DGS Students Break Language Barrier For “Best Week Ever”

A group of 10 DGS students, aged between 14 and 15, took it upon themselves to enjoy themselves as best they could in a country whose language is not even slightly related to English, French, German, Russian, or in fact any other European language. 

Our ambassadors spent 5 days in Simpele, South-Eastern Finland, conversing and learning with the locals of the same age, writing and illustrating several narratives and learning different cultures, all in the name of making new friendly international relationships.

The 10 teens joined 3 students from the Czech Republic and 7 from Germany for the gathering. The trip was operated through the EU Comenius Project; a project that links different schools together around Europe, with the aim of breaking down language barriers to write some amazing stories together, while having a great time and making new friends as well.

Thanks to their wonderful hosts in Simpele, the students enjoyed different aspects of Finnish culture (Saunas!), as well as the surprising similarities in everything from food to relationships. They enjoyed a trip to the neighbouring city of Lapeenranta, which involved a tour of a historical hotel and some of the most infamous rapids in Europe, time to shop and a trip to the bowling alley or spa.

The teenagers also got a chance to see Simpele’s main industry, the M-Real paper factory, to explore the local woodlands, and to experience Finnish sports (Ice Hockey and their own version of Baseball). Many good friendships were made, and there were tearful farewells at the end of the trip, a sign only of how successful the project was.

Report by Joseph Molloy
Students: Joseph Molloy, Norman Ogunde, Chris Ronan, Sean and Ciaran O’Connor, Padraig Bell, Ellen Kelly, Sarah Rowntree, Fiona Clements and Aishling Walsh.
Teachers: Ms H. Curling and Mr T. Patterson

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