Diarmuid and Andoni are on the first half of their exchange! Andoni has been here since January with Diarmuid and his family in Co.Kildare. He has had loads of new and exciting Irish experiences! This is a little something the boys wrote for us about the first half of the exchange! Looking forward to following Diarmuid on his adventure in Spain!


Diarmuid’s Story
We are currently 5 weeks into a 9 week exchange and I personally think it is going great. I think it is going well because Andoni and I were matched really well, we even look alike!! We also have the same interests; for the most part. We both enjoy video games and soccer. When Andoni came I introduced him to my hobbies, kickboxing and rugby and we took up a new hobby, yoga. Andoni seemed to really enjoy kickboxing and yoga, however he really did not like rugby. Luckily we found him a soccer team for him to train with. Andoni is doing really well in school, he has made friends and is doing very well in his subjects. At first he seemed very shy but now he has completely opened up.

Andoni’s story
We are in the 5th week into a 9 week exchange and for me, for the moment, the exchange is going better than I thought. It is going really good. Diarmuid and I get along because we have mostly the same hobbies, we both like video games or Star Wars for example. The Irish family is very good with me and that makes me feel more comfortable. I am shy but I think with the time I opened up and it’s more easy to speak with the family now.

In Ireland I started doing a lot more new activities. I started yoga, I like yoga and I think it’s good to relax. I do kickboxing, my favourite activity, I don’t know why but I really like it. I started rugby too but I don’t like it very much. I think I do very well in school, I make a lot of new friends and I have a 100% in science test!!! Finally I would like to thank Enda, Siobhán, Tomás and Diarmuid and Cú (the dog) who helped me overcome my little fear of dogs.

A Different Point of View

I would encourage travel at all ages, but the earlier the better. When we are young we can better learn the lessons that travel teaches us. Children and teenagers live very much within their comfort zone. They have their home, their family, their community and their friends. Established routines in the everyday familiar. Sometimes the thought of breaking out of this cosy zone can be frightening, but it is when children are challenged and move into the unknown that they learn and develop the most and we help with all this in our reciprocal exchange.

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More Than Just One Page

In a world that is growing smaller due to the continuous advance of technology and social media, these skills cannot be underestimated. Many job opportunities in later life have an international element to them – be it travelling abroad to meet clients, working in a foreign country, interacting with people on a global scale – and the cultural sensitivity that is acquired from foreign exchanges and travel, give a marked advantage to people who have experienced them at a young age. Having another language and the skills to learn more is also a huge plus and allows more doors to be opened and more opportunities to be created.

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