A testimonial about the experiences in Bournemouth this summer. After her first travel to Winchester with IP last year, she decided to go to Bournemouth to discover Englands most popular student town. Read about her stay and how she expercienced the time with students from all over the world
This year in summer I spent two weeks in Bournemouth, which is located at the south coast of England. I was travelling the second time with IP, last year I had been in Winchester. This summer I didn’t travel without knowing someone because a girl of last year went to Bournemouth for one week as well.
I arrived in Bournemouth the 12.07.14 at 10 o’clock in the morning and first of all we got our Welcome-Packs together with our room keys so that we could store our luggage and have some rest. Around noon we had the Welcome meeting in our school and IP Ocean, which was actually something like a church with tables, classrooms and a stage in it.
Our Centre Manager told us about rules, regulations, the structure of a day and most important: information about the lessons and the coming test. After that we had lunch and later on activities. There I got to know some other people but at the “Hawaii Party” after dinner were only a few people so we went to bed earlier than planned. Usually only five to fifteen students participated in the afternoon activities (at least the creative ones, I don’t know much about the sporty ones) which was quite a pity because they were great fun and the IP Team (especially the Programme Organizer and the Supervisors) made every effort to create a diversified and appealing programme. Maybe this was due to the beach which was only five minutes to go, many people spent the whole afternoon and evening there. Evening activities were mostly better frequented, e.g. the “Twin Party” or the “Quiz night”. I went to the beach four times, two times with friends, one time for the “Scavenger hunt” and one time of course to see the fireworks Friday evening!
On Monday we did the test (multiple choice questions and writing a text) and henceforward we had classes in small groups with people who all had the same level. The lessons were really funny and interesting; we spoke a lot and worked with all kinds of media (short films, texts, worksheets, listing exercises etc.). My teachers (the ones from week one and two) were very nice and helped/complimented us but also gave advice for improving. The classrooms were however very small and it got quite warm in there after a while; we used fans to improve the situation.
During my stay I lived in Purbeck House, which was approx. 15 minutes to walk from the school.
My room was clean and simply equipped but that was absolutely sufficient, I didn’t spend much time in there; too many other things to do :-)!
Nightcheck was always at 10:30 pm, except Sunday, 13.07.14. That was a special evening as it was the final of the football world cup and we watched the game until the end. The IP Crew was very cool, they were all friendly and did everything to let us have a good time. They were from Poland, France, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Rumania and even from Russia and they worked hard, running around solving problems or preparing the programme. TTT was always funny and we had the chance to talk about positive and negative things concerning the lessons, the activities, our accommodations etc. In the first week I went to Jurassic Coast and Winchester for half-day trips. Jurassic Coast is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been; it’s so beautiful and just breathtaking. The “Durdle door” is a World Heritage Site and it is over 140 million years old.
In Winchester we met the Centre Manager of last year and joined the people there for doing a flash mob in front of the cathedral and in the city. It was exiting to go there, everything reminded me of last year and of the wonderful time I had.
On Saturday the girl from last year left and I attended my second Welcome meeting in two weeks as I was in the Ocean when new people arrived. At breakfast I talked to three girls which just arrived and in the evening I got to know another girl which had been in Winchester last year too (even in the same time period as me). However we didn’t notice each other last summer and it was quite funny when we found out.
The second week started and time was running so quickly, suddenly it was Thursday and I realized that my last three days were starting.
On Friday we got our certificates and danced the IP Dance one last time. In the afternoon I went to the city together with two girls and we bought souvenirs, strolled through the gardens and enjoyed the last “real” afternoon. In the evening was the “Twin party” and now we all felt like this was the real end although the whole Saturday was yet to come. Very late in the evening we packed our suitcases and the next day we left our rooms in the morning. Saturday was weird, in the forenoon I was in the Ocean, listing to my third and very last Welcome meeting, envying the students that just arrived because there time in Bournemouth had just started. In the afternoon we played one last time “Jungle Speed”, a very funny (but also dangerous ;-)) game which we were addicted to. Seriously, not a single day passed without playing it at least once! Then it was already time for dinner and after that I went back to Purbeck House.
The coach arrived at 8:30 pm and it was time to say goodbye. No one really wanted to leave but we had to so I got into the coach, sat down and had a last look on Bournemouth until we drove on the motorway. We picked up other students, then had the Relaisstation and arrived in Dover. Unfortunately we missed our ferry and had to wait for the next one. We finally arrived in Calais around 8 am with two hours delay. The time of arrival in Cologne was originally estimated around 12:30 pm but due to the problem with the ferry, traffic jams and a flat tyre in Belgium I finally arrived at 5:30 pm on Sunday.
Conclusion: Referring to the slogan “learn more than a language” I can say that this actually became true for me, I did not only learn English but also some Polish, Danish, Russian and even Spanish words. Of course my new experiences cannot be reduced to languages, I also learned facilities in the creative activities and I got to know many nice people.
I would like to mention that Bournemouth was quite different compared to Winchester, the camp was larger and there was a bigger towncentre and a huge beach. Winchester was littler and the school, the Ocean and the accommodation were close together, in Bournemouth they were located a little bit farer away. Due to that you could not get to know every single person in Bournemouth while you knew everyone (at least by sight) in Winchester.
Nevertheless I had a really great time in Bournemouth and I enjoyed spending two weeks ofmy summer holidays there. I did not only improve my English but also made lots of new experiences. I’m sure I will never forget these two weeks.
Finally I would like to say “THANK YOU” to the complete Bournemouth-Team 2014 for the amazing time I had!!