Heavy snow in Britain a special treat for students
12 February 2009

It doesn't snow heavily very often in the UK. But it never snows in many parts of the world, so language students from places like Peru and Saudi Arabia had a really special treat on their English courses this month. 

For the worst snowstorm to hit Britain in almost 20 years this February meant that many language students from warmer countries could hardly believe their luck.

"They had a lot of fun in the snow, and for a lot of them that didn't wear off for all five days," says Mary Thoreau, principal of International House Salisbury.

"We had a group of Peruvian teenagers, about 45 or 50 of them and most hadn't seen snow. They went out and had a big snowball fight with the students from Wiltshire College in the local park. They thought that was wonderful, absolutely amazing.

"We also had a group of teenagers and young men from Saudi Arabia and Libya, and we couldn't keep them indoors. They were out in the snow every breaktime, playing football in the snow and building little snowmen on the pillars. It started snowing on Sunday and they still loved it on Friday."

Few of the students were dressed for the snow, though. "We had to persuade them that they needed to wear hats," said Ms Thoreau. "Few of them had gloves or jackets - we would ask them what they were wearing and they would say they had three layers on. Many of the students were not used to this sort of cold and we were having to make sure they were dressed for it."

A third group of students at the school - adults from Spain - were not so excited by the snow because of the difficulties getting around, but were still delighted by how beautiful everything looked as a result.

Further south, Exeter Academy was also engulfed by snow, and some of their students were initially so excited that they rushed outside during a lesson. But many of them had seen it before and the excitement soon wore off. "They got quite laid-back about it," says principal Andy Bungay, "although they did say it was good fun."

Mary Thoreau concludes: "The novelty wore off a bit after a time for us, but the students had a marvellous time."


Ben Nurcan etc1      Rostom and Shota1      

Photo left: Students at Exeter           Photo right: Rostom and Shota,
Academy playing in the snow            students at International House
                                                    Salisbury, starting to build a


by Susan Young

Tell us what your school or students are doing. Susan@englishuk.com


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