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Croatia Trip Feedback
I did enjoy the trip!! It was an amazing experience!
I thought that the travel was fine. It took a long time and was very tiring, but it was definitely worth it in the end!
The accommodation by the airport was really good and we had a very good sleep and nice hot shower in the morning! In Croatia I definitely loved staying with my host family. It meant that I could really experience the culture and it was great fun!
Geographical knowledge and skills:
I have definitely gained loads from this experience. I now have an amazing case study to add to the exams and I think that being there has made everything so much better and clearer. I thought that going through the marina IAE really helped as it made everything really clear in my mind. I now feel confident on how to answer such questions and know what is expected of me. I thought that talking it through as a group really helped as well because we all got extra ideas from each other.
Social and cultural:
I loved experiencing this side of croatia and the best way that we did this was through staying with the families. It was a very valuable experience.
The best part of the trip was when we went to the beach area and climbing the mountain. I loved all of the things like that.
The worst bit was having to leave behind our partners and also the travelling, but this was obviously unavoidable.
If I was going to improve the trip I would make it longer and possibly try to go when it is the summer.
Hi this is Lucy Waldron, I know you haven't got my address. Here's my evaluation, sorry it took so long!
Although the journey (especially the return journey) was long and tiring, I thought it was very well co-ordinated and organised. I think the methods we took were absolutely fine, and everything went smoothly in my opinion.
I really enjoyed living with my exchange partner, and I think this aspect of the trip made it all the more valuable, because it gave us much more of a taste of Croatian life than we would have had staying with only English people. At first I did not like being half an hour's drive away from everyone else, because it meant that me and Suzy were left out of evening activities with the other English and Croatian girls. However, I do not think that this is necessarily something that needs to be changed next time because I think it made the four of us closer being away from everyone else.
Geographical knowledge and skills:
I think our geographical knowledge as a group was greatly enhanced by the trip, because we learnt many things that we would not have learnt on the school curriculum. I greatly enjoyed this part of the experience, and I think the geographical activities such as the IAE will make all of us think more in future about the places we visit and their geography. I liked the fact that the work built up to a climax at the end of the trip, as it rounded everything off nicely, and I thought the fact that each person had worked as part of a group made the work more valuable, because it meant we could learn about the islands in detail, as well as learn about the areas other people had been working on in the evaluation session.
Social and cultural:
One of the most enjoyable and valuable aspects of the trip in my opinion was the social benefits we gained from the experience. Now, we have had the experience not only of visiting another country, learning about it's geography, heritage and culture, but also of living with a completely strange and foreign family for 5 days. I must admit I was very nervous about this, but I think it has a lasting effect on everyone who took part, because it has increasedour confidence greatly and has meant thatwe have had a great insight into Croatian life.
Best part of the trip: I really enjoyed the whole trip, but I loved learning the geography of the island, and I loved being with the Croatians and English as a group.
Worst part of the trip: The worst part was being dropped off with an unknown family in a foreign country! - this was very nerve-wracking as I am not the most confident of people, however, I think this part benefitted me more than I could have forseen!
Sorry it's so long! Thanks again Dr Coles for a wonderful time - it's only down to you and Mrs D that all this came off, and we all had a fantastic time. Hope you enjoyed it.
Hey Dr.Coles, sorry it's late!Here's my evaluation!
I think that although we had to get up early it meant that we got to everywhere in time, flying on the planes was great and going to the other island onthe ferry was fun!
The hostel in Stansted was lush!no joking we thought when you said it wouldn't b very good, that it was going to b horrible but it wasn't!Staying with the Croatians was good after the initaial nerves of staying in someone elses house, in a different country, but in the end it meant that we got to experience their lives even more.
I think just going to Mali Losinj says it all about the geographical knowledge and skills, it's an island - made out of limestone!when we did the IAE on the marina that was helping our geography and the presentations we did after. Plus when we were out with our friends they tended to find something to tell us about the place too. Also when we were wlking to different places and up the mountain we got to see lots of the different plants and trees that they have; pine cones even though they aren't indigenous!
