uses it turning his or her back to the students. There are three doors to enter the playground, which is huge. They have two enormous football fields, with grass, three basketball courts and all the places to do physical education that I couldn't see. Dylan's family was very nice. He has a little brother called Gareth. He is 12 years old, their parents were very kind with me. Sometimes, at night we played at a table game. They got up at 6:40 and they had cereals as breakfast but in the weekend they slept more. The children had lunch at school and they had dinner at around 7 p.m. They ate few vegetables and fruit but a lot of fast food, then they went to bed at 10 or even later. In their free time, they played video games, did their homework or hung out with friends.

English people move with public transport, they usually use buses trains and Metro to go anywhere. They are always busy and places are crowded and obviously they are not cheap. In the center of London there are some buildings and a few skyscrapers, but in the outskirts the houses are very cool because one house is divided in halves and there are two houses. Some places in the city where under construction and an important building like Big Ben, was covered, so we couldn't see it well. Actually, I liked London very much but the best in this journey was going with my mates and meeting new people of my age.

Daniel T. 1º Bachillerato My experience at the exchange program About 2 weeks ago we went to Welling, a town near London, as part of an exchange program. We had such a great time there, and also learned a lot about how the life of a student like us is different from what it is like here. In this essay I’m going to describe some of the most interesting aspects. The English educational system has a primary school, which goes from Year 1 to year 6, a Secondary School, which is from Year 7 to Year 11, and the Sixth Form College, which are Year 16 and 17. Unlike us, they have a wider range of subjects to choose from, mainly in terms of languages. They have 5 lessons a day, with a short break and a 50-minutes lunch time. They have less homework, and if they don’t do it, they go to detention, which is a classroom where you spend the rest of the lesson, doing that homework you hadn’t done. The equipment and facilities are pretty impressive, specially the sports area, since they have more than one gym, several football fields and more. The canteen is much better arranged than it is here. Regarding the students, there is a vast diversity, and I didn’t see any tense situations among them. When it comes to the family, their schedule is, as I had expected, really different from what I’m used to. They have lunch at 12 or a bit later, and at the weekends they do what they call a “brunch”, which is combining breakfast and lunch. They have dinner at 18:00 or 19:00, and they go to bed at 21:00. Regarding their relationship, I felt it was more distanced

than the one I have with my parents, but it could be because of my presence. The family could not have been nicer to me, and we have had some interesting conversations. We have even watched some films together. My partner was a bit less talkative, though, but it may be because he was nervous. To end up, the village we lived in -Welling- was pretty lovely, although I felt that distances were a bit large, since we had to take the bus for everything. And I loved the city of London. Everything about it fascinated me. From Buckingham Palace to Oxford Street, everything was staggering. It was even better because, thanks to the public transport system, everything felt closer than ever. I didn’t have too much time to interact with people, but I’m sure that if I had had, I wouldn’t have had any problems. To sum up, it was a wonderful experience, being the best part the visits to London, and the worst part the fact that we didn’t have anything planned for the spare time at the city, so we just walked until the spare time ended. Apart from that, I loved the experience, and with no doubt I would repeat it if I were given the chance.

Paula A. 3º ESO A Hi. I am Paula and recently, I was involved in an Exchange Programme. We were eighteen students and two teachers. We went to Kent, England. In this composition, I am going to write about my experience. To start with, I am going to explain what the school that I went to was like. It had three buildings and four playgrounds. There were two theatre rooms where, each year, the students in the school who choose to have drama lessons represent famous plays. Also, there are over two thousand students in the school, who are divided in different buildings (each one has a color). There are over three hundred classrooms and the lessons are mixed, so you can share Spanish with your best friend but share French with someone you do not know. However, the school has negative things as well: the stairs are very small and narrow and, if you are not careful, you will hit someone without even noticing. Now, I am going to write about my partner´s familly. I lived in Mia´s house for a week with her parents, her older brother Eddie and her. I slept in Mia´s bedroom, next to the stairs and in front of the bathroom. Her house was big and small at the same time. The treatment I received from her family was the best I could ever ask for. I felt like the Queen of the house while I was with them. I had a lot of fun with them and the food was delicious.

