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Visit diary by Ivana Klaić

Hi, my name is  Ivana. I attend 7th grade. I went to Spain. This was my first visit to Spain and  first flight with plane at all. So, all was new for me: new place, new people, new culture, new school, new languages, new way of life. First we went to Budapest. I was enjoying during trip from Osijek to Budapest because I had  took so many photos with Nika. When we came to airport, we went to check in our baggage. Then we went to custum office and I was very excited. When I should pass through those big doors I was so excited and scared in same time. So, after we had done it, I send messages to my father, grandma, mother, sister, aunt and to my host, Jara. Then we started our talk about flight. When we should came to plain I was so so excited. So, the flight started and I was so impressed with beauty of Europe in the night. We were taking so much beautiful photos from the air and so many selfies. When we took off to Alicante, we set in taxi and we started talking about flight and first impressions about Spain. When I came to my host´s house, I met her parents who were so kind and nice. So, this was my first day in Spain. On Sunday, we went to some kind of mountain where we took many beautiful photos with all Erasumus+ students. After we  saw some parts of mountain, we set on grass and started eat our lunch and  taIk about flights, conditions on our trips, languages, how to say some words in other languages, we were singing songs and laughing. I  hang out mostly with girls from Portugal and girls from Spain. After that we went to city center and visited many shops. I thought Murcia is small city but when I saw it I was totally impressed with beauty of this so big and nice city. Cathedral in Murica is so big and nice, Roman Theatre is so special, well I didn´t see inside I saw only outside but it is amazing.   Also, have tried many tipical Spanish dishes and I liked it because they  are little bit different than Croatia´s. When we came home, I was so happy because I had great time on mountain and in the center of Murcia. On Monday, we went to school by school bus and I met so many beautiful pupils in bus. Than we had a school tour and I realize that our and Spanish school are very similar. I was little bit scared because it is really big and there are so many buildings and I thought that I might be lost in all those buildings.  Later  we had presentations about other countries, preparation for International lunch. I liked International lunch because I tried many different dishes and I liked many of them. In afternoon we went to city together.  We had very nice time while we were visiting city. We were talking about International lunch and food that we have tried and our impressions  about Murcia, hosts, families and food.When we came home I was tired and I just prepared things from excursion to Cartagena. Next day, on Tuesday we went to Cartagena by bus. In  the bus we were singing ˝Happy birthday song˝ because one of hosts, Marta, had a birthday. In Cartagena  we visited Regional Parlament, Agua museum and lots of other things. On Wednesday we had our presentation  and European Junior Parliament. European Junior Parliament was so good and intersting  and I learned many things about democracy, ways to rule a country, how politicians work in other countries.  In afternoon we went to shopping center all together and I had a great time with all Erasmus+ students. We were laughting, smiling, singing, shopping and eating together. Our last day in Murica was really nice and emotional. First in school we had a concert for children with special needs in school gym. We represented our country with song˝Mi plešemo˝, later we were dancing on Despacito, Music Brigdes and we danced  Zumba. After that we went to restaurant where we tried paella and I liked it so much. After our lunch we started dancing I was so cool because we all knew lyrics and we realised that we are all listening same music. Time was passing really  quickly and soon it was time to say goodbye. We were all crying because this was end of our beautiful trip to Spain where I have meet so many wonderful people and made some friendships that I hope will last forever. On Friday, we safely came to home first by planes and by car.

Ivana Klaić 7th grade

Elementary school  Višnjevac, Croatia

Adventures in Murcia by Nika Kolesarić

Our adventure started on Saturday in the morning. We went to airport Lizst Ferenc in Budapest where we went to Alicante and then to Murcia. In Murcia we met our host family. Next day we went to Murcia mountain and met pupils from United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Poland and Spain. That day I learn something new about those countries. On Monday we were in their high school and met their friends. Also we had a internacional lunch where we tried food from other countries. In the afternoon this day we saw a Murcia’s beautiful Cathedral. On Tuesday we went to beautiful and sunny town Cartagena. In Cartagena I saw and learnt something new and interesting about their history. Wednesday was very good because we talk to each other and joking. Also on Wednesday we went to big shopping centre where I buy something for my family. Thurday was the most beautiful day in Murcia. In the morning we went to their school and have prepair for charity concert then we had a Junior European Parlament and our  theme was democracy. After Parlament we have a concert where we sang Croatian funny song. In the afternoon we went to house of one host and have a party, It was a excellent, funny and beautiful party. We finish our adventure early in the morning we went to Alicante then to Barcelona and from Barcelona to Budapest and finally to our homes. I want to say thank you to all pupils and teachers  and their high school.

 

Nika Kolesarić 7th class

Elementary school Višnjevac, Croatia

Patricia’s visit to Spain

Day one

It was easy and calm.  Funny story though: we almost missed our plane. We are the last ones on the plane. We went through the terminal without any problems and then decided to do some shopping and some exploring.  I went to the bookstore, of course. Browsed through some books and then I just hear this announcement on the intercom: “All Alicante passengers to report to the gates. THIS IS THE LAST CALL.”  I immediately got up and raced to our meeting place.  Patryk was there, looking as panicked as I felt.  It was clear that he had heard it too. He went to fetch our teachers and we ran to the gates. We were the last ones on the second minibus taking us to the plane.  Once on-board the plane, we suffered through the pain of air pressure on our eardrums.  We did origami and played games on the sick bags that they provide and overall, we had fun.

