Dollar’s Journey of Language Learning

Written by Head of Modern Languages, Mrs Susan Rice.

Dollar’s trips and exchanges are an essential part of language learning, which is a highly sought-after skill by employers. After all, over 75% of the world’s population does not speak English. At the end of this article, see the list of just some of the possible careers where knowing a second language is either essential, or can come in very useful.

Trips and Exchanges


The Clères Exchange

This is open to pupils in Form I and II. It is an eight-day exchange to Normandy, where pupils stay in pairs with French families and explore the area by coach. Pupils have the chance to experience the French lifestyle and practise the language in real life situations. During the exchange, the pupils also visit Paris, Bayeux and the D-Day landing beaches, all accompanied by Dollar staff.

Staying with another Dollar pupil helps to boost confidence and this exchange is often referred to a ‘stepping-stone’ before the Valbonne Exchange in Form III. Soft skills, such as communication, independence, problem-solving and resilience are developed during this time abroad.

Read what the pupils on the Clères exchange got up to last year on over on our blog.

Valbonne Exchange

 All Form III pupils studying French are invited to take part in a linguistic and cultural exchange with pupils from the Centre International de Valbonne in the South of France. The CIV is a modern secondary school with an excellent reputation in the area. It has several international sections and offers exciting possibilities for its pupils.

For French learners, the benefit of spending a week in a French-speaking environment should be clear. We organise the exchange to set pupils on their way to life-long fluency. This exchange is designed to end the school year on an educational and linguistic high, whilst at the same time, give our pupils a very enjoyable few days with their friends. Highlights include day trips to Nice and Monaco, as well as spending time with the exchange partners, experiencing the French education system and spending the weekend with host families exploring the local area.

Read what the pupils on the Valbonne exchange got up last year over on our blog.


Toledo Exchange

This is an exchange agreement with the Carlos III School of Secondary Education in Toledo, Spain. Toledo is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities and was the country’s capital before the court moved to nearby Madrid. The IES Carlos III is a prestigious school, offering a multilingual education and the International Baccalaureate, and is located close to the historic centre of the old town. Dollar pupils are matched with Spanish pupils who are the same age and have the opportunity to practise their Spanish with them, whilst the Spanish pupils can practise their English in return.

The visit of Toledo pupils to Scotland follows the same format. This gives both sets of pupils the chance to practise their language skills and to experience family routine, school system and life in general.


Ulmen Trip

The Ulmen trip takes place in Easter, and is a great opportunity for our young German learners. Pupils stay with host families and enjoy some fun activities in Ulmen with Dollar staff, as well as practising their German whenever possible.

In this video, Form I pupils Adam and Oscar discuss their experience of going on the trip last year, and how it benefited their learning. This trip also has a blog, which you can read here.

Fellbach Exchange

This exchange is aimed at German learners in Forms III-IV and provides the ideal opportunity for pupils to develop their language skills, whilst also enjoying time abroad with their class. The linguistic benefits of this exchange are considerable and this opportunity becomes particularly beneficial for pupils who will be preparing to sit their National 5 exams.
The exchange sees Dollar pupils travel from Edinburgh to Stuttgart to participate in a reciprocal exchange with our partner school,Gustav-Stresemann-Gymnasium. Pupils stay with their host partner and will experience school and family life in Germany, fully immersing themselves in the German language.


Taiwan Exchange

Every year, Form III pupils studying Mandarin visit Taiwan to take part in this exchange. You can find out more about what the pupils got up to during the exchange in this news item.

Mandarin is a language that is really picking up with Dollar pupils. Read this news item about two Dollar FPs who took gap years in Taiwan, after being two of the first pupils at Dollar to take Advanced Higher Mandarin.

Career Opportunities

There are endless benefits to learning a language at Dollar. Not only does it give our pupils the opportunity to explore other countries, it also can set pupils up for a successful future in multiple careers. In the list of jobs below, see how each one relates to language learning.

Actor – The ability to perform in multiple languages has played a role in the success of many in the business. Read more here.

Bookselling – Having the ability to read a language other than English can help you greatly. A lot of resources are not in English, and it’s important to be able to analyse a wide range of literature.

Customer Service – When providing great customer service to a wide range of clients, having a knowledge of another language can really benefit your business. Read more here.

Events Management – If you want to attend or plan global events, learning another language can give you a second edge in your career. Read more.

Librarian – Having a second language can be a crucial part of being a librarian and can set you apart from others in the job market.

Mechanical Engineer – It is thought that understanding another language not only improves your employability in this sector, but can also improve your creativity.

Police – Knowing another language can break down barriers with members of the public whose first language is not English.

Translation – The very base of this career is to be able to speak and read multiple languages. A Dollar education helps pupils on the way to life-long fluency.

International Business – Knowing another language can help you to thrive in this career. Find out more here.

Chartered Accountancy – Having a second language can set you apart from others in this field.