Last weekend, Educatius UK & Ireland was delighted to welcome over 550 international high school students to its exchange programmes across both countries. With their bags packed, goodbyes said and face masks on, students from all over Europe made the exciting journey to their new home, ready to start the adventure of a lifetime!
Due to current government regulations surrounding international travel, many of these students have been instructed to spend their first 14 days in the country in quarantine, in their host family home. Educatius UK & Ireland has adhered strictly to this government and health service advice and has implemented a range of protection measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students, staff, Local Coordinators and host families during this time.
Determined not to view the quarantine situation as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity, Educatius UK & Ireland has pioneered an exciting online programme for the affected students. Despite being under such restrictions, we believe that these students still deserve to have a fun start to their exchange programme and should still have a chance to engage with each other, to learn more about their new home country, and to practise their English before they start school. With all of this in mind, Educatius UK & Ireland has partnered with International Student Club to deliver Educatius Base Camp 2020!
During the 14-day quarantine period, Base Camp students join free, daily, online interactive classes, challenges and activities run by fantastic English teachers Nicola Lee and Al Dadge from International Student Club, a British Council Accredited English language school. Nicola and Al have been English language teachers for over a decade and have extensive experience in teaching high school students.
The Base Camp programme is designed to help the students who are in quarantine to settle into the UK or Ireland, adapt to their new surroundings, practise their English and share the exciting experience of their first 2 weeks in a new country- all from the comfort of their host family’s home and whilst complying with government regulations!
With one week of the programme already completed, Base Camp students have so far enjoyed a range of language games and have received an introduction regarding what they can expect when they start school. They’ve engaged in Q&A sessions, learnt about British and Irish food (and how to make the perfect cup of tea!) and have even delivered presentations about their home countries to their teachers and fellow students – all via the medium of video!
Course teachers Nicola and Al say, “We have really enjoyed getting to know the students and have been very impressed by their level of participation in Base Camp 2020. Their dedication and creativity has been astounding! The students have shown such a positive attitude and willingness to get involved and will no doubt make the most of every opportunity in the year ahead. It has been amazing to see the students taking an interest and supporting one another- they have built their own community in just 2 weeks, despite having to quarantine at home. They should be very proud of what they have achieved so far and we wish them the very best of luck in their new adventures.”
The last week of the course will see students learning about multicultural Britain and Ireland, practising grammar through describing their life experiences, and enjoying short films and discussing them in groups facilitated by Nicola and Al. Soon enough, the 14-day quarantine period will be over and they will be fully prepared and raring to start school and enjoy everything their exchange year has in store for them.
Welcome and good luck to all our 2020-21 high school students!