Graiguenamanagh was host to a number of Spanish and French pupils eager to improve their English and soak up some Irish culture and heritage over the summer months.
The visiting pupils, ranging in age from 11 to 15 years old, arrived at the beginning of July and August and stayed with host families from Graiguenamanagh, Inistioge and Thomastown. For some pupils, it was their first time abroad, but they were made feel right at home by all in Graig’.
Both Graignamanagh and Kilkenny provided the perfect location for pupils to experience the southeast in all its splendour. There is a whole range of activities right on their doorstep in Graig’.
Pupils got to experience how wonderful a place it really is when they kayaked down the river, went horse riding in Meadow Lane, The Rower and explored the wonders of the caves at Dunmore. They also enjoyed the adrenaline rush of the Tree Top Adventure walk at Castlecomer Discovery Park.
Not only that, but during their stay, the pupils had the opportunity to visit Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork and Dublin.
Duiske College, Graignamanagh was the venue for morning English classes with young, local TEFL teachers creating fun and enjoyable activities. In the afternoon, sports were arranged, with hurling proving to be a real winner with all.
The lasting impression for both the French and Spanish pupils was their time spent with the families of Graignamanagh. Families in the area accommodated the pupils during their stay and friendships were quickly established between local children and the visiting pupils, with emails and Facebook messages already exchanged and holiday plans to France and Spain organised.
It is a real credit to the local families of Graignmanagh and the community as a whole, who went to such efforts to ensure the pupils had such a memorable stay. When the time came for the pupils to return home, tears were shed by all.
Many pupils will be back again next year such was the great experience they had in Kilkenny. If there are any families in the area who might be interested in participating in the programme in July 2013, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.