During April Rolleston College have been enjoying the company of visitors from Spain. In 2018 the School established a sister school relationship with the I.E.S Luis de Góngora, Córdoba, in Andalucia, in the south of Spain. Their sister school is very different to Rolleston College, being built in 1577 and located in the central plaza of Córdoba, which is the only city in the world to have four World Heritage sites. The school building is beautiful, historic and has its own chapel.
During 2018 learners in Rolleston’s Year 10 Spanish class began a friendship with Spanish students. They enjoyed sharing emails, study projects and communicating online via social media, before the first Spanish visitors were welcomed on April 1st.
The group enjoyed visits to the Gondola, museum, Akaroa, central city, and a day in Wellington.
The Spanish students also attended some lessons at the School and, as their English was excellent, they were able to get involved with the learning.
Tate Hawker, (year 10) commented, “it was fun learning from them and learning about their hobbies and what they like to do.”
Sam Maccoll, (year 10), said, “I asked questions in Spanish about their family and hobbies and they understood.”
Over the weekend host families took the Spaniards on a variety of excursions, offering an exciting range of typical kiwi experiences. There were boat trips, caving, quad biking, jet boats, trips to the West Coast and even a helicopter ride!
Luis Garcia Rubias said, “I think the culture here is totally different to Spain. The High School is very new.”
Juan Taria Lora said, “I enjoyed the culture of New Zealand, the environment and the people here are so nice.”
On the last evening together everyone enjoyed dinner at a restaurant, and it was reported that it was a pleasure to see the students interacting.
“Cesar Morales, the visiting Spanish teacher, has been running international exchanges for twenty four years,” explained Annie Mansfield, Learning Leader for Languages at Rolleston College. “He spoke of the positive influence that exchanges have on young people. We have seen friendships forged, language skills improved and students having lots of fun,” Annie added
We are all very excited about our return trip to Córdoba in 2020 and our first French exchange, also in 2020,” Annie concluded.