St. Andrew’s Student Exchange

Andrew's Exchange 1

St. Andrew’s Resource Centre has kick-started their annual student exchange programme. This year, the programme will see students from Malta and Finland travel to Dublin for a week at the end of this month, to partake in the festivities of the South Docks Festival and get accustomed to the local community within Pearse Street.

“During that time they are going to perform, sing, dance, eat food and they’re going to perform for the community,” says Eddie Fitzpatrick, a Youth Worker in the Talk About Youth Programme at St. Andrew’s, who operates the programme.

12 young people and two adults from St. Andrews will also travel to Madrid on August 4th for ten days and discover a number of local cultural hot spots, eat local cuisine and partake in beach sporting events.

“It’s going to be so hot over there that they will need to be cooled down,” says Fitzpatrick. “Then they’re going to be going up to the Spanish mountains, go to a fresh water lake, do more water sports, and stay there up for a night or two.”

The Exchange Programme started in 2004 with groups travelling to Slovakia, Portugal, Finland, the Philippines, the UK and France. Each exchange has a different age group (from 15+), and travels to different parts of the world depending on the age of the participants. The programme has also garnered a lot of positive feedback from the local community and young participants, which has swelled the numbers travelling each year.

“They love it, the kids from Ireland are the life and soul of these exchanges, that’s why we keep getting invited back,” says Fitzpatrick.

“One of the things that they (the kids) love doing is a thing called Irelands Call. When we’re away, they stand up with their hands on their hearts, they’re ambassadors for themselves, for their area, for their country.”

The Talk About Youth Programme are always looking for sponsors or volunteers; anybody who wants to get involved should contact them directly on 01-677 1930.

By Liam Cahill