A GROUP of Spanish students were welcomed to Helensburgh town as part of an exchange trip with Hermitage Academy.

The exchange programme between the two schools has been running for four years and has proved highly successful and popular over the years.

This year’s exchange was led by head of Modern Languages teacher Suzanne Murray, in correspondence with Lucia Saez from the Spanish school.

The group participated in a wide variety of activities and excursions during their time in Helensburgh.

The first day, on Thursday March 10, was spent in the school where the pupils got to experience the difference between the two education systems. They were also given a tour of the school and an opportunity to participate in Scottish social dancing.

The group spent the weekend with their host families and took part in a wide variety of activities including laser tagging and bowling. They also had the chance to visit Inveraray and Edinburgh at the beginning of the week, and were given the chance to see and learn about the history of Edinburgh Castle. The pupils took part in a six day visit to the country, following the Hermitage Academy trip to Spain in November last year.

Suzanne told the Advertiser that the exchange has been successful, and stressed the importance of motivating the pupils to learn a language. She said: "“This is a really good group, they’ve gelled really well together. Our pupils hadn’t been learning Spanish for long before their trip in November, it’s a great inspiration for them to keep going and helps to keep them enthusiastic about it.”

Hermitage Academy pupils also spoke highly of the experience. Caitie, 14, said: “It was a memorable experience to see other countries cultures with our friends.”

Abbie, also 14, added: “It is good having friends from another country and seeing how they live.”