Cold temperatures and the hilly landscape are just two aspects of the Ribble Valley which surprised a pair of students who travelled thousands of miles from Argentina as part of their European exchange trip.
The two teenage Argentinian girls have been in Britain since the beginning of December and have stayed with Bowland High School pupils Bethany Rose and her friend Izzy Priory for two weeks.
A complete contrast to their home city of Corrientes, which is located on the eastern shore of the Paraná River, about 1,000 km from Buenos Aires, Pilula (17) and Lucia (16) said it had taken them a while to acclimatise to the inclement British weather.
“It’s our summer now back in Argentina,” said Pilula, “and it will be between 30 and 40 degrees celsius. All are friends will be on holiday now.”
The pair added that the Argentinian landscape is the total opposite to the Ribble Valley and is totally flat. The cuisine is also very different.
“We don’t have much spicy food,” said Lucia, “we have a lot of barbecues and eat a lot of meat.”
While staying with Bethany and Izzy, the girls have eaten traditional English meals such as Toad in the Hole and a roast dinner. In return they have cooked typical Argentinian recipes such as Chipa Guasu which includes egg, cheese and corn.
It took the teenagers, who return home to Argentina tomorrow, around a full day’s worth of travelling to get to Britain.
Bowland has been hosting pupils from Yapeyu College in Corrientes each year for the past six years and in 2012 pupils from Bowland visited Argentina.
Andrea Yates, senior assistant headteacher at Bowland High School, said: “It is hugely important that we address cultural education within schools and offer our pupils the opportunity to travel, to meet people from other parts of the world and from other cultures and religions. As educators, I see it as our duty to ensure young people are given opportunities which lead to greater awareness, understanding and tolerance.”
She added: “The partnerships that we have built up at Bowland, with schools in Nepal, Argentina and China, are built on the respectful premise that most often ‘our similarities are greater than our differences’.”