English learning in a friendly city

It has now been a couple of weeks since I arrived back to Sweden after my week of job shadowing in Glasgow and it is time for me to summarize a fantastic week organized by Light on the Path. In Sweden, I work as an English teacher at an upper secondary school, located in a small village in the southern parts of our country. This was my first visit in Scotland, and I was curious about the everyday life and education in the country. During the autumn, our school has sent 11 students at the age of 17 to Glasgow to do internships at various workplaces through an Erasmus+ project. The school also sends teachers and headmasters for job shadowing, and now it was my turn to go.

I did not know what to expect and I was a bit nervous, but during my week in Glasgow I met a lot of friendly faces who gave me answers to my many questions. I got the opportunity to discuss and learn about education in Scotland, the Scottish accent, culture, politics and history. I participated in an English class at the English School of Glasgow and got to study how English is taught to students with English as a second language. Even though all these things are developing for me as an English teacher, the most interesting part of my week was to meet my Swedish students at their workplaces and listen to them when they used the English language.

For me, language learning is not only about being able to speak a foreign language. It is not meaningful to learn a new language if you do not intend to use it. Therefore, developing the student’s self-esteem and make them see that they all have strengths and possibilities is a part of my mission as a teacher. When I visited my students, I could tell that the experience in Glasgow not only did develop their language skills but also their personalities.

I am happy that I got the opportunity to see their growth, and I have prepared to continue that work when we are all back in the classroom again. Before they left for Glasgow, I knew that they all had the ability to make themselves understood in English if they wanted to. When they arrive back home to our classroom, they also know it. I am curious about how that will influence their language learning.

People make Glasgow. It is stated all over the town, and it is also true when it comes to my experience. The people I met made my time in Glasgow to an experience that I will never forget and they also made me a better language teacher. I returned home even more convinced that being able to communicate with other people is the key to personal growth but also to a greater cultural understanding.

See you soon, Glasgow!

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and I couldn’t agree more. I spent the last 10 weeks interning for Light on the Path, in Glasgow, but it feels like I just arrived. Here I am, one day before going back, thinking about probably the greatest summer of my life.

When I arrived in Glasgow I didn’t know what to expect, I am not a person who prepares or schedules what to do, I like to think I go on an adventure every time I travel. All I knew was that in Scotland it rains and that it’s considerably colder than Italy. I didn’t know that it rains A LOT, more than I ever witnessed in my life. I have lived all my life in a sunny place so I didn’t know how much you can miss the sun, but that’s probably the thing I missed the most. Weather aside, there’s nothing I didn’t like about my job, Scotland, or Glasgow.

Let’s start with my job as an intern. I’ve been interning for Light on the path, a company that arranges internships for young people from all around Europe. Here I had the chance to meet a lot of great people, from my bosses, to my colleagues, to the dozens of students and interns that I met here. Every one of them was like a piece of a puzzle, helping me grow as a person and as a European citizen. I saw teenagers who left their homes to discover a new place, a new Country. This gave me hope, because I truly believe that the young generations don’t care about barriers or walls, they don’t care about differences, and they don’t care about the decisions of the powerful men who are in charge. All they care about is opportunity. The opportunity to travel, the opportunity to know, the opportunity to discover our big beautiful world. They gave me hope to believe in what Europe and the world can achieve, as a union, if just given the chance.

 

L'immagine può contenere: 6 persone, persone che sorridono, barba, occhiali e spazio al chiuso

 

I worked as in intern during this experience, but of course it’s not all I did. I had the chance to see beautiful places and amazing landscapes. I went to Edinburgh more than once and I fell in love for that city. One of the most amazing places I have ever seen, its castle and monuments are stunning. I slept on the grass on Calton Hill and hiked on Arthur’s seat. I searched for my friend’s wallet in the meadows and had an amazing hamburger on the Royal Mile. There’s not a spot that I saw in Edinburgh that I will ever be able to forget.

I hiked the Cobbler and witnessed the beauty of Loch Lomond. I took part of a tour to Loch Ness and the Highlands. I drank whiskey and watched flocks of sheep from the window of a train. Scotland is such a beautiful land, coloured of a majestic green that is now impressed in my heart.

L'immagine può contenere: 1 persona, barba

Last but definitely not the least, I have to talk about Glasgow. The most amazing thing about traveling is the opportunity to discover. Discover new food, discover new places, discover new people, until they are not new anymore, and they become part of you. That’s what happened with Glasgow. I am a classic Italian guy who eats pasta and pizza every two days, but now I’m an Italian guy who eats pasta, pizza, and chips & cheese.