Once again our friends and the Croatian teachers managed to tell us a lot about the place so did the talks you and Mrs D gave us. Living in the houses with our partners meant we experienced their lives first hand adn although it wasn't the sane as ours it was fun, we wanted to know how they stayed so skinny after eating all that food - it's because they walk everywhere and they walk everywhere because it's so small.
I found that the best part of the trip was climbing the hill to watch the sunset and climbing the mountain because you could see so far it was awesome!
I don't really think there was a bad bit, apart from how nervous we all felt when we were first going to meet our Croatians!
The travel to and from Croatia went very smoothly and I felt was a good amount of time for the group to 'bond' befor we got to our destination, the cost was very appealing!! It was a good experience and showed us all how easy and enjoyable it could be to travel in the future, I think we would all now feel comfortable with doing this kind journey alone or with friends, and it has opened alot of our eyes.
- The accomodation in Stanstead wasbrilliant, it enabled us to have a comfortable and safe rest before the flight, and it was the perfect didtance from the airport which didnt take us very long to get to at all.
- Staying in our partners homes alone seemed daunting beforehand, but all of the families were friendly and looked after us well so we soon felt very at home. I think it was better for us to be 'thrown in at the deep end' because it really made us able to realise that the locals weren't intimidating or completely different from our families at home, and we could live the everyday life of a Croatian school student first hand, which was culturally very interesting.
- We learnt alot about conservation in a tourism-orientated town, we could look at the area and all the industries and ecosystem existing within it holistically, the dolphin centre excersize was fascinating as we looked at the issues of development on the coast, taking all points of view into consideration, I think this is very relevant and valuable to our course. We developed debation and mapwork skills here.
- Mali Losinj and the surrounding islands were ideal places to visit when looking at coastline development due to their isolated position, we weiighed out the pros and cons of building the mariner here and this made me more confident in approaching the DME in January, the session at the school on the last day when we collated all our ideas was also very useful and helped me to link everything we had learned together, a skill which is important in the exam.
- We all found the social side of the trip fascinating, we enjoyed talking to our partners about how they feel about living away from the mainland, and having relatively limited leisure fascilities (shops, clubs etc). Food was often the subject of converation as Croatian habits were quite different from at home (e.g. Croatian people generally have a large lunch and no evening meal). We looked at geographical reasons for the fairly limited variation e.g lack of imports due to isolation.
Overall, the project was incredibly memorable, it sparked up a lot of interest in the issues covered, as well as an interest in travel. It also added a lot to our knowledge which will be very useful in the future.
Cheers J xxx
Hi Dr Coles. Here is my evaluation of the Croatia trip...
Travel-The flights were absolutelyfine. However, it would obviously have been better if the minibus journey hadn't been so long.This wouldn't be such a problem if yougoin the summer andfly from Bristol though.Also, the coach was better than the minibus because there was more room!
Accomodation-I really have no complaints about this. My partner, Lea, was a brilliant host and was very welcoming and friendly. The food was delicious andstaying in our own appartment was fantastic and gave us a bit more independence.
Geographical knowledge and skills-The continuous absorption of informationfrom the island guaranteed a detailed case study and definitely helped megain skills in preparation for the IAE. I also liked working as a group to complete the IAE questions on the Monday afternoon.
Social and cultural-The social aspects were great and I felt that they complemented the 'educational' parts of the trip really well. It was good to have the opportunity tomix and talk with the other Croatian girls.I thought it wasfantastic to experience another culture and try to understand how some things work differently in a country which is maybe 20 or so years behind the UK (if that makes any sense!)
'Best part of the trip'-This is difficult but I think I'll plump for the walk to the top of Orsorica. It was quite hard work but totally worthwhile for the amazing views at the top.
'Worst part of the trip'-Probably the freezing cold morning walking around Nerezine Marina, although the weatherobviously out of our control. I should have just brought even wamer clothes!
Possible improvements for the future-Maybe change the date of thetrip to Croatia to after ASexams (as you originally planned) just because it might be warmer. Other than that, I can't think of anything else.
Hope this is o.k.!!
Sorry i haven't replied sooner my internet hasn't been working.
I really enjoyed the plane, and the bus rides in Croatia were a hell of an experience! I think the mini bus part was the worst, no room and uncomfortable...but it got us there!and for that price i dont care.
