Only a month after our exchange visit to Graz in Austria, it was now our turn to host our partner school Modellschule from Graz. It has been a very busy month of intense preparations for both us teachers and also for the students. The hosting program included a variety of activities that show cased Malta’s cultural heritage, varying from gardens, heritage sites, traditional folk dance and traditional food.
Our Austrian friends arrived on the 7th of April an activities started immediately. We greeted them at our school where we held a team building activity, shared the program designed for the week and ate traditional Maltese Qassatat. On Monday we started off the day with a Ftira workshop and after we headed for Valletta where we visited the Museum of Archaeology, St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Malta experience. A tour along the streets of Valletta was a must as well visits to both Barakka gardens. Tuesday was the turn of Mdina where they had the time to admire its unique medieval architecture, visited Palazzo Falson and experienced the city through a treasure hunt, where as in Rabat they visited the Domus Romana. The four museums visited during these two days where guided by our students who have spent the past months preparing informative brochures for their fellow partners with the intent of these visits. Our students have shown great entrepreneurship skills through these activities. Wednesday was spent at our school. Our students had the opportunity to work in for different workshops each, pot decorating, cooking, dance and digital workshops. It was a successful and rewarding day for all, everyone enjoyed learning by doing and this also helped bond all those involved together even more. Thursday evening our school hosted a parents evening and all students and teachers involved in this project took part and enjoyed the evening so much. The evening showcased the work done during this year and the exchange visit of the Maltese students in Graz. Dancing played a big part in this evening. All the students hugged and enjoyed the night together. The evening helped highlight diversity from different aspects of life as all felt and took part with great pride in this evening. Friday was our last day together. We visited a local ceramic studio where our students took part in a Pottery Workshop. The students prepared tiles with cultural pattern designs. All the tiles will be later assembled together to form a mural as a commemoration of this visit to our school.
All those involved in this exchange visit have gained a lot from this project, mainly, better linguistic competences, have had the opportunity to focus on History, Environmental Science, Digital Literacy and Art through interactive workshops; Knowledge about traditional local food and its preparation through hands on activities. It has empowered all of us with creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and cooperation skills among others. Taking part in this project is rewarding in several aspects, primarily in the formation of the future adult for the formation of better responsible citizens.