Pictured above (L to R): English Language Tutor Sally Ellis with international students Jeffrey Siu Fung Lee (Hong Kong), Lukas Vanhoucke (Belgium), Emma Moengaard Smith (Denmark), Beth Snegir (Russia), Gianmaria Bottino (Italy), Leona Shiyu Xu (China) and International Administrative Manager Helen Mair

College Welcomes Global Visitors

Sat, 2001-09-29 01:00

A Durham-based college had a truly international flavour as a group of students flew in from China, Hong Kong, Italy, Denmark, Russia and Belgium to improve their English before starting at one of the region’s top independent schools.

Durham Education Group’s latest venture saw the group of 6 students take part in a one-week English Language and Culture Summer programme, a short course specifically designed for international students aged from 13 to 18.

The joint initiative between East Durham College and Durham School saw the students take part in the intensive course before taking up their studies at Durham School. 

Helen Mair, International Administrative Manager with Durham Education Group, said: “It was a great opportunity for the students to improve their English language skills and for everyone to acclimatise to life in the UK before moving on to their formal studies at Durham School.”

Morning English classes were held at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, near Durham City, before a variety of fun afternoon trips and activities including boxercise, badminton, flower arranging and cake decorating.

“During the week the group visited the College’s Farm and Small Animal Unit, and were lucky enough to meet Phil Niall who gave us an impromptu falconry display,” said Helen.

Students were able to ‘hold’ a Harris Hawk and an owl; a few brave students also handled a tarantula and a python.

There was also a day trip to York which included visits to the Jorvik Centre, York Minster and the National Railway Museum. Afternoon trips included Newcastle’s excellent Great North Museum, Chinatown, Grainger market and, of course, the retail heaven that is Northumberland Street.

All the students said how much they had enjoyed improving their English on the course; getting to make new friends and taking part in the exciting trips and activities. International student Beth Snegir, 14, from Russia, pictured left, said: “I am half English, but I have found the classes very interesting and helpful.”  

Fellow student Jeffrey Lee, 18, from Hong Kong, added: “I feel that my confidence has really improved.” The final day of the programme saw the students treated to a delicious afternoon tea at Durham School and receive their completion certificates from proud Headmaster Mr George.   

Mr George said: “On behalf of the School I would like to wish all of the students every success in their studies here. I’d also like to congratulate everyone who played a part in ensuring that the course was such a fantastic success.”