During the first week of June Wallace Hall Erasmus group were hosts to our exchange partners from Urspringschule, Germany, and Xántus János, Hungary. During the visit the students took part in European project work and many other activities and visits. The work we did on the first day of the exchange related to the European Union’s “There is No Planet B” project, and involved research into sustainable tourism and the design of a “school of the future” that would be equally modern, convenient and eco-friendly. Other activities organised for the visitors included a day trip to Edinburgh during which students were given the opportunity to visit tourist sites such as the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle, a visit to the mining museum in Wanlockhead, a food court of traditional dishes from the three countries involved and highly professional Scottish dance lessons from the Wallace Hall students on the final day.
Overall, despite initial nerves at the prospect of hosting foreign students for the first time, the exchange was a success and enjoyed greatly by all those involved. Close friendships were formed between students from Scotland and Europe, with many keeping in touch afterwards and arranging to see each other again later in the year, and the project work of the first day encouraged students to consider the environmental impact of local issues such as tourism and education. From a personal perspective, the Erasmus project has been an invaluable experience for me: it has built my confidence before starting S6 and undertaking tasks such as applying to university, introduced me to people I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet and given me fascinating insight into the culture of other European countries. I would recommend it to anyone.