GCSE Spanish trip to Malaga

By Lara Ward and Lily Young

On Wednesday 13th December, students studying Spanish GCSE went on a residential visit to the Spanish city of Malaga.

Accompanied by Mr. Alejandro, Ms. Gandi and Ms. Hales, we left St. Augustine’s Priory at 05:15 and arrived at Gatwick at 7:00. We travelled to Malaga airport, arriving at 13:30 and went to the Spanish school where we all ate a buffet lunch. After, we had a beautiful (yet very quick paced) tour of Arroyo de la Miel. During this tour alone we walked about 10,000 steps!

Once we finished our tour we went straight into a very energetic Flamenco dancing class. We had a go at using different props such as scarfs, fans and castanets. Some were better than others, however we all had a lot of fun doing this. By the end of the day we were all very tired from our early wake, brisk walk and dancing, so we met our homestay families and went home for a good rest before going into the next day. 

Going into the homestay families, we were all in groups of two or three. It was a great chance to practise our Spanish in a homely environment, as we had to apply our knowledge to everyday conversation. One person said, “I loved the housing the most probably, I loved the family I stayed with and I wish I stayed longer.” The majority of other students also thought their families were very kind and welcoming. There were obviously times when we all got a bit confused due to the language barrier. Someone said the housing arrangements were, “interesting, I kinda enjoyed it at times.” But, overall, I think the home-stays were a huge success.”

On the second day, we were made breakfast by our families before leaving for Spanish lessons at 9:00. For the first two hours and fifteen minutes, we introduced ourselves and learned the differences between customs and everyday life in Spain and the UK. We also learned about how to order food in Spanish, and prepared restaurant roleplays, which was very useful in learning how to pronounce words and put sentences together coherently. We were also taught any useful vocabulary or phrases that came up during the lessons, and the teacher spoke to us in Spanish for the majority of the time, which really challenged us to listen carefully and learn new words. The other two and a half hours were spent learning about traditional Spanish festivals, so we could discover more about Spanish culture. 

In Between our lessons, we spent a few hours learning how to make paella, a traditional Spanish dish. A professional chef talked us through all the steps in Spanish, and Mr Alejandro occasionally quizzed us on useful words and phrases, to make sure we understood.

At around 5:00, we explored the local area – Gymkhana – using a fun game that Mr Alejandro had prepared for us. He gave us clues that we needed to figure out and each one would took us around the beautiful town and eventually led us down to the beach, where we enjoyed some free time to watch the sun set. After this, we were taken to a tapas restaurant and were presented with an interesting variety of traditional Spanish dishes. We then made our way back to our homestays at around 10pm.

On the third day we had to get up very early to meet at the bus stop by 8:00 because this was the day that we were going to visit Granada! The journey was about two hours and we arrived there at around 10:00. We had an amazing tour of the Alhambra, a fortified palace in Spain dating back to the 13th century and a very popular tourist destination. We were shown the interior designs of the monument and also were able to witness some amazing views. One student said, “I found the tour of the Alhambra really interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the magnificent views.”

After the tour we all went into the central city of Granada where we all did some well deserved shopping! We arrived back at our houses at around 7:30.

On our last day, we all boarded the coach again for a journey to Malaga at 9:30. While we were there, we went to visit a beautiful castle with amazing views of the city, big courtyards and even orange trees. After the tour, we went to the Picasso museum, as he was born in Malaga. We ate the lunch that our homestay families had prepared for us near the museum, then had a few hours of independent free time to shop and explore. We all bought some souvenirs before returning to the coach. We travelled to the airport at 2:30 and arrived back at St Augustine’s at 9:20. 

In conclusion, the Spanish trip was a great experience and all of the students asked said that they would recommend the trip for anyone thinking of going. Thank you to all of the teachers who planned it!

Posted in Arts & Culture, Featured, News.