I must admit i was very scared about this part of the trip. Although i think i got a good deal, a double bed and an en-suite. Other people had to share rooms with their hosts, but i think they coped with that ok.
I think i would have liked to have looked around the mainland a bit, as after a while i think Mali Losinj had run short of some things to do. So maybe if you were to do the trip again: to break up the long journey home, stay over in a youth hostel near the airport the night before the flight home,so you can explore round there for a little bit.
Geographical Knowledge and Skills:
I didn't feel like i had Geography non-stop in my face the whole week, which i think was a good thing. I liked to hear about the history of some places, but the most benefical day was when we worked in the classroom in the afternoon. That session really made me think, and it gave me some skills i could use in the exam.
I loved that the Geography was different to our country. When we got to the top of the mountain and looked down at all those littles islands, it was AMAZING! that was definately something i had never seen before.
Social and Culture:
The Croatian girls i hung round with during our stay seemed to have a similar culture to ours. There was nothing that stood out dramtically, only the stuff Vanja told me about the Croatians and Serbs, but you wouldn't have noticed that.
Social, very similar to mine and my friends: they enjoy going out and dancing, going shopping, watching things like 'Friends' and 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'. However, whereas after school we would go home and probably just watch tele or do work, they will meet up EVERY DAY and go and have coffee!
Can't remember what it was called, but the place where we had the huge cakes and then sat in the sun on the beach. The sea was beautiful i wish i just could have swam in it! Getting to the top of the mountain and seeing the view.
Sitting in a smokey bar for hours and your clothes smelling after. Or walking back down the mountain, it really hurt my toes.
Thanks for organising such a great trip!
Travel - Although it was a long journey the mini-bus and coach in Croatia
Accomodation - The hostel was much better than expected and my host home was
Gegraphical Knowledge and Skills - The right balance between work and play.
Social and Cultural - Excellent, particularly the olive trees.
Best part - Haviving a host partner
Worst part - The IAE on the last afternoon, but i'm bound to say that
Thanks again, Miranda
Hi Professor Niggle!
First of all thank you for an amazing trip and for getting us all back to Devon safely when you must have been just as shattered as us! Here are a few evaluation points as requested:
- Travelling all the way up to London after prize day was very tiring but having a proper bed for the night is preferable to travelling through the night and arriving in time for the flight.
- The hostel was adequate for what we needed it for however I found it difficult to sleep after hearing someone knocking on the door!
- I would have preferred more time to relax at the airport – felt as though we were rushed on to the plane.
- After arriving in Pula it was nice to have the teachers there to greet us and the bus ready and waiting.
- Very comfy bus for travelling in and all travel in Croatia went perfectly except the rush between lunch and the ferry!
- The timing of the return journey worked well but again it was a tiring day.
- Staying with the Croatian families was a brilliant experience which allowed us to get a better feel of the local culture and food(!!!!) and presumably kept the cost down.
- I felt more comfortable staying with Jess but everyone seemed to get on well with their partners and are looking forward to the return visit. Jess and I were certainly made to feel very welcome.
- It was nice to be able to use my German to communicate with Lea's mum as she could speak German but not English.
- The trips were obviously carefully thought out and all went well. I felt as though I was constantly learning new things but at the same time having a great holiday! It is much easier to remember case study information in an exam if you have been there and seen it!
- After the session in the school on Monday afternoon I feel much more confident with what the IAE involves and how best to takle it. This was a good way of summing up what we had done during the week.
- Having specific areas to work on in groups throught our time there was also good - we all enjoyed collecting information about our topic and it gave us something else to talk to our partners about!
- Although I was initially disappointed that we couldn't go to Sousak, what you quickly arranged instead was very beneficial and I'm glad we had the opportunity to do it.
For me the best part of the trip was visitng the vulture centre and being able to see the Griffons in the wild. Having seen the effort a few people are making to try and make a difference in Namibia it was nice to see the importance of vultures is recognised and they are being protectd elsewhere. The worst part was arriving tired and not feeling 100% when the family had madea big effort for our arrival. I felt bad hardly eating any of the huge spread they had laid on and just wanting to go to bed rather than get to know them!