Honestly Glasgow is not the most beautiful city in the world, but that doesn’t matter, it became my home. Walking on Sauchiehall and Buchanan became my daily routine. I had the chance to play volleyball in Kelvin Grove park and to be amazed by the beauty of Glasgow University. I wandered around Merchant City, I  went to the necropolis and watched all the great murals that you can find everywhere in the city. I went to see the cows in Pollok Park and watched a football match in Ibrox Stadium. I listened to a lot of great music, in pubs and in the street. This city has become my home and every person I spoke to has become my family. That’s probably the most beautiful thing about Glasgow, its people. That’s the city motto: “People make Glasgow”, and it couldn’t be truer than that. Glaswegians are the most helpful and friendly people I’ve ever met. If you’re lost in the streets someone will come to help you to find your way, if you’re alone sitting in a corner someone will come to sit with you and give you a smile. If you are in a new home with not even a blanket to sleep, someone is ready to help you. I am proud to say that I come from a part of Italy where generous people are not a rarity, but Glaswegians are just special.

Risultati immagini per people make glasgow

I am writing these lines 15 hours before my flight back home, happy to hug my family and friends but sad that I have to leave my new big family called Glasgow.

You can never be sure of anything in life, but I can say I am sure about one thing, this is not a goodbye.

See you soon Glasgow, knowing you has been truly smashing!

My first stay in an other country – alone –

Hello.

My name is Alissa. I´m 17 years old and I live in Germany.

I think to travel is a nice thing. I like to travel to other countries. Until now, I had never been to another country on my own or flown on a plane on my own. I wanted to change that and now it has changed.

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Scotland was to see Loch Ness (maybe Nessie too) and the big city. Do you want to see Nessie? Then come to Scotland.

My stay in Scotland ( 4 weeks ) was fabulous because the people are very helpful and polite here.

Also I met new people from different cultures, made friends, became more confident and had new experiences for my working career.

My work placement was for Light on the Path. I had a great team at the work placement, because when I had a problem or a question, they helped me to solve the problem.

I am really sad to leave this country, because I have had a wondeful time here. But I am grateful to be going home to see my family and friends.

Alissa, Germany

Our amazing trip to the Highlands

Last weekend I went to explore the Highlands with eight other interns. We rented a car and booked a small apartment for the trip. On Saturday morning at 9 o’clock we started in Glasgow. Our first stop was Loch Lomond. It was only an hour’s drive to get there. It’s a nice place. But let me say, we have seen very nicer places!

After we took some photos, we continued the tour to Glen Coe. We had lunch there and took of course again many pictures. I ate my first fish&chips and it was fanatic! Really, you must try this typical food!

After the good lunch, we drove to Fort William. This is the “last” city before the real Highlands start. We bought some food and beer there to be prepared for the rest of the trip (the beer was of course a must because we are all from Germany, so what would we do without some good beer?).

My favourite place during the trip was Glen Finnan. I hope some of you like or better love Harry Potter, if so you have to drive to Glen Finnan. Because there you can have a look at the “Hogwartslake” Normally it called Loch Shield, but I think “Hogwartslake” sounds much better. But there is also something even nicer, the “Hogwarts Express” bridge.

Because “Harry Potter” is one of my favourite movies I was happy to see all these places. After these adventures, we had to drive to our apartment. And this was not so easy as we thought! We had to drive about 5 miles to the middle of nowhere and after a lot of questions and creepy situations we found it! But the landlady of the bungalows was really nice.

After we found our rooms we prepared dinner. It was so nice to eat and chat with so many nice people. We drink some beer (reminder we from Germany) and enjoyed the night.

In the morning of the second day we woke up early and prepared breakfast. We continued the drive to Skye at about 10 am. On the way, we stop at the Eilean Donan Castle. And guess what we did there? Right a lot of pics! We had to drive about one hour to Skye. Our first stop was at Portree, the capital of Skye but we only wanted to see the nature and the waterfalls.

At around 3 pm we left Skye in the direction to Loch Ness.  Just to say it right away, we did NOT see Nessie. L
We only took pictures from the Loch and drove to Inverness. There we ate something at McDonald’s. Our trip ended at 10 pm on Sunday night back in Glasgow.

