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Last Day
Wednesday December 12th, everyone was happy, it was the day to return home, to see family and friends, to have overcome a challenge and … so many other things. The host families took the boys to Rockbrook and in the course of the morning we could see gifts, hugs, kisses, emotion … it was the end of a stage; at 14:00 we went to the airport, then the check-in and everything went according to plan. The boys behaved very well in such a long and heavy day. Mr. Michael Shanahan, the head of the Irish program, stayed with us for the last three days to give us a hand. Thank you, Michael. At 20:15h, the spectacular reception of families and friends at the Barcelona airport. Hugs, banners, emotion, memories, stories … no words to describe such a moment. We just want to say thank you all.

Some memories


9th Saturday

We regret to tell our blog followers that a memory card error occurred and it’s been impossible to recover the files, so we can’t see Arnau, Aritz and Tomas explaining their experience in Ireland, all the students doing the TIE exam and the afternoon in the centre of Dublin buying gifts for family and friends. No doubt, it would have been a really interesting video.

We started the day, December 8th with a Holy Mass. It was the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day to commemorate when Mary, the mother of Jesus, was graced by God to lead a life “free of sin”. Then, at 10:45 the TIE exam

TIE, the Test of Interactive English
The test is in two parts – a speaking test and a written test. In the oral test you present your project, talk about either your book or news story and talk to your partner to reach a decision based on some material the examiner will give you.
The writing test is about grammar and use of English. The writing test takes 1 hour and the speaking test takes 25 minutes for Junior TIE.
The students had been preparing this exam on Saturdays. People are almost always nervous before an exam but the boys were relatively calm. The exam began at 10:45 and finished at 12:15. Some said that the oral part had been easier, others than the written part, comments of all kinds, but they were quite satisfied. We hope they all get through the exam. Let’s wait for the results. Good luck to you all!

Then, the packed lunch, and later on, we went to the centre of Dublin. We walked along the pedestrian Gafton Street, we saw buskers, souvenir-sellers, jugglers… The weather was awful, but everyone was happy. We went into Carrolls Irish Gifts, a big gift shop. “… I will buy this shirt for my brother … this cap for my father, he will love it … for my mother this mug … these key rings for my friends…” Actually they were already anticipating and living their return home. At all times they behaved with great responsibility and we enjoyed ourselves. The next time we take the bus we will be going off to the airport.

8th Saturday

National Museum of Ireland
Natural History

Our students found it very different and interesting; in fact, we spent almost two hours enjoying the activity. They were very active and their behavior was excellent. Camcorders were not allowed into the Museum, so there isn’t a video about the students participating in this activity. Some students went out with their families and couldn’t take part in this activity.

The museum exhibits more than ten thousand specimens in its galleries. Specimens are laid out in two main areas of the building, the Irish Room on the ground floor and the World Collection on the upper floors.
The Natural History Museum was built in 1856 to house the Royal Dublin Society’s growing collections, which had expanded continually since the late eighteenth century.

Next Saturday we’ll go to the centre so that our students can buy some presents for family and friends, and we will visit Grafton Street and its nearby areas, which are considered Dublin’s high street.

Our students speak out 3

Marc Marrón Cusidó
It’s great fun to take part in this project, I enjoy my school and my after school activity, basketball. I haven’t had so much luck with my host family because they do not like to socialize much. I make the most of the tutors, Andrés and Pepe, they come to my school once a week and I can explain everything to them, they always encourage and help me. I’m learning a lot of English. St. Mary is a very cool school; there are three Spanish students, which sometimes makes it difficult to have full immersion. In my opinion it is worth participating in this project. Saturdays are awesome, you do a lot of cool things with your friends.

Santi Ladero Puga
My name is Santi. Learning English is one of the reasons for which I am in Ireland. I go to Ballyroan school and I’m learning a lot of English. In my classroom there are two teachers instead of one and we do a lot of activities.. There are only ten days to go until we’re back home. I miss my school and my family. The truth is that my host family is vey nice. Saturday is a great day for me, I have enjoyed all the activities a lot, my favourite one so far is Jump Zone.

Rafa Fernandes Canto
Things were very difficult for me, especially, during the first weeks until I landed on my feet. Time goes by quickly, especially if you make friends. We’ve been very fortunate to have two amazing tutors ready to give you a hand whenever you need it. I’m living in a mansion and my host family are really nice to me. I’m learning a lot of English and my classmates help me a lot. I’m really happy here, mind you, I miss my family a lot.

Víctor Manau Kojina
Hello, my name is Victor and I got into this nine week program in Ireland. I go to St. Olafs school and my classmates are very nice to me. The teacher’s name is Sarah Geraghty but we call her Ms. Geraghty. She is very helpful and understanding; if you get stuck, she always gives you a hand; a very surprising thing is that she teaches us all the subjects, including sports. I am working hard and learning a lot. My host family consists of four members, Philip and Jean my host parents and their children Ella and Philip. I get along with all of them but my host brother can’t stand losing when we play.

7th Saturday

Happy Birthday
On November 20th, Tomas Pons Daza turned 12 years old. We shared a cake and sang “Happy Birthday to You”. We know that in his home everything would have been much better but we were very happy to toast with a cake.

Another edition of our students’ favourite day: “Saturday”, After the English lesson and lunch, they get their pay, they have fun, they share their experiences… Lucky them!
This Saturday afternoon program: Bowling and Quasar Laser Tag in Bray
Bowling, great way to spend time with friends.
Quasar, an exciting game. With hi-tech laser guns, smoke and music you can reach the enemies headquarters going on lots of adrenalin.

