Pupils and teachers in Mary Immaculate Secondary School traveled to Hoorn in the Netherlands from the 7th to 12th of February last. This mobility involved the group of 16 students. It is the second stage of a very successful two year Erasmus Plus project.
Mary Immaculate were fortunate to be selected as just one of 57 schools nationally to be awarded the European Commission “Key action 2” project. The basis of the project involves students learning about core marketing principals and international enterprise. Last year’s transition year students exported products from the Burren Perfumery which were sold by their Dutch partners in Holland. In turn some of your readers may remember purchasing Dutch “Joda” cookies which were sold outside Fitzpatrick’s in Ennistymon. The proceeds given to local charity TLC 4 CF.
This year’s students presented an array of potential products for exportation. This ranged from Airmid soaps made in Kilfenora to Barry’s tea in cork.
As well as practical business knowledge the students engaged wholeheartedly in the cultural exchange program. Living with a host family each student is immersed in Dutch culture. Students of Mary Immaculate braved the elements by cycling to school each morning. They visited the Amsterdam stock exchange, the world’s oldest. They pitched their business savvy against each other using trader simulation on the floor of the exchange. They visited a large tulip farm to see first-hand the process in one of Holland’s most famous industry. Attending class gave the group an inside into education and compare practices and facilities.
It was not all just work as students tried their hand at speed skating, a popular pastime in Northern Holland. They visited the museum in Hoorn and experienced one of the world’s leading virtual reality exhibitions using Oculus Rift technology. They also were taken on a tour of Amsterdam by canal boat.
After a very enjoyable week Mary Immaculate students are now busy planning the itinerary for the 9th of May when they will extend a warm Irish welcome to the Dutch students of Tabor College in Holland. One student summed up the trip as follows: “All the students enjoyed this exchange to Holland and we are excited that the Dutch students are coming in May so we can show them what school is like in Ireland”.