Seventeen students and six staff members from Elmwood College have just returned from a four-day residential study trip to Paris. The students, who have additional support needs, come from different academic areas of the College and for some it was their first trip abroad. The residential was aimed to give the students an opportunity to experience meeting new people and to help them integrate and embrace the French culture.
During the trip, students had time to relax with a boat trip down the Seine, visited the Eiffel Tower, went to an exciting science centre where they enjoyed a planetarium and went shopping at the Galleries Lafayette as well as other places of interest.
The opportunity for study trips abroad began when a group of Autistic students from Munich came on an exchange visit to Elmwood to see what was available in Scotland for adults with Autism. Alison Boyle, the College's Head of Inclusion said, “The students had a fantastic time and we decided to participate in an international study trip as an annual event. They learn and gain so much from the trips – even the fundraising part and the whole experience is so memorable for them and the staff.”
Student Daniel Byron said, “I really enjoyed the trip and was able to meet many nice people there as well as learning about the French culture. The city was beautiful and I really hope to go back again!”
Elmwood College has gained a reputation for integrating individuals with Autism and learning difficulties into mainstream education. This work started in 1998 and since then support services and lecturing staff at Elmwood have enabled Autistic students to progress on to NC and HNC qualifications and some have undertaken the European Computer Driving Licence. Demand for places at Elmwood is such that the College now offers supported accommodation for students who come from as far afield as Germany, Oban, Skye and the Highlands.