Overall I had a great time and I'm sure the year 12s will want to go next year too. Going at a time when there are flights from Bristol would make a big difference (to you and us!) as I felt I could have engaged a bit more with the activities had I not been so tired! Although the marine centre was very relevant and interesting, maybe it would be better to do as a morning activity another time as by the end most of us were so tired we weren't as focused as we would normally have been. A more defiinite guide of what we might need to pay for and hw much money to take would also be useful - I know that will be easier now you have taken one group but I was unsure how much I would need. Also, try and arrange nicer weather for next time!
Thanks again, all the time and effort you put in to arranging it was well worth it!
Yes really enjoyed it thank you very much for arranging the whole trip!!! :D
Travel- We travelled by boat, plane, car and bus!! So the experienced many
ways of travelling.. however the journeys were very long but because of the
comfortable coach used when we got to Pula, everyone coped. The flight was
quick and comfortable- as well as being some people's first experience of
Accomodation- I felt privaleged to have a bed of which the two parents had
given up to sleep in the lounge! I felt the accomodation was good and all
part of the croatian experience. The houses were much smaller than ours in
england and I was made aware of the differences between living standards.
Geographical knowledge and skills- We split into groups to focus on various
aspects of the geography of the area, and presented what we had found out to
the rest of the group. This was a good exercise in that independant work was
carried out and then forwarded to other members of the group. Although the
weather was very severe on the monday, we tried our hardest to focus on the
geography of the marina at Nerezine. However note taking would have been
impossible so we were glad to just observe :) Skills obtained on the trip
were teamwork, communication and IT skills.
Social and cultural- I found the social and cultural experience fascinating
and it made me aware of how differently people live. Staying with Croatian
people enabled you to live their life and take full part in the experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip even though at times it was scary living with
another family whom you had never met before. But after a few days you feel
at home and able to live the croatian lifestyle :D
Best part of the trip: For me this was listening to the talk at Blue World,
because the issue of conservation and protection of animals is close to my
heart so I thoroughly supported their work and could engage in it more
Also I think the feeling when I reached the top of that mountain was one of
the best parts of the trip!
And also the nights out in Croatian pubs and clubs!
Worst part of the trip:
Probably the issues with some of the food- such as being offered octopus and
rabbit to eat! But these were soon resolved.
The travelling was very tiring and lots of early mornings were difficult.
Future improvements: Perhaps a couple of Croatian lessons before the trip,
so we can speak a little of their language. I can't really think of many
improvements I thought the whole trip was very well organised and the
freedom we were given gave me great independance for future visits to a
* The journey there and back was fine, although it was nice to break up the journey with the over night stay at the hostel, however the way back was still manageable.
*The accommodation was very comfortable, the hostel was much nicer than I was expecting and Saras parents made me feel very welcome at their home.
Geographical knowledge and skills
* I feel that the trip has broadened my geographical knowledge. It was useful to see a foreign country from a geographical perspective first hand. I thought it was also good to have teaching input from the croatian teachers.
Social and Cultural
* Staying at a croatian household really helped me to understand their culture. Visiting the school was also useful and interesting. I am looking forward to them coming and also seeing the differences how i was able to.
* I very much enjoyed the social side, i thought we were paired well so that we were similar with things in common but also our friends here were paired with friends over there, i think this was important, it made it easier to socialise. We felt very welcome in their friendship group.
* I think the best part of the trip for me was being able to socialise with the croatian girls, understanding thier culture and also reaching the top of the mountain/v.large hill, it was great to get to the very top, the view was great.
* The worst part was the journey waitng to meet our Croatian hosts, it was extremely nerve-racking. I think it may have been nice to stay for a couple of extra days (i know the practicalities of this wouldnt have been great) but i felt when we left we had only just started to get to know our hosts and other croatian friends properly.
Thankyou, overallI had a great time. hannah
Yo Dr. Coles!
It's nice to be back butI miss Mali Lošinj!! They were so right about their air being healing and cleaner! I also had a driving lesson this morning and I felt likeI was on the wrong side of the road!
Hvala! Again for a fabulous trip!
Our travelling was ok, but maybe a train or maybe a hired coach to stanstead would have been a little easier, or to fly from a closer airport?
