Yet another early morning start, though this time, the destination was not very eagerly anticipated – the end of our trip, and it’s back to wet, rain-washed, dreary Warwick via Heathrow.Sevilla was a real educational experience for all of us, especially for those visiting the city for the first time. Few of us had any Spanish language at the start, but intrepid adventurers that we were, we didn’t let that deter us! Within hours of our arrival, just about everyone had learned the Spanish for two of the most important words in the student lexicon – cerveza – [that’s beer] and vino blanco [white wine] . Many thanks to Amar Wahab and Ian Jones for acting as impromptu translators and interpreters throughout.
Happily, we didn’t lose any students – though one unfortunate student lost her childhood toy, and we nearly lost Hazel to the world of Flamenco, no-one got into trouble with the very overzealous Spanish police – though an unfortunate episode meant that we also learned the Spanish term for police station (though, on this occasion, Hazel didn’t get to ride in a police car, but she did get to spend part of the first night with members of the local Guardia Civil – though she was accompanied by Paul Birch, Ian Jones and Amar Wahab!). There were some very eventful moments – such as our arrival at Heathrow to find that half of the group’s baggage had been left behind at Sevilla airport, though, happily, it was soon returned to the rightful owners. Overall, I was tremendously impressed by the way in which the students took the more potentially stressful events in their stride, and moreover, really enjoyed learning about Sevilla’s history and culture. From my perspective, it was also a great time to get to know students that I hadn’t previously taught, or just to catch up with past students, many of whom were finalists, and whom I would not see again after our return. .
Overall, the general consensus was that Sevilla was an excellent choice -not least of all because most students returned with a suntan when most of the UK was still shrouded in mist and cold! Finally, huge thanks to Hazel Rice, who is truly one of the world’s greatest unsung administrators, Amy Evans, Ian Jones and Amar Wahab, and all the students, each of whom, in their own way helped to enrich our time in Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba.