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SWC Beauty Students, Diary From Spain

South West College Beauty Therapy Students recently spent three weeks on work placement in Oviedo, Spain. They each kept a journal of their adventures. Here’s what they got up to in Week One!

Day 1: Sunday 4th March

Yadira Nugent: Today’s the day we headed for Oviedo, Spain! 😎 We had such a long day ahead of us, which began by meeting the other girls that would be on the trip. There’s eight of us in total, 2 from Omagh, 3 from Dungannon and 3 from Enniskillen, and once we had everyone we headed for Belfast International airport. ✈️ We had to fly to London, then get another flight to Oviedo, so there was lots of waiting about, but at least there were plenty of shops to have a nosey around, and the time flew in because we were all chatting and getting to know one another. When we reached Oviedo we had an amazing hotel which is beside a supermarket and close to all the good shops, which makes things easy. We travelled for 16 hours, wo we’re all glad to get comfortable in our rooms and look forward to what will hopefully be an amazing 3 weeks. 😀

Emma Jayne Malcomson: Today was all about travelling: waking up early; triple checking I had everything; getting to Dungannon by eight o’clock to get the bus; checking in at the airport and grabbing a coffee in Starbucks; meeting all the girls, who got on like we’d known each other for years; flying to Stanstead; browsing through duty free; eating everything on offer at Burger king; getting on the flight to Oviedo; finding the bus to the hotel; collapsing on my bed, exhausted.

Leeanne McKiernan: What a long day of traveling! From Belfast to London, London to Spain! But we’re here! The hotel is fabulous and central and Oviedo is a beautiful city! I can’t wait to experience the local lifestyle on this trip! 🇪🇸

Day 2: Monday 5th March

Emma McGovern: Not quite as early a start this morning, but we were still tired after all yesterday’s travelling. We all met for breakfast and then went to see where we’d been doing our placements for the next three weeks. Yadira, Catrín, Jackie and myself met our manager Christina who spoke great English. We greeted her in the traditional Spanish way of a kiss on both cheeks, and she brought us into their 5 star spa and explained their detox programs and showed us around their spa, health and wellness centre, gym and indoor swimming pools. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool and an exercise training room where they check your heart beat, fitness level and how you can improve your performance as an athlete.

This evening we all met in the hotel for something to eat. It was nice to have this time to bond with the girls even more and have a bit of craic. We all got an early night as tomorrow is the first proper day of placement. Needless to say, after seeing everything we’re very excited. Wish us luck! 😀

Day 3: Tuesday 6th March

Jacqueline Finnegan: I started work at around 10 o’clock this morning. We were to do peels and fully body massages, and although the staff came and went a few times to give us a few tips, they pretty much left us to work away ourselves most of the time. I really loved the treatments we were doing. ❤️ The language barrier isn’t too bad. I don’t speak much Spanish, but I downloaded a translator app that’s proving useful. I try and get by with English, hand signals, and the bit of Spanish I’m picking up. Some places are more open to this than others, and it can be funny at times, but overall it’s better than I thought. A few words and a translator and you’ll manage!

Emma Jayne Malcomson: As the day went on a running joke started about the way I said ‘Muy Bien’. Apparently anytime someone asks me what I think of something, like the eyelash extensions that were done, or any of the treatments, I always reply with ‘Muy Bien’, because it’s the only thing I could think of to say that they looked nice. I also used ‘Perfecto’ a lot, but not as much as ‘Muy Bien’. 🙈 Note to self: learn more Spanish adjectives. 🇪🇸

Day 4: Wednesday 7th March

Yadira Nugent: Same routine today: get up, get ready, head for breakfast, and then away to catch our bus. When we got to our placement we met another staff member who showed us how to do a paraffin wax, which was a pretty complicated procedure, but also one of the best i’ve ever seen or had! We decided to head back to the city for lunch and went to a little cafe. We found a Kiko and Sephora, where we all fell in love with the makeup 😍 and had such a good time looking around. We headed back to our bus and back to placement where we just practiced the paraffin and massage again until it was time to tidy up and head home. We found a great restaurant for dinner and everyone enjoyed being out together. I enjoy trying different foods so am really enjoying his part of the trip. We all use google translate everywhere we go to help us with communicating with our placement and in restaurants etc, but we have also learned a bit of spanish, and because everyone gets on so well we’ve been able to help each other out. So far it’s going really well and I’m really enjoying myself. Loving the views, the food, the shops and everything else and I hope stays this way for the remainder of our fantastic journey. 😊

Day 5: Thursday 8th March

Rachel Corr: Up, showered and ready to go. Me and Emma decided to get a taxi because it was raining, and we made it to work for what was a very busy day. Jenni, one of the staff, showed us a different machine which was sued for pressure therapy and helped with blood circulation in your feet and legs. We had the opportunity to try it out on each other. I was up first and was very nervous – I didn’t know what to expect. In the end, the therapy treatment lasted thirty minutes, and once the machine started it felt like hard pressure moving from each part of your leg and feet. It was very relaxing. 😌 After our break I was able to take part in a full body scrub and massage. Mellisa, a member of staff was able to show me the way they would do massage and compare it to ours. It was VERY different! Mellisa let me do the scrub and massage myself and was able to give me great feedback. It was a long day but really enjoyable – by night time i was well ready for my bed! 😴

Emma McGovern: We went into the city again for our siesta and ate in a little cafe on the street. Today was international women’s day so some of the young girls had female symbols painted on their cheeks and some were parading around the city with posters. Some women were also protesting for equal pay as in Spain women do not get the same pay as a man even though they could be working the same job.

Day 6: Friday 9th March

Rachel Corr: ITS FRIDAY!!!!!!, the best day of the week. 💃 It was such a happy day at work as everyone was just excited for the weekend. They let me and Emma practice on each other using any machine of the machines, so we decided to use the vel shock and the pressure therapy machine. This treatment took up most of the morning. During break we decided to try something different. We went to a restaurant called San Francisco which was great – such a nice place to chill out. 🙂

Day 7: Saturday 10th March

Caitrin O’Kane: Saturday is a very busy day for the staff at our placement, so they left us to continue practicing everything that we have learned so far during the first week. It was good way to catch up on everything we’d been taught. It wasn’t a long day seeing as everything finished at two, so it was very easy going, and we were looking forward to going out and seeing some of the local social scene that night!

Rachel Corr: Later that night, we all met up with a new girl called Lara, who is Spanish and is going to Omagh for work placement. Her and her friends took us around some of the restaurants and bars in Oviedo. It was great to see the way they relax and socialise over here. 😀

Day 8: Sunday 11th March

Emma McGovern: Sunday morning meant we could have a nice lie in. It’s our first day off since we started the trip. Myself and Rachael went down to breakfast and chatted to Gearldine and Lorraine, our new tutor that will be staying with us for the next week or more. I didn’t do much today, just lazed around the hotel with the others. Sunday’s are normally a real day off around here, with all the shops closed. We went for dinner to say goodbye to Gearldine and to welcome Lorraine into our group properly, and when we got back to the hotel the girls came to my room and we watched TV. A quiet end to the week with everyone looking forward to what the next week will bring! 😃

If you’re interested in studying Beauty Therapy at South West College, check out the website to find out more.

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