Erasmus in Birmingham

Erasmus visit to Birmingham by Lauren Weston

I was a buddy to a girl from Spain called Irene. She had a host who didn’t go to this school so I offered to look after her during the day. I met her on the Monday and stayed with her for the whole day and on Tuesday when we went to London.

Monday

I met Irene Monday morning before school in the library where all the Erasmus students gathered. Even though we had talked a little before through Email, she was quite shy but a very lovely person. We played a few games in the library so we could get to know everyone and we had a lot of fun. We then took our buddies and a few of the teachers on a tour of the school which they seemed to enjoy and said that our school is a lot different to their school. The Finnish teachers whom we were showing around also gave us Finnish chocolate as a thank you – it was delicious.

After break, we took our students to our lesson which, for me, was Media Studies. It wasn’t the most interesting lesson as we were preparing for a test but Irene said she enjoyed it nonetheless.

Then for fourth and fifth period we went to an art workshop where we worked with our buddies to make a puzzle piece out of clay with a few meaningful symbols carved on. Ours went well; we had a good laugh and learnt a few things about each other. Even though we picked quite a complicated symbol, it turned out well in the end.

 

Tuesday

This was the day we went to London; we had to be at school for 5:50 in the morning. Ten minutes later we were on the coach to London. The trip took around 4 hours but it went quite quickly as we played games on the coach like I Spy and would you rather. It was really fun and most kids on the coach got involved.

We were a little bit late as London traffic was a nightmare that morning but we still got the tour of the Houses of Parliament. It was a little rushed but it was really interesting and we learned about lots of different, weird, traditions that Parliament have. Shona sadly wasn’t feeling well that day and ended up getting sick in the Princess Room, one of the rooms that the queen walks through when she goes to open Parliament. It was pretty funny.

Then Miss O’Connor took us on a little tour of London to all the main sites. We saw a few famous sites as we walked, including the back of Downing Street, until we ended up at Trafalgar Square where we had lunch. Some of us went to MacDonald’s whereas some of us had our own packed lunch.

After lunch, we walked to Buckingham Palace, which was really pretty, but sadly the Queen wasn’t in as the flag was half raised. We all took a group selfie with the palace in the background.

We then walked back to the coach to return to Birmingham. The journey back was as much fun as the journey there as we all sang along with songs playing out of Jack’s speaker. Even though the songs we played were English, all of the foreign students knew the songs, which shows just how universal music is and how it can bring people together.

Overall, the experience was great. I really enjoyed it and I met some new people while learning about their culture and how it differs to ours.