Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In Donegal It's Got Hot!..."Red Hot"...

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Forza Italia…..!!

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. However a hardy bunch of Italian girls have been braving the changeable conditions of the Irish climate in Donegal for the last three weeks and behaving very much as we do ourselves,, if not more so !

Visitors are welcome to Donegal any time of year, but it is especially nice to welcome people in the month of January, and the International Language School at Donegal Adventure Centre has been the home to this group of students from Assumption University of Rome since the start of the year.. The girls have come to Bundoran to study English Language, and immerse themselves in activities and local culture. including surfing, body boarding, climbing and hiking, as well as cultural trips to Yeats Country, Derry City, Donegal Castle and indeed , a few visits to the local pubs.

Donegal Adventure Centre has recently been fully approved as a language school, and manager Niamh Hamill is delighted with the response to date. ‘’ This novel method of teaching English through participative activities is creating it’s own market niche in the Educational/Tourism sector .It beats sitting in a classroom all day and by its nature is a team effort which necessitates using the English Language. Local businesses are extremely appreciative of this influx of people during a time of year when visitors are thin on the ground. ‘’
Niamh added' There are hundreds of students abroad looking for travel opportunities. Donegal is an ideal stop-off on a gap year break - we have superb educational and cultural facilities. Add that to our fantastic outdoor resources, friendly locals and stunning scenery, it is an irrisistible location. Donegal has to work twice as hard to bring in visitors from the overseas markets but those working in education, leisure and accommodation are very pro-active and forward thinking. We appreciate the support from our tourist boards and the investment in amenities and attractions,. However we need to continuously remind people that Donegal can offer visitors a superb experience. It is also vital that we continue to develop our resources in a sustainable and sensible way, so that we can offer visitors a great experience without compromising the value, beauty and heritage of the county.'

Chatting with the students, they could not hold back their enthusiasm for the experience they shared in Donegal.’’ It has been so good-‘molte bene’ that six of us stayed on in Donegal for a few extra days to improve on our surfing-the rest have gone to Dublin to have a look at city life. Sure, we have enough cities at home, but no surf !’’ said Lucia Lucchessi from Rome in her best Donegal/Italian accent. I have a feeling there will be some broken hearts around Bundoran this weekend when our adopted friends finally say ‘Ciao bene-a la proximo’

Article Matt Britton

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