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Spanish Exchange to Mancha Real

On 25 November, fourteen students embarked on the second Spanish exchange with Mancha Real in Andalucía. For five of them, it was the second time that they had taken part in this exchange. After a six-hour journey, our nervous students were warmly welcomed by their exchange partners and host families.

The first day commenced with a welcome reception hosted by the headmaster and a typical Andalusian breakfast. The early 8.15am start was a shock to our students, but they quickly settled in to the Spanish way of life. Students then attended lessons which had been specially designed with their subjects in mind.

On Tuesday, they had the opportunity to visit Córdoba and its cathedral, in addition to the Medina Al-Zahra. On Saturday, the students spent the day in Jaén and visited the castle, the cathedral and the Arab baths.

All of the students were able to return from the exchange with invaluable knowledge, memories of unforgettable experiences and new-found language skills - and all are eagerly anticipating the return of the Spanish students on 13 January.

After already taking part in the first Spanish exchange in January of this year, I was just as eager to take part in the second exchange that took place this November. The week flew by as expected but the time I spent out there was invaluable in helping me progress with my Spanish. Unlike last time, I knew exactly what to expect so I made sure I spoke as much Spanish as I possibly could. The days spent at the local school really developed my listening skills and it gave me an insight into how schools in other countries function and do things. Also, the trip has allowed me to make so many new friends which has opened up many doors for the future. I would advise anyone who is contemplating doing an exchange to seize the opportunity and do it. It will benefit you in so many different ways and it will keep the links between Lytchett Minster School and Sierra Mágina strong so future students will be able to have the same chance. —Jon Selway, Year 13

I really enjoyed my time on the Spanish exchange. My Spanish host family made me feel very welcome and it was very interesting to experience Spanish culture within a family. My favourite trips were to Córdoba and Jaén, which included visiting the cathedrals, town centres and Jaén's castle. My time in Spain has helped improve my Spanish speaking skills and I have made lots of new friends. —Holly Cooper, Year 12

In my opinion, the Spanish exchange trip was amazing because I made many new friends and it helped me improve my Spanish. My favourite part was learning about Spanish culture and I found it interesting to see the differences between our culture and that of Spain. The trip helped me gain confidence in speaking Spanish and now I have memories that I will never forget. —Georgie Wood, Year 12

The 2018 Spanish exchange was an unforgettable experience where I had the chance to meet new people who are now friends, visit cultural, historical and beautiful places like cathedrals, city centres and towns, experience new, exciting things and better myself. I am so glad I went on the exchange and I would definitely do it all again. The families and students were so welcoming and accommodating, making me excited for their arrival in England​.  —Olivia White, Year 10