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Mary Immaculate students get a bite of the ‘Big Apple’ with New York trip

Students at a Cardiff secondary school are preparing for the school trip of a lifetime to New York City.

A group of 16 year 10 students from Mary Immaculate High School will be jetting off to the United States for a six-day visit to ‘the Big Apple’ next month (February).

The students will spend much of their time at Riverdale Country School, an independent school in the Bronx.

There they will spend three days working closely with art students and a day shadowing sports students to compare and contrast their own school curriculum with that of their host school.

During their stay in New York the students will visit different landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Ground Zero, and will use the city’s unique landscape as inspiration to create works of art.

There will also be the chance for cultural excursions, including trips to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and an NBA basketball game.

The students will also be helping to raise the profile of Wales internationally, sharing the Welsh language, culture and identity with the students in New York.

Funding for the trip has come through Taith, the Welsh Government funded international learning exchange programme.

One of the programme’s aims is to reach under-represented students. A large number of the students who have been selected for the New York trip are eligible for free school meals.

Though flights and accommodation are fully funded, the students have been busy raising money for extras like food and excursions, organising activities like bake sales, raffles and even a five-a-side football tournament.

Chloe Evans, Head of PSE at Mary Immaculate High School, is one of two teachers accompanying the students.

She said: “This is an amazing opportunity for the students – a once in a lifetime experience. They are beside themselves with excitement. For some it will be their first time travelling outside of the country.

“Not only will they get to sample a different culture in one of the world’s biggest cities, but they will also get the chance to directly compare their own educational experiences with those of students from another country.

“All of these things will be invaluable for their educational and personal development.”

The school worked with not-for-profit organisation International Links Global (ILG) to bid for the funding for the trip.

Amanda Morgan, Project Manager for ILG, said: “This is a brilliant experience for any student, but for students that may not have this chance outside of school, it will have a huge, potentially life-changing impact.”