Personally, I thought this trip was going to be a huge disaster. You just have to imagine twenty Spanish people in England, on their own, looking for specific places to visit. We almost got lost on the train and we actually lost four students while we were shopping. Despite all the bad experiences, which were not many, I had a really good time. If I get this opportunity again, I will not think twice!!!

My experience: LIVING AND EXCHANGE Carmen A. D. 1º Bach After months of waiting, finally the group of eighteen students and two teachers landed in Gatwick. Then we spent like an hour in the train until arriving at Wellington Station. But this wasn’t the end of the travel day. We had to walk for twenty minutes more from the station to the school. With all the tiredness; finally, we saw the school. Compare with our high school that one was extremely big and there were lots of corridors with doors, actually I don’t know how they do to avoid pushing each other in their faces. So, when we arrived at the school the Spanish teacher, Moises told out loud our names and introduced our partners. After meeting in person Jasmine and I went to her house in her father´s car. And this was shocking because I realized at that moment how strange is seeing driving in the other part of the road. When we arrived home, I saw my room and we had dinner at half past six. Jasmine´s mum, Ruth, had cooked fish with vegetables. After dinner, we went to the school again because they had a concert of the music department. Every student in that school has a talent, they have lots of activities like singing, dancing or playing whatever instrument. On Tuesday, only the Spanish student went to London. We walked a lot and we saw the things that I only had seen in films. It was a really amazing day. Also, we bought all the presents for the family. Talking about presents, I gave Jasmine´s family Iberian ham and olive oil and the mum asked me if I wanted to have that meat for dinner and how much time it needed to be cooked. So, I tried to explain what it is and how you

can eat it. Since then I forgot about that and I really hope that they didn’t cook that jam. On Wednesday, during the morning we went to the school. They have to be there at 8.00h, but they don’t have to enter to classes until 8.15h. Then, they have thirty minutes in form class to talk to their main teacher. Later, they have two classes of 45minutes, a 20mins break for eat something (this is like our break), then two more classes, the 50minutes break for having lunch and finally two classes again. They finish at three more or less. This day, we had to wait until Marina´s partner finished her rehearsal and we took our food at McDonalds in a rush because we were late to go to London with everybody to see the musical Wicked. I have to confess that I slept during at scene in the first part. The best of all was the second part, and surprisingly, I understood a considerable part of the musical. On Thursday, we spent the whole day in London and we took many pictures. We visited Greenwich and we sailed through the Thames. On Friday, we went to school again and in the afternoon we went to the bowling with the whole group. On Sunday morning, I went with Jasmine to the hairdresser and then we went to a huge shopping centre called Bluewater where we meet Marina, Juanjo and their partners. In the evening we went to London and we visited the Harry Potter shop in King Cross and we took the typical photo in the wall of the known as platform nine and three quarters. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant by the river with the views of the Tower Bridge. I think that this day was the best of all. And finally, on Sunday, Jasmine´s parents did the renewal of vows at their church. They are Baptist so they sing and pray extremely loud, nothing

similar to the Christians ceremonies that I used to know. They were all Africans, the only white there were Marina and me. After the wedding Marina and I went to Emily´s house (Marina´s partner) and there her father had prepared a typical English chicken road, gluten free of course. In that dinner I realised that I have been really lucky with Jasmine´s family because they were so friendly and Marina´s family were shy and I had to try very hard to maintain a conversation. And on Monday we said goodbye to all and we come back. From this trip I have some conclusion that I will like to expose: • The students there have more independence but the teacher doesn’t pay so much attention to them. I think the independence is a thing we can copy but I appreciate so much having a teacher there who teaches me and then I study at home, no in class. • They have independence but we have a higher level than then in our subject. They study subject so focused on their futures. For example, Jasmine wants to study Computer sciences and she doesn´t have chemistry or physics as a subject. They don’t have philosophy, they have a subject that is called “talk” which they say it is similar but of course not. • They have more racism than us. One day, when Jasmine and I were going to take the bus. Some black boys were spelled from the bus and the driver didn´t let Jasmine enter because she was black. And another time, in a bus, they were speaking how the black people were doing damage to their country and we had to get off. But this is not only in one way. The black people talk bad things about white and they don’t have relations between. They respect each other at

the school but they closet friends are white, Asian or African depended on their own. • Buses, I don’t know how I can be still alive after taking one of those buses; it was crazy how they move or I felt that way. I really do not know how I didn’t fall. • To cross the road they have the buttons that we have here, but there it works, so is another good thing from there apart from the chocolate. I think I don’t forget anything, I spent an amazing week and I can´t wait to see them again.