Bowling game: Three teams:
Team 1: Quique, Ramón, Marc M. Santi, Nico B.
Team 2: Damià, Arnau, Tomas, Nico S. Rafa
Team 3: Aritz, Sandro, Víctor, Marc C. Lucas, Pepe (tutor)
It was a great competition and the winner was: Lucas Cueto Monje.

Our students speak out 2

Enric Puigbò Pons
My name is Enric, but all my friends call me Quique. The first weeks in Ireland are the toughest and you’re in shock. Then, the experience is unique and exciting.
I’m really lucky to take part in this program. You can make a lot of friends here, but you have to open yourself to new relationships. My best friend is Aron, he is very nice to me. In Firhouse School you don’t have a fixed classroom, students move from one classroom to another througout the school day depending on the subject, but you get used to it soon. The food is pretty good, although in the end you get tired because it is very similar everyday I’m very happy to be here.

Nico Sandoval Baring
This experience in Ireland means a lot to me because I am learning lots of English and I am making lots of friends. I take part in many activities and play games. At school I’m learning new things in Mathematics, English, Science …, on the playground I play football with my classmates. I am also reading books. I do not want to leave Ireland because I’m having a great time. My host family is very good and they treat me very well. But I also miss my family.

Sandro Alorda Zendrera
It’s been difficult for me to get used to this program, I think most of us have gone through hell sometime, especially during the first week. Where I enjoy the most is on Saturday excursions, I relax and have a good time with my friends. At school I do not have such a good time but my favourite subject is physical education.
I hope to enjoy my time left here. I’m counting down the days to return, see you soon.

Lucas Cueto Monje
School is going well for me, but if you want to have Irish friends you have to take the step of approaching them. I am happy and I would participate in this experience again if I could. My Irish family is peculiar but they treat me well and they give me very good food, too much cooked potatoes though. Time flies for me in Ireland, three weeks left and we’re back home. I have gone through difficult moments but I’ve been able to overcome them all. At the beginning I cried because I missed my parents, my friends, my school. Now I’m sad because I’m leaving Ireland so soon and I’m really having a great time. I’ll make the most of it.

6th Saturday

Mini Golf
After lunch we went to Rainforest Adventure Golf
It is a game of real skill and great fun for everyone.
There are two themed 18-hole South American mini-golf courses in a rainforest setting: “Aztec” and “Mayan”. While conquering the courses you’ll be intrigued by what you discover about the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures. The amazing special effects bring the worlds of these extraordinary civilisations to life. Meanwhile on your journey through the rainforest you’ll learn about its unique ecology and wildlife.

Four teams were formed:
Team 1: Nico S, Rafael H, Arnau V, Tomás P
Team 2: Quique P, Ramon L, Marc M, Santi L
Team 3: Sandro A, Nico B, Aritz A, Lucas C.
Team 4: Damiá D, Víctor M, Marc C. Pepe B (tutor)

They were given a scorecard and a pencil to write down the score. Pepe B. got the lowest score 43 points but as he is a tutor he was out of competition and the runner up, Santi L. with 47 points became the winner. Some players were disqualified as they didn’t follow the rules, the scorecards will be saved in case there are claims. They all improved their skills. A lot of fun and competition.

After the game we spent some time at Dundrum Town Center, Ireland’s largest shopping center where they had an icecream or soft drink. As usual, Saturday was a great day for them.

Our students speak out
Time’s flying. This week has moved very fast. There are three weeks and a half to go until we are back home, so everyone has to make the most of it. I’ll tell you what! Why don’t we listen to them?

Damià Dalmau Batet
My name is Damià. I am 12 years old and I am very lucky to stay in Ireland to learn English for a term. I go to St. Colmcilles School, they say it is the biggest school in Europe (I doubt it) but I like it a lot. In my class I have many friends, in the playground we play football, that’s why I have such a good time. The teacher treats me very well; during my first weeks I did not understand much, my teacher always tried to help me, and whenever I had a question she helped me as soon as possible. I get along very well with my host family, I always go with them everywhere, they never leave me on my own at home. I have a nine year old brother, who is a bit hooked on the playstation but he is a very good boy, I also have a four year old sister. I am really happy with this family, I will never forget them.

Marc Carrera Solano
Hello, my name is Marc, I am taking part in the Institució One Term Ireland Project. Ireland is quite different from Spain, especially with regard to meal times, but in the end you get used to it. It strucked me how students have lunch inside the school, each one brings what he wants. At school a lot of classmates invite me to play and I have made some friends. My school is St. Mary’s National School in Blessington. It is not very big but it has about 600 students, which is not a small number. I love Saturday excursions, they are wonderful and we all have great fun. My host family is very kind, and mine take me to McDonald’s with their children every week or every two weeks. Most families have Netflix, which is good entertainment for everybody. All in all, on the one hand, I am very well in Ireland, on the other hand, I am looking forward to returning to Spain

Ramón Ladero Puga
My name is Ramon Ladero. I am 13 years old. I’m having this first term in Ireland. It is being an amazing experience. I attend Rockbrook Park School. My favorite subject is English. On Saturdays we spend the day with the Institució group, in the morning we have English lessons and in the afternoon we go on excursions and have fun together. On Mondays and Wednesday afternoons I play football in a club. My favorite drink is Milshakes, yesterday, after the Minigolf activity, I had one at Eddie Rockets, it was delicious. I go out with my host family on Sundays, we usually go to Marly Park, which is a huge park with a lot of facilities and recreational spaces. Well, I recommend all my friends to take part in this great experience.