Our trip to England began with a long and crowded coach journey, thankfully we had Harry Potter playing on the coach TV to get us through the night and into the English frame of mind. We arrived to a breathtaking sunrise on the white cliffs of Dover, a sight which should never be taken for granted, and the students happily started taking in the first of many authentic British moments whilst us, the teachers, started clutching the first of many cups of British coffee. Our journey continued onward until we arrived in our hometown for the next week, Stratford-upon-Avon, otherwise known as the birthplace of Shakespeare. The students had an hour to themselves to refuel before our day's activities began. Of course, the nearest Poundland became besieged by our group. We never thought we would see the boys so excited over pens, but one hundred pens for one hundred pennies soon changed that. After we had finished raiding Poundland, we got back to the more cultural side of things. We stepped back in time when visiting Shakespeare's house on a guided tour and explored the place where the playwright who shaped the English language grew up. In Anne Hathaway's house we saw where the love of his life resided. Then, lastly, in Holy Trinity church we visited the final resting place of Shakespeare and his family. Our day of travel, culture and pens concluded with meeting our host families who served us a hot dinner and provided a warm bed.
Sunday morning brought us breakfast and excitement because we were about to say hello to Legoland, a firm favourite among the students. Even though the weather decided to greet us with its typical English self (rain, gloom and a tad more rain) we managed to enjoy seven straight hours of thrills. One of our students even managed to win a massive cuddly dog, putting us teachers to shame since our several attempts completely failed.
With the weekend over, it was time to let the students try their hand at studying in an English school.
Over the next four days, a lesson was held in a beautiful location every morning. The students created their own restaurant menus and composed articles whilst just outside the window British rowers sailed past on the misty morning river. In the afternoons we alternated between stuffing ourselves with chocolate at Cadbury World, becoming miners at the Black Country Living Museum, walking the hallways where the lover of Queen Elizabeth I. resided, becoming a perching spot for monarch butterflies and of course doing a mad shopping dash in the holy grail that is Primark.
Leaving our host families and sailing away from England's shores were sad moments but made easier by knowing the whole trip had been one of the most memorable experiences we could have had.
Caitlin - teacher of English conversation