"The students were homesick in the first days. And now all of them say "We want to come back to Gran Canaria and to work here”

April 2014

Siv Sandøy and Nina Skovly, training coordinators at Department of Education, in Møre and Romsdal (Norway). Students from this school have come to Gran Canaria with a Leonardo scholarship.

How many students have been doing this training during the last months?

Siv: There have been nine apprentices here on Gran Canaria.

This is a chance for their diversification. What are the benefits for students?

Siv: It is the Leonardo programme. So, it is going to develop the social skills and also culture skills, as language.

What kind of advantages does this programme give to companies, as Servatur, where students are taken?

Siv: Regarding the hotel reception students, we could see a lot of relationship. If students could give information about Norwegian organization where they work in, and then we could do an exchange, because some of them have already told me that they have been doing some activities like that.

Why Gran Canaria as destination?

Siv: I met Pilar (Quality and Formation Manager at Servatur) five years ago, and then I was a teacher at school and we had tourism students who wanted to stay on Gran Canaria for one month. And I saw this opportunity that you have high seasons in January, February and March, and in Norway this tourism industry has high season in June, July and August. So, we have the opposite season. It is a possibility maybe to do this as a big project later. Maybe Spanish people could come to Norway and work there.

What do students say before and after this training?

Nina: This is the first time for us. We are unable to say “after” yet. They are not finished yet. We have three reports and they have said they learnt a lot, about themselves of course, because for many students it is the first time they are far from home.

Siv: These nine people did not know each other before working here. So, they were very excited. A lot of them haven’t been to Spain before, so it was a shock for them. When they came here, it was very beautiful. In the first days they were homesick, asking “How can I manage to stay here?” And after these last weeks, everybody said “We don’t want to go home. We want to stay”. Everybody, all nine of them, said “We want to come back to Gran Canaria and to work here”.