From the 10th-14th March, eight Wales High School students were part of an exchange programme with our partner school Mirsa High School in Sibiu, Romania. This was one in a number of exchanges that have taken place between the schools over the past 22 years.
“As a new teacher to the school, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this trip and be a part of such an amazing experience working with wonderful, supportive staff and eager learners. It was a pleasure to be able to get to know and support the students outside the classroom, and I was so impressed with the way they willingly embraced their new community by living with their chosen Romanian family. The way our host families welcomed us with generosity and kindness over the five days was the most amazing experience and reflected how important this partnership is on both sides.” – Miss Walker
Romania 2015 – A teacher’s perspective.
“I was delighted to be asked to participate in this year’s Romanian exchange. It felt such an honour to be included in a venture that really is so special and unique to Wales High School. Mr Morten had already briefed me on the kind of hospitality to expect. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for the obvious, real affection the staff and students clearly have for us. The relationships that have been built up over many years are truly special.
After a wearying but relatively straightforward flight we were met by our host families. The teachers were whisked off to Sibiu and the students, along with Mrs Chapman, were taken to Mirsa village. It was quite strange for me to be detached from the students like this as on most trips in the past we have been together 24 / 7. However, my concerns were soon allayed and the teachers were entertained in a typical Romanian restaurant in a cellar. The food and the company were exceptional.
Over the next we days, we were treated to some amazing experiences. Few took cable cars into the snowy Carpathian Mountains and looked round an Ice Hotel with carvings made to represent signs of the Zodiac. Snowball fights broke the ice both metaphorically and literally. The headmistress of our exchange school was a mean shot I can confirm! We also had a tour of the beautiful city of Sibiu which was really informative and good fun too. In terms of trips out, Bran castle was most people’s highlight. This is a very spooky, gothic castle where Bram Stoker based the novel Dracula. There were also many fascinating historical facts we discovered about the castle, including the links between the Romanian and British Royal Families. The castle was also used in the defence against the Ottoman Empire. Mr Di’Iasio bought some Dracula mugs which were well received by his colleagues upon our return!
There are many other stories I could recount, but I will just summarise my experience like this. It was fantastic to spend some real fun, quality time with eight amazing students and their hosts. The colleagues we met are now our valued friends. On a personal note, I cannot wait to go back to Romania to see more of this amazing country and sample more of its history and culture. What I will remember most of all, however, is the warmth and affection that was bestowed upon us.
A truly moving experience that I will never forget.” – Mr Brailsford