St Declan's College

"Best Friends for a Day"

An educational Swedish series
"Best Friends for a Day"

A day in St Declan's College shared with a Swedish student

On Friday 24 September 2021, a Swedish film crew along with producer Johannes Sandreyo visited St Declan's College to work on an educational film for the series "Best Friends for a Day".

The series is being produced by one of the major broadcast public service companies in Sweden:, an institution for educational media comparable to the UK´s counterpart  BBC Learning or BBC Bitesize. “Best Friends for a Day” will be aired on national television and distributed as educational media to schools all over Sweden.  

The premise of the show is simple: The film crew follow an enthusiastic Swedish teenager to Ireland where he befriends an English-speaking local peer for a couple of days, and together they do all the things the local teenager would normally do with his real-life best friends (everything from school to leisure activities). The main purpose of the series is for young people in Sweden to develop their English communication skills through the real-life events teenagers face in the show. Simply an exciting way for Swedish viewers to learn how young people live and communicates in various English speaking countries.    

Below is an account of the filming experience by Jamie Carrick (5 Breandán) who stars in the series alongside his Swedish counterpart Bartek.

"On Wednesday 22 September 2021, I started a new experience. I was visited by a guest from Sweden as part of a TV show for the Swedish Broadcasting Service (UR.SE) in which a Swedish teenager takes a trip to an English-speaking country, such as Ireland, and looks at how the people of that country live, socialise and go about their daily lives. I was the lucky candidate chosen to be visited by the Swedish teenager.

The teenager, Bartek, came over and stayed with me for three days, doing what I do and experiencing what I experience. Along with a three-man crew, we went about my usual life that I live in Dublin. To begin with, Bartek stayed at my house. He ate with my family, made breakfast in the morning and drank traditional breakfast tea. He joined in on the morning reality of my household. As well as live with me, Bartek took part in various activities that Irish teenagers do, one of which was Gaelic football. On a visit to my local GAA club, St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh, the team explained the rules of the game to Bartek and organised themselves into a match. He was well able to grasp the game, pinging shots over the bar or into the back of the net one after another.

We also went into the city center, where we walked about the streets of Temple Bar and made a dip into a vintage shop which I frequent quite a bit. There we tried on all styles of clothing some of which differed from Bartek’s usual attire but that was all part of the fun. The last stop we made was the most important, my very own St. Declan’s College.

That Friday morning, Bartek and I got up and I gave Bartek his own uniform, including the school tie. We made our way by bus to school where we were welcomed by Ms O’Reilly. Bartek sat in on one of my Politics and Society classes, which isn’t something studied in Swedish schools. In the class, we discussed Gender, which Bartek got really involved in. Mr. Rickard did a great job of answering any questions he had and gave a very informative lesson to our new student.

The whole experience was very exciting and something which doesn’t happen to many people. For a random boy from a different country to come and be your shadow for a few days was definitely something different but it was an enjoyable time all the same." - Jamie Carrick


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