Exchange experience. à lvaro H. 4º ESO High school: The English school is very similar in some aspects compared to the Spanish one, for example, the exam marks are the same as in Spain and the students’ behavior is almost equal to the Spanish ones, both good behavior and bad behavior. My partner studies the subjects related to science, like physics and chemistry. Also he studies French as first language and later Spanish as second one. The school's installations are very nice. They've got a huge field to practise many types of sports like football and a pavimented field to practise, for example, frisbiee. They also have a gym but I didn't have the opportunity to visit it. Their cafeteria is very different from ours, you can buy hot food or packaged food and it has lots of tables and chairs.

Family: I used to wake up at 6:30 am and have breakfast at 7:30 am, I had lunch at 1 pm and I had dinner at 6 pm. Finally, I used to go to bed at 22:00pm. The relation between the family members was very good, also my relation with my partner is very good too. My partner likes football and meeting with their friends. Thanks to the exchange I was able to improve my English level, I improved my comprehension level and only a bit my grammatical level.

General impressions: The British population is very nice. Also the public transport is much better than the Spanish one and their police is one the best in the world. The drivers are also very good, for example all of them use their blinkers. My impression about the exchange is very good, in fact, the only bad thing is the duration of it. I'd rather have 10 days at least

EXCHANGE 2019 Alejandra M. 4º ESO A month ago, we did an exchange with some English people and we had lots of fun! First of all, I’m going to write about the highschool. In England the school years aren’t separated into primary, secondary, …, so there are years 10, 11, 12, … They have plenty of subjects similar to the ones here. An interesting thing about the lessons is that the students usually spend their time in class doing some work, so they don’t usualy have homework. Despite this, some people don’t do it. In turn, if they don’t do it for the next lesson, their parents will be called. The school coexistence is pretty good; not only are the people hard-working but they’re also polite. Despite this, there are some bad guys. They own magnificient facilities, like a large canteen. Lets move on to the family. My host family was very responsible and dedicated. We used to get up at 6 a.m and go to sleep at 9 p.m. I had a good relationship with my family and I made friends with my exchange partner. I also improved my English a lot by having good chats with her. I´d now like to write about the city. The village where we lived was good and London centre really fascinated me. We used a lot of public transport, which is really environmentally-friendly. Buses and trains were our normal means of transport. In conclusion, it was a unique experience that I´ll never forget.

Sara Y. C. 4º ESO The exchange was a stunning experience which we’ll never forget. Our exchange partners are students from Bexley Grammar School, in Kent. Each of us was with an English family. The family I stayed with is pretty cosy and friendly. I had the opportunity to get to know their everyday life. They were as my second family! The family live in a semi-detached house. There were days in which we went to their lessons at their school. I imagined them as in the films, which are quite different in comparison to ours, but they were as boring as ours. The only appreciated variation was the organisation of the students. They’re divided by their level, so both, the teachers and the students can have better lessons. Finally, the important person in this experience was my dear partner. I can remember the first time we met. We were, or rather, I was shy and strange there with her family and so on. Despite that, we’ve built up a relationship. I hope we will be able to repeat the experience again.

MY EXPERIENCE, BelĂŠn T. 3Âş ESO A My experience in London has been good. My relationship with my partner hasn't been so good but I talked a lot with the parents. The family used to have dinner very soon, at 5 or 6 pm. I think London is very nice. Everyone speaks very low, In London, there are many transports and all of them are used. The traffic runs on the left side and the steering wheel is on the right. The high school was very big and there were many people, but all of them spoke very little.They had two breaks and classes lasted 50 minutes. The days that I liked the most were those when I went to London and the bowling, I had many moments of laughter with my friends. This has been a very nice experience and I would like to repeat it.

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