VÄLKOMMEN TILL SVERIGE – WELCOME TO SWEDEN
STUDENT EXCHANGE 2003-2008
IES “NOSA SEÑORA DOS OLLOS GRANDES” – TIBBLE GYMNASIUM
Lugo (Spain) – Täby (Sweden)
I had the privilege to coordinate the Student Exchange in our school from 2003-04 to 2007-08. It is not an easy job. Work is hard and sometimes difficult, unsuspected problems may crop up anywhere anytime, you may face the hostility of some colleagues whose ignorance will always try to obstruct progress, paperwork is boring and the responsibility of travelling to a foreign country with thirty teenagers may feel overwhelming.
And yet, this exchange has been one of the most rewarding jobs I have undertaken as a teacher. Furthermore, I have been extremely happy when travelling with my teenage students. I have needed, and got, help from many of my Spanish colleagues, who have most generously offered their time and knowledge to make the exchange succeed. I have also enjoyed the warm hospitality of my Swedish colleagues, sharing both joy and pain.
I have reaped the benefits of coordinating this exchange and I am deeply grateful to my students and to my Spanish and Swedish colleagues. A heart-felt thanks to all of you.
I also believe it fair to acknowledge the financial support of the Galician government, the Xunta de Galicia.
But this is a website for my sudents, so why is a student exchange programme important for you?
A student exchange is not a trip or an excursion. A student exchange programme complements your formal education in important, meaningful and exciting ways. You are placed with a host family and attend a local school. You live like a local and become immersed in the culture. You gain valuable international experience. Last but not least, you learn a lot about yourself.
Being an exchange student is challenging and fun as you are actually living in Sweden as a member of that community.
Student exchange programmes promote tolerance, maturity and independence. They also encourage an international perspective. In a very competitive world these are highly sought after qualities.
A student exchange is an investment for life. Long after you return home, your exchange will influence and inform your life.
ABBA. Fernando. Lyrics > File Cabinet
This, of course, is my opinion but the EU Green Paper on Promoting the Learning Mobility of Young People (Brussels, 2009) stresses similar points,
Learning mobility, i.e. transnational mobility for the purpose of acquiring new skills is one of the fundamental ways in which individuals, particularly young people, can strengthen their future employability as well as their personal development. Studies confirm that learning mobility adds to human capital, as students access new knowledge and develop new linguistic skills and intercultural competences. Furthermore, employers recognise and value these benefits. Europeans who are mobile as young learners are more likely to be mobile as workers later in life. Learning mobility has played an important role in making education and training systems and institutions more open, more European and international, more accessible and efficient.
So, don’t just sit there in front of your laptop and join the club!
Sweden 2007. The Hanseatic League and the Baltic. Blog Sweden 2007