Experiencing life on the continent

French and Spanish students from Winstanley College have had the chance to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the country through a unique work experience programme.

The programme, organised through specialist company Halsbury, includes a tailored trip to France or Spain, with the chance to stay with a host family and choice of employment at a range of local firms.

One student who took part was Mia Maxted, who is studying for A-levels in Spanish, French and Philosophy and Religion at the college. Mia visited Lille, France in the February half term, with a group of other young people, as well as the Halsbury group leaders.

Mia, previously a student at Culcheth High, said: “You can choose things like shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels and nurseries for your employment, all of which guarantee to immerse you in the language.

“I was placed at a chocolate shop called Au Chat Bleu, where my job was to help customers, prepare and decorate personalised chocolate boxes. I decided on staying with the French host family as I thought it was an invaluable experience.”

“This trip has not only massively built my confidence and improved my speaking/listening skills, but it has also reassured me that I have the sufficient linguistic skills in order to understand and speak to natives, which is very encouraging. It has been such a memorable experience and I would highly recommend anyone studying languages should take up the opportunity.”

The foreign work experience programme at Winstanley runs each Spring term and is open to all language students.

Mia Maxted