Once we got off the plane, we immediately received calls from the other delegations telling us that the bus taking us to Murcia was about to leave.  So, we again raced to catch the bus, since if we missed this one, we would have to wait another hour for the next one.  A good cardio work-out though, running through the airport!  It took about 55 minutes to get to Murcia. Patryk and I spent this time getting to know one another.

We finally reached the bus station in Murcia and met our hosts and the other kids.  We had a tour of the city, saw palm trees, lemon trees and orange trees just growing normally like any other tree. We also saw that the temperature was 11 degrees and we laughed like crazy people because we would never get double digits at this time of the year in England.  However, according to the hosts, this was the coldest week of winter they had had so far.

Pictures from around the city …

     

Continue reading “Patricia’s visit to Spain”

Patryk’s visit to Spain

Saturday 03/02/18

On Saturday, I woke up at 8AM, and got ready for the trip ahead! I was selected for this trip in an unconventional way; I was chosen as a substitute for another pupil! My host was Manuel, a 15 year old Spanish boy, and I began talking to him through WhatsApp messenger. I found out that I would be staying with him and his father during my stay in Murcia, Spain. As luggage, I was allowed to 10kg in hand luggage and 20kg in a suitcase, which I later found out was way more than I needed. Besides clothes, I also brought with me: 2 Victoria Sponge cakes, a pack of Jaffa Cakes, Scottish Shortbread, a snowglobe and fridge magnets to give to my hosts as presents from England! I also brought a teddy bear, pencils, pens, and books to give to a local charity in Spain. All of the food that I brought with me was for the International Lunch that we were going to have on Monday! After getting my bags packed, my father drove me to Birmingham Airport, where I met my teachers and Patricia, the other pupil from Archbishop Ilsley. Once we got past security, we had free time to go and look around the shops in the airport, but I chose to look after everyone´s bags instead; we nearly missed our flight! The flight itself was pleasant, as I spent most of the flight reading the book that I had brought with me.

Although I am not sure as to when we arrived at Alicante, we took a coach from the airport to Murcia. The coach journey was about an hour long, and it let Patricia and I view the Spanish landscape, and all it had to offer. We noticed that the landscape resembled that of Arizona, America; the land seemed dry and almost desert-like, yet there were many orange and lemon trees!

From Left to Right: Manuel, my host; me; Adrian, Patricia’s host; Patricia

When we arrived at Murcia, I finally got to meet Manuel in person. Although the initial encounter was really awkward, it was a funny experience trying to communicate to each other; he said that my British accent was weird, and difficult to understand. I also met Manuel´s mother at the airport, and she took my luggage and put it into her car as all the Erasmus pupils were to go with their hosts to see Murcia´s city centre. The walk that we had around Murcia was one that I will never forget. Patricia and I were shocked and amazed by the abundance of palm trees, the relatively warmer conditions, and the friendly people! Although it took us awhile to decide where to eat, we ended up going to a Cereal Bar. This was a place where we could order a bowl of cereal to eat, and what was amazing was that there was a wide range of cereal choices, ranging from the cereals that I know to the most obscure ones that I had never heard of.

A river in the town, lit up at night

Personally, I found the city of Murcia to be very interesting. While the city itself blended historical elements with modern ones, the people were friendly and welcoming. A great first impression!


Sunday 04/02/18

Continue reading “Patryk’s visit to Spain”

Nicole’s Visit to Italy

My mom dropped me at the Digbeth coach station in the morning, since my dad had work and my brothers were at school, but they wished they could see me off.   At the station, I met Mr. Morris, Ms. Saggu and Samrain.

Our excited teacher and us waiting at the airport.

I said goodbye to my mom and boarded the coach as soon as it arrived.  I sat by the window and Samrain sat next to me. I was so excited because I was about to leave England and go to a different country, without my parents and no school.

At Gatwick Airport, we checked in – I’ve never experienced such a stressful check in. You see, we had to do it ourselves.

We travelled from Birmingham to Gatwick Airport near London.

We boarded the plane and Samrain and I tucked into the Italian pizza her dad had made.  It was really nice and it felt like I was eating something from Italy already.  We chatted for a bit and then went to sleep as we had got up so early in the morning.

After the long journey, we finally arrived in Catania – but we still had to catch the coach to Messina.

Finally, we reached Messina at around 11 o’clock at night so it was quite late.   The host families were already there waiting for us.  I couldn’t believe how tall Giulio and her family were.  She came with her parents and they seemed very nice people. We got into the car.   Guilia’s English was really good.   Her dad spoke a bit too but her mother didn’t speak much English.  They asked me questions about my journey and I called my mom to say that I had arrived safely in Italy – but I still couldn’t believe that I was in Italy at last!

