Pressure points

2nd April 2004 at 01:00
Year 10 are buzzing. They've just arrived back from a work experience stint in Belgium and feel their international education has just reached another level.

"You really have to think on your toes," says William Smith, 15, fresh from two weeks working in a pharmacy in Li ge. "When you have to work with strangers, in a foreign language, it puts a lot of pressure on, and I think you work better under pressure."

Malcolm McCarthy, 14, worked in a sandwich bar. "It was good to see more of the culture, rather than just learning the language," he says. "At lunchtime it was really busy. I had to make sandwiches, take orders from tables, take plates from the kitchen. They were counting on me."

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