Merry Christmas, everyone

IT’S CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAS! Or perhaps not quite yet, but we’re getting there! Spirits are high here at ELITE, with lots of Christmas fun already underway and more to come after exams. We’re even preparing a special Christmas present for our students and friends, to be revealed in the next few days! It’s not just our students, though, who are benefitting from our cultural exchange – I hadn’t even realised that there were so many differences between here and the UK, but I’ve learnt so much about Catalan Christmas traditions! So, while you’re all working hard to prepare for exams (as I know you all are…), why not follow Tip #4 from my previous blogpost and take a break to read about the differences in the way we celebrate our favourite time of year? In the UK, Christmas begins with the 24 days of Advent, which we start to celebrate on the 1st December. British people mark each day by burning down a special candle or opening a door on an advent calendar to reveal a picture or chocolate, which kids especially love. Advent might once have been the Church’s way of observing the days until Christmas, but now it’s definitely less religious. In fact, it’s far more about the excitement of being able to eat chocolate before breakfast every morning, especially for kids! Well, “for kids”…I actually went so far as to stuff an Advent calendar in my suitcase after a visit home a few weekends ago: old habits die hard! It seems that adults and kids alike can enjoy the countdown to Christmas here, too. Our advent calendars pale...

Cómo sobrevivir a la época de exámenes

Oh, hello again! It’s mid November, and in school we’ve already started counting down towards the festive period already… although perhaps that’s just my premature excitement getting the better of me! We’re brainstorming, planning, creating new activities to bring together our different British and Catalan traditions, but in all this excitement it’s easy to forget what also comes in December: exams… “Not exams!” I hear my Juniors cry. I know this period can be stressful, but at ELITE we always want to make sure you have the best education we can give you, and exams are a great way to check your progress and show us how we can help you improve. And let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy seeing a big tick or “well done!” at the bottom of the page? I speak from experience, and as a third year uni student I’ve had my own fair share of that exam-stress feeling: I even have to do Spanish tests and projects during my year here! At this point, I think I’ve got some exam tips nailed, and I’ve asked the other interns and teachers for some ideas too. So here goes – Exam Survival 101! 1.Choose your space Studying is much more effective (and dare I say it, enjoyable) when you’re in a space that encourages productivity and calm. If you find yourself getting easily distracted when you study in your bedroom (for example, if you end up taking a famous Spanish siesta instead…), then try studying in your living room, a café, or the library! With other people around you to keep you accountable, you might be...

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