Students return from spending summer in Spain

Six students from Stockton Sixth Form College have returned to the UK after spending their summer in Spain completing unique work experience at a busy Costa Brava hotel.

The group, Kate Bircham, Katie Foulger, Gillian Hardy, Sophie McArthur, Stacey Mills and Olivia Wilson (pictured), travelled to the Tossa De Mar resort in July to complete paid placements in various customer-facing roles.

The placements were secured as part of the college’s Leonardo’s project, which enables Travel and Tourism students to complete work experience abroad as part of their studies, developing customer service skills whilst learning a new language and studying towards further qualifications.

The students were this week presented with their Europass qualification, an internationally-recognised award which documents competences and skills shown whilst abroad, helping to set them apart as they progress to study at university or find employment.

Joanna Bailey, Principal of Stockton Sixth Form College, said: “Not many colleges have the opportunity to offer their students paid work experience abroad, so it really is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience which will no doubt boost their aspirations as they look to leave college.

“It’s great to welcome our students back and see how much they have developed in the past ten weeks.”

Sophie McArthur, an A-level college student, secured her place at the University of Liverpool studying Medicine after receiving her results over the telephone whilst she was abroad. Sophie said: “We’ve all had a fantastic ten weeks in Spain putting what we’d learnt in lessons to the test.

“Finding out I’d secured my place to study Medicine during my placement was the icing on the cake after a great two years at college.”

Stockton Sixth Form College secured over 100,000 euros to participate in cultural education projects across Europe earlier this year. Groups of students have since visited Malta, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and Germany as part of the programme.