A little tip if you plan to rent a car too, try to refill the patrol BEFORE you go back to Glasgow. We could find only one patrol station in the whole city! I hope you enjoyed reading my little article and that I could give you a small impression about Scotland’s highlands!

 

Hogwartslake Eilean Donan Castle

Finished our woodwork at Vagen UT

When we first arrived at Vagen UT, we where asked what workshop we would like to do.  Myself and Jackie picked woodwork, we finally finished it.  We made a table, painted white and put 46 on the top, we also singed messages from each person in our group on it.  Then we presented it this morning to the people in Vagen UT, as a thank you for all they have done for us.  We have has an amazing time here, and everyone had been so accommodating to us.  We will miss them all so much.

Visit to the Swedish school

We where asked if we would like to visit a Swedish school and talk to an English class there.  Of course we said yes.  The school itself looked amazing, nothing like our schools in Scotland.  We where asked several questions about Scotland, like what haggis was like, about the highland games and kilts etc.  They also wanted us too speak the way we would normally to show the young people how different our accent was from other people who speak English, of course like everyone else here they didn’t understand it, so we spoke very slowly so they could understand.  The young people where amazing and had an American woman teaching them English.  We had great fun talking to them and from their reactions I think they had fun to.  It was an amazing way to end our trip here.

BUFFF project

We met with lota, who is the chairperson of the board and franchise leader for a few of the rehabs in Sweden.  Lota is a project leader but donates her free time to BUFFF.  The project started in 2000 before Vagen UT in 2002.  They have 9 different offices over Sweden, 1st one started in Gothenburg.  They get funding from the Prison probation service, government and from benefactors who have left money for these types of projects.  They have people who are employed as well as volunteers.  The project is for children who have parents in prison.  Who do activities for the parents as well as the children.  They do different activities such as going to the seaside for the weekend, camps in the woods for up to 20 people, day to day activities, Halloween parties, Easter parties, arts and crafts and they make a news letter which is made by the children themselves and is printed by someone who has been through Vagen UT and now owns their own printing business.  This project not only helps the children understand certain things but helps parents to connect on an enjoyable level.

Visit to karins döttrar

At Karin’s döttrar we met Katarina who is one of the founding members of Vagen UT.  They have been opened since 2003.  It was for men and women at first but is now a project just for women.  Anyone can come here, they don’t have to be directed from criminal justice or social services.  They are contracted through social services and employment agency.  20 women at most work here on different day’s but only 5 are actually employed who are subsidised by the government which the project depends on.  They make all different types of things.  I bought 2 bracelets, a hand made card and a hand made presentation box.  The things are high quality and very well made.  The women are very friendly and made us lunch which was lovely.

Visited buff

met Lota who works with buff in her free time amazing and inspirational women buff is for kids who have parents in prison for somewhere to go talk and not too feel alone that there’s support for them and it’s not there fault that there parents are in prison because kids can blame Thereselfs parent groups kids groups so they can talk openly about stuff they go on activitys a place in the summer they go for a week in a house to do fun things plays baking cooking practise what they’re learning they have employees not to many because of lack of funds they get there funds from all different places big part of what Lota does is trying and getting funding from prison probation servicing city of Gothenburg benefactors who have left money for these type of services operators on the phones are trained up specially to do the job  kids do stuff at Easter Halloween Christmas do treasure hunts deal with addiction and criminal stuff seperately

Visiting Karins Döttrar

Met a lady Sophie in Karins döttrar got chatting to her over some soup that they made for the group was Lovely to get a 1 to 1 get to know her a bit more told me about her story about how she was a teacher suffered from depression in her own words crashed and burned has 3 kids the stigma that surrounds depression mental health and other problems i.e. addiction and stuff the lady’s who go there have there own personal problems been in bad relationships addiction mental health vulnerable needing support no got any family they have here to go which is amazing it’s like rebuilding them again giving them a purpose finding what they’re good at making them feel good about themselfs be responsible reliable it’s all women that go opened in 2003 here since 2004 to get in you don’t have to come through criminal justice or social work  this place is open any women is welcome in that has personal problems addiction mental health and others in her life 5 lady’s are employed with Karins Döttrar which gets subsidised by government they sew stuff sell it on beautiful hats teddys rugs bracelets chains even make there own presentation boxes dream catchers aprons what a found amazing is the women now are part of something a team a purpose making stuff seeing there work being bought can now look the world in the eye feel good about themselves get there family back inspirational