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Haram VGS > Nyheiter > A Scottish insight

A Scottish insight

Elevar frå Haram VGS har vore på utveksling i Skottland.

During week 43 our class went to Scotland. There the majority of us stayed with the people we had been hosting a couple of weeks before. We were supposed to partake in their daily schedule. We also got to see a lot of contrasts between the average Norwegian and Scottish life. The exchange program was also a learning process for us since we had to use English to interact and join them.

When they came to Norway, they were from three different schools; James Young High School, Armadale Academy and Broxburn Academy. All the schools were within a one-hour vicinity of the capital Edinburgh. Consequently, we were distributed evenly among these schools. Broxburn, JYHS and last Armadale, in chronological order from Edinburgh. They were situated 30 minutes by car from each other.

When we first arrived, we got picked up by one of the teachers which were accompanied by a bus. We jumped aboard and rode along until we were supposed to get off. When we arrived at Broxburn, we could clearly see the tall three-story building. It had a brown coating and seemed sturdy. The James Young High School looked a bit more like our own school, but was way bigger. Since the students have to move between each class, they need a lot of classrooms. Armadale was probably the most modern, or newest of them all.

We were picked up at the schools by the hosts and brought to the homes. Where I stayed, there was a compound of buildings which all looked the same. It was a brick house with two stories. They felt typical Scottish and were something I could have imagined before I went there.

I mentioned earlier how the school system was revolving around the students moving to each teacher's room. Therefore, the school was humongous and in chaos during the time between each class. Even the school staff did not know how many pupils attended, all they dared to claim was something around one thousand. Imagine those moving around the seemingly narrow hallways accompanied by doors working the same way as a cowboy ranches. You know, the ones you push and swings back afterwards.

Instead of having a common room for all the teachers, they had all their equipment in their designated classrooms. They had tall bookshelves, their computer and much more lying around. Compared to our classes, they were sitting while teaching, with exceptions of course. There are both advantages and disadvantages with this. The good thing is that they always have everything they need right beside them, instead of having to bring all their books to each class. A downside is having the constant flood during the breaks, which by the way were way longer than ours. They have a 15-minute break between each class. These minutes were spent chatting with friends.

The time we spent there was comfortably eventful. Compared to us, they always had something to show us. One of the things I think almost everyone attended to, was a structure composed of two huge horse heads. They were called The Kelpies. Probably 25 meters tall.

Other things they seemed passionate about were the bridges. One of which was called "The forth of firth" or something.

We also went to Edinburgh, which for someone was the highlight of the trip. It was also an excessive wallet dent to certain individuals. I was really fascinated by the city, how it had beautiful shopping streets like Princess Street. We were lucky since we had locals guiding us, so we got to a see a lot of the charming places. I accompanied someone who was especially well known throughout Edinburgh. When I asked him why, he answered that it was because he had brought so many girls here. I think everyone who participated in the exchange knows very well who he is.

Back on track. The Scottish community had many resemblances and oppositions to the Norwegian. When they were here, and we were walking outside way past bedtime, they were shocked. Back in Scotland they would have been stabbed, mugged or kidnapped. We were lucky and left there without participating in any of the mentioned encounters.

What I learnt during the trip was how different our cultures and every day are. I do not think this is an exception which only affects Norway and Scotland. I believe that cultural understanding is a necessary ability to have when travelling around the globe. I hope everyone in our class picked up something which may help them in the future.


Written by Jørgen Indstø on behalf of our class.