25 Mayo students from Davitt College participate in Euroscola
A group of twenty-five students and three teachers from Davitt College represented Ireland in the Euroscola programme of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on February 23rd.
The group were recommended by the European Office in Dublin, on the strength of their European studies and projects. European Studies is one of the modules in the Transition Year programme in Davitt College, and the school has been heavily involved in European projects over the past 30 years.
The Davitt College group left Castlebar in the early hours of Monday February 22nd, to fly with Ryanair from Dublin to Frankfurt-Hahn. After a lengthy coach journey they stopped in the famous town of Heidelberg, in southern Germany, to have lunch and to visit Heidelberg Castle.
That evening the group arrived in Strasbourg, to get some rest for the following days' activities.
On Tuesday morning the Davitt College group made their way to the Louis Weiss building of the European Parliament. They joined with over five hundred students there, who represented eighteen other E.U. member states.
After breakfast the students took their places in the seats of the MEPs, in the massive hemispherical chamber of the European Parliament. Lisa Hyland introduced Davitt College in fluent French, explaining why our school has such a keen interest in the E.U. and how our country has been greatly influenced by the E.U. since we became a member in 1973. Her flair for the language and her perfect pronunciation were commented on by many of the native French speakers present in the Parliament building that day.
The Davitt College students were split into groups with students from the other E.U. countries, and were involved in a debate on the development of Europe.
The groups also held discussions based on themes we had prepared in school before the trip, such as the democracy and citizenship, employment policies, the environment, climate change and energy, all within the context of the E.U. Afterwards, the Davitt College group agreed that working with students from different countries was one of the outstanding highlights of the Strasbourg trip. The day also gave students a better understanding of how the E.U. actually works, and of the complexity of E.U. issues.
As one of the students summed it up, "It was a long day in the Parliament, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an amazing experience".
They returned to Castlebar with a European flag and certificates of participation, having done their school and their country, proud.
The students - Aoife Murray, Linda Reilly, Emma Forkan, Hannah Large, Caoimhe Mahon, Caoimhe Dunne, Martina Moran, Katie Van Den Oosten, Gary Concannon, Shannon Garrett, Stephen Garvey, Carol Garrett, Helen O'Malley, Siobhan Duffy, Emma Kerins, Jason Joyce, Lisa Hyland, Danielle Ralph, Aine Concannon, Shane Concannon, Daniel Holian, Gary Ralph, Stephen Hanbury, Shane Walsh, and Darren Flannery