Hala Madrid!As part of the A level Spanish course, Miss Warring and I took 8 students to Madrid for a week during the Easter holidays. This was to prepare and practice for their upcoming speaking exam.
The students stayed with Spanish families who cooked them traditional Spanish food and conversed with them in Spanish. Whilst away, they completed a 20 hour intensive Spanish course at a local language school in the mornings. In their classes they were joined by students from around the world of all different ages.
In the afternoons we sampled local food and soaked up the culture at places like the Royal Palace and at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium – the home of Real Madrid. One day we had the opportunity to go out of the city to El Escorial, a famous and imposing palace set in the mountains. It’s safe to say that we were all impressed by the views, buildings and art they had to offer. We also had time to act like a true ‘madrileño’ (someone from Madrid) and soak up the sun in the Parque de Retiro, along with a Spanish picnic and great views.
In the evenings, the students had dinner with their families before meeting Miss Warring and I to see what the city offered at night. One night we went to a local bar and watched an ‘el clásico’ football match; FC Barcelona v Real Madrid, it was full of Real Madrid fans which provided a great atmosphere, especially as Real beat their biggest competitor!
We sampled weird and wonderful food at the local market at night, five students were brave enough to try an oyster for the first time too! After dinner we were lucky enough to experience flamenco dancing in a tiny restaurant full of locals.
As well as staying with families without teachers, the students were also expected to be independent whilst in Madrid. They had to navigate the city on a daily basis by themselves, as part of building their confidence and independence. Considering it was the first time that some had never been out of the country, this was very successful without any student getting lost on the metro system!
Overall, it was definitely an experience that I’m sure none of us will forget; full of culture, speaking practice and of course laughter-inducing memories that will last a lifetime!