"Three schools from Europe participated; ourselves, Glenstal Abbey (Ireland) and Egbert-Gymnasium Munsterschwarzach (Germany). The project was based around research of 'The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, Germany and Ireland" and we explored the unique impact on each country. Of course, there has also been a chance to develop our inter-cultural awareness.
The first trip was in the middle of January. Twelve of us joined the Irish students and made the journey to Frankfurt. It was a fun and informative week in Germany, during which we explored many interesting towns and cities. I particularly liked the German food! We spent a day out with our German partners and their families, enjoying bowling, mini-golf and other activities. In February, we hosted the German and Irish groups at Ampleforth. We delved into the history of York and visited Beamish town, maintained in its 1900 state. There was a trip to Whitby and the National Coal Mining Museum, as well as the opportunity of going going down a state-of-the-art mine operated by Sirius Minerals PLC.
During this trip we were separated into groups, some writing essays on the industrial revolution, others creating a dictionary for specific industrial words in their German, English and Irish Gaelic form. This was certainly challenging and we had to find the meanings of very unique and pedantic words, which Google Translate just does not provide answers for. Luckily, throughout this trip, communication was not an issue, mainly because the German students know and impressive amount of English. We greatly expanded our German vocabulary and it definitely helped those who study German. After the first visit, we collaborated on each part of the project together, using WhatsApp and a website named Twin Space. This allowed us to post updates about new work and to keep everyone in the loop.
Our next visit will take place in October, when we will head to Ireland and be staying at Glenstal Abbey. This will be the last visit where we will be collecting information, but there is a final gathering planned at Ampleforth, when our information will be collated to finalise our projects. After this, our project will be submitted along with other projects from different Erasmus groups. This trip has been a great source of cultural and social information. Our two weeks together, as well as our continued teamwork online, have been greatly helped by the fact that we all get along. "