En España
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During the February half term, students in Year 9 and 10 studying Spanish had the opportunity to take part in the annual Spanish Exchange to Murcia. As always, this was an incredibly popular trip, and this year saw 37 students go out to Murcia - the largest number of students in the visits eight-year history!

The 3:50am Thursday morning departure provided a difficult challenge at the start of the trip, but we all arrived safely at our partner school, IES La Flota. We dropped our luggage off and headed off to the Murcia open air market, a weekly market where we had the opportunity to buy some souvenirs - and merely appreciate the welcoming change in weather! We then returned to school to meet our exchange partners, and then spent the rest of the day meeting our new host families.

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The following day consisted of a tour of firstly the school, and then Murcia itself. We were all privileged enough to have some breakfast in the school’s restaurant - as it is a highly prestigious cookery school. All the tours were given in slow Spanish, which challenged many of us but improved our listening skills greatly.

Friday evening and the weekend was then spent with our host families - where many of us went to the beach, went around local shopping centres, or socialised with our friends and their exchange partners. We were also joined by Mr Atkinson and his family on Saturday.

Monday saw us go for a tour of the city of Valencia. We saw the Mestalla (Valencia’s football stadium), a science museum, an aquarium, and finally had some free time to explore the old town.

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Tuesday was a more relaxing day, spent in the port city of Cartagena. We briefly explored the historic areas, before having churros with chocolate, a traditional Spanish dessert. We then departed for the beach, where many of us enjoyed the heat and played beach football.

During the final day, we went with our exchange partners on a trip to the Balneario de Archena, a local spa, where we relaxed for a couple of hours before the farewell dinner in the evening. We were all really sad to leave on Thursday as we enjoyed the trip thoroughly, and we are all very excited for the return leg in May. Thanks are owed to Mr Walter, Ms Ashton, and Mrs Sealy who made this trip possible.