If you do it again, definately still fly to Pula, because the coach trips on dubious European roadsare such fun!!
This was all fine (I think I did pretty well- Mirta's flat was brand new!).
Geographical knowledge and skills:
Good considering the weather conditions, although I (and others) were a little dissapointed at the lack of focus on physical geography, it all seemed very human/development orientated.
Social and Cultural:
Great! I think we were given just the right amount of freedom and were allowed to discover the parts of Croatian life that we wanted to as individuals...I shall say no more!
Travel- I thought that the travel was fine for the purposes of the trip.
Accommodation- The accommodation was fine, as I had my own apartment. It might have been better for us to know what the accommodation arrangements with our host families were beforehand, just so that we were more prepared.
Geographical knowledge and skills- The geography of the area was very interesting, especially as there was a diverse range of subjects, such as ecology, geology, human and physical geography and history. I think we were also very lucky to have the contributions of Durdica and Suncana, as they knew more about the area.
Social and Cultural- Again, I think it was very interesting tobe able to talk to thelocal people about how things have changed on the island,and what life is like there. Doing the presentations also helped,as it ensured thatseveral aspects of the social and cultural lifeon Losinj were taken account of.
Best part of the trip- I liked the more relaxing day when we walked around to Suncana Bay and climbed the hill in the evening/watched the rugby. I think it was important that we got a bit of a rest!
Worst part of the trip- I didn't really like being dropped off at Nerezine on the first day- I know that you have already said thatyou didn't know it would be like that, but I think it wouldhave been better if the whole group of English and Croatianpartners had taken part in an activity together first, so that wecould all get to know each other in a groupsituationbefore being left alone.
Suggested improvements to the trip-I think that the communication network could have been improved between the whole group- maybe beforehand we could have all swapped phone numbersin case we needed to call anyone. It might have been better to have had more of a fixed itinerary, especially because I stayed in Nerezine, so when plans were changed at late notice it was awkward for the host family to arrange transport and mealtimes, etc.
I also want to thank you for putting in the effort to ensure that this trip came together. It was an amazing trip and i have not stopped talking about it since i've been home! The feedback on the different aspects:
Travel - Long and tiring but in my opinion inevitable if you are going to go to somewhere so beautifuland untouched.
Accommodation - Scary at first but thoroughly enjoyed staying with our hosts as i have never laughed so much!!!
geographical knowledge and skills - Useful to link to the IAE but we were just unfortunate with the weather when visiting Nerezine.
Social and cultural - I really enjoyed all of these bits especially the walk up the mountain which was thoroughly worth it when we got to the top! I now feel i know a few things about Croatian culture especially the fact that they are so hospitable and like to show this with the amount of food they gave us.
Best part - I find it really difficult to highlight one thing as i enjoyed it all but it might have to be the views from the top of the mountain! And the hosts!
Worst part - travelling but as i said earlier it's inevitable.
The only thing i think could have been improved is the time we spent over there, it would have been nicer to stay for longer.
Thank you again for the effort you put in.
Travel: Really long journey time start to finish, defiantly good going up to Stanstead the night before, even if flight time was a bit anti social. Did feel like a little bit of a rush at the airport though? Perhaps more time was needed to navigate Stanstead at ridiculous o'clock in the am.
· Accomodation: was fine, some of the food was a bit suspect (deer anyone?) but on the whole good. Host family really didn't speak much english, that was where the main problems with miss communication arised.
· Geographical knowledge: lots of opportunities for taking in the physical geography of the place, nice coastal walks etc. Good skills and thinking based activity at dolphin place. Skills acquired were also 'life experience' skills.
· Social and Cultural: Talking to all the students at the school helped us get a feel for what life is like in croatia for people are age. Learning about their education system etc. School is muchly too early though. Going out in the evenings with the exchange partners should definitely be encouraged, helps explore different side of their culture and get to know the people and their lives better.
· Best parts of the trip: The nights out, visiting the really nice beach where we wanted to stay all day, comparing it to life in the UK, the sunshine and planting the olive trees.
· Worst parts of the trip: not taking into account the 'bora' breeze when packing, long journey and vulture sanctuary.