When I finally arrived at their house I got a nice greeting from Muffin, their dog, he was very cute and didn’t really bark at me.   After checking that I had all that I needed, we said goodnight.

Second day in Italy. I woke up and went to have breakfast.  Although I would normally eat cereal for breakfast, I had fruit and yogurt instead.  At least it was healthy.  At this moment, I met Guilia’s older sister, Laura, who apparently went to England to study nursing.   I told her that my mom is a nurse too.   After breakfast, I gave the gift I had brought for the family – I was glad they liked it. Continue reading “Nicole’s Visit to Italy”

Samrain’s Visit to Italy

I went on this trip with our teachers Miss Saggu and Mr. Morris and one other student, Nicole. We went by plane from England to Catania. Then from Catania to Messina by a coach. It was a long journey and really tiring but it was amazing. We went there from 7 October 2017, till 13 October 2017. It was for 1 week and it was really worth it.

A group picture of all of the students that came with us to Messina.

This trip was more than amazing, it’s something I can’t compare with anything else. I loved every bit of it. I think my favourite part was probably the beach that I went to with my host family or when we all went by bus to Taormina – a small, historical town in the mountains.  It was so beautiful!  I loved the scenery. I loved the people there as well – they were really welcoming. I also had the opportunity to taste some traditional food, such as Granita (see picture) which is a Messina speciality.

A tasty Italian dessert! Yum!

It’s a type of flavoured crushed ice that is eaten with a brioche bread.

This was such a great experience. If I had the chance of going again, I would go immediately.

I would highly recommend that if you have the chance of taking part in this Erasmus Embrace project, you should and if you are offered the chance to go on the visits, go!

We did many activities including taking part in the Human Rights debate.  The Italians made a human rights tree and we made leaves with the human rights on them.   We attached these to the tree.

The Human Rights Tree that the Italian students made and we decorated with leaves.

It was really good. We also did IT work and started to write our diaries over there. With Martina’s family (my host family) we went to the beach and visited the lighthouse.  Martina’s grandma and grandpa – from both parents – were very welcoming. I loved staying with Martina’s family in Messina.

The lovely Italian family that let me stay with them. Thank you!

Another favourite of mine was the calming beach.

My new Italian friend and me by the sea!

Lauren’s Visit to Poland

During my time in Poland I learned a lot about Polish history- we visited a war museum and learned a lot about how Poland was affected in the war. We had lots of Fun and we are still in contract with some of the other exchange students.

We took part in the European Parliament and argued for and against important European issues.

There were many different languages between Poland and England: the food there has lots of different flavours. I tried a lot of the food my host’s family made.  We also played some traditional polish games and spent days at their school.  The polish school we visited was very small compared to Ilsley.  However, one thing which was similar were the shops and the size of the city centres.

We traveled to Berlin first before driving to Poland.

As a whole group we did a variety of activities such as bowling, playing ball games at a BBQ and creating a play, in which Hannah and I had to explain reasons why people should visit England.

Having lunch with other students.

We stayed in Poland for 1 week, during which time we completed a lot of activities. Overall I would really encourage people to do student exchange because it is a great opportunity to experience new things and learn about a different country.  I had lots of fun during my stay and my host and her family were very welcoming and friendly.

Hannah’s Visit to Poland

This was my first time going on a student exchange trip.  There were many things I enjoyed about the trip and a few things I didn’t.

I stayed with a girl who had 1 brother staying at home with her mom and dad and grandmother.  The house was very modern and nice, and her family seemed very sweet, however, it was really difficult to understand them as translation wasn’t the best on both parts.  I learnt a few words in Polish to help communication.

One difference is that many students took the tram to school every morning.

Going to school in Poland is quite different to school in Birmingham.  Their school starts later than ours by 15 mins.  The way their school is set out is also very different.  For example their classrooms are smaller and they have a yard and a small Astro.  In the yard they created massive posters to represent ERASMUS.  We worked in 2 groups and some people from the local news came to the school and we were filmed while we spray painted. This was such a fun experience and now I always have that video to look back on.

There were plenty of fun school activities with the other EMBRACE students.

 

We worked together to create massive posters about equality.

After school, some of the other visiting students doing ERASMUS and I participated in various after-school activities such as bowling, ice cream parlours, sweet factories, laser quest, cinema and different restaurants.  I found all of this very fun and amusing.  Some of the places I have never visited, so it was a completely new experience which I really enjoyed.

Food in Poland wasn’t what I am used to and it was a new experience. However, I did enjoy their hot chocolates, cactus juice and kebabs.  One day, at school, we all shared different foods from our countries in the International lunch.  Our food from England was everyone’s favourite.

We visited tunnels underneath the city that were built during WW2.

Finding new friends was easier than I thought, as I thought being from different backgrounds, we might not get on.  Lauren and I made some really close friends and I even keep in touch with them on social media.

To conclude, I had a very enjoyable experience in Poland and I will never forget that once in a life time opportunity with people who I wish to meet up with again in the future.