Twenty-five 17 year olds from Vigo in Northern Spain arrived at Notre Dame last week, in order to immerse themselves in English culture and get a feel for how their UK counterparts live and learn. The visit is funded by the Spanish government and offers the students a unique opportunity to live and study abroad.
As part of the experience, the visiting teenagers (accompanied by two trip counsellors and key Notre Dame staff, including Principal Terry Coen) visited Leeds Civic Hall on Friday 17th June to meet the Lord Mayor Cllr Gerry Harper. They were given a comprehensive tour of the chamber rooms and the opportunity to ask questions of Cllr Harper. One of the visitors later described him as ‘really nice and friendly’!
They also met Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, who spent time chatting to the students and told them about his own children who are previous Notre Dame students. After this, they had traditional tea and biscuits, were invited to sign the visitor’s book and were given an owl lapel badge as a souvenir.
The visitors have also been to a number of different Leeds and Yorkshire tourist attractions including Kirkstall Abbey and Roundhay Park, as well as spent time within college ‘shadowing’ a Notre Dame student. Bethany Anderson, a lower sixth student who was shadowed by one of the Spanish students said, “It’s been a real privilege to spend time with the Spanish visitors. My Spanish skills have improved enormously and it’s been an honour to help them get better at English.”
Thanks are due to International Students co-ordinator Rose Lou who has arranged the visit and the programme the students have followed.