German exchange students from Hillingdon's twin town Schleswig joined their counterparts from Uxbridge College at a reception with the borough's Mayor, Councillor Mary O'Connor.Exchange students from Hillingdon’s twin town Schleswig joined their counterparts from Uxbridge College at a reception hosted by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Mary O’Connor as part of a ten day exchange.The lunch was part of the

German_group_400_IMG_4564German exchange students from Hillingdon's twin town Schleswig joined their counterparts from Uxbridge College at a reception with the borough's Mayor, Councillor Mary O'Connor.Exchange students from Hillingdon’s twin town Schleswig joined their counterparts from Uxbridge College at a reception hosted by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Mary O’Connor as part of a ten day exchange.

The lunch was part of the German students’ visit, which included them accompanying their exchange partners to classes in subjects they are studying at home. The areas being covered are Engineering, Business and Health & Social Care, and the Uxbridge College students will go to Germany next year. Day trips were also arranged, including to central London and Neasden temple.

The German day at college is quite different to in the UK – there, students start at 7.40am and most classes are finished by 2.30pm. At Uxbridge College classes start at 9am and continue into the evening for part-time learners. German students have lecture-style classes and do less project work, and a greater proportion of students do apprenticeships.

Councillor Mary O’Connor, The Mayor of Hillingdon, said: “It’s been delightful to welcome these young people from the borough’s twin town Schleswig along with those from Uxbridge College. This exchange programme is a wonderful opportunity for our students and those from Germany to share their experiences of education, and get a feel for what it’s like learning and living in another country.”

Zafar Khan, who led the exchange at Uxbridge College where he is Head of Engineering, said: “It’s been a great pleasure to welcome the staff and students from Germany and we have worked to ensure that they experience the best of British education, hospitality and friendship - and I am confident that we have succeeded.

“Each of the German students are following their exchange partner’s timetable and experiencing what our students do on a daily basis.  The German students have been fantastic - well behaved, polite and getting involved with the activities including one specially organised for them by the Electronics team.

“It’s been a privilege having them here and I hope that we can develop this relationship to enhance the experience of students from both countries for the future.”

Detlef van den Bergh, Head of Business Department at Berufsbildungszentrum Schleswig, said: “We have had a very warm welcome and the students have had an exciting and interesting experience at Uxbridge College.

“As well as improving their English, they have gained an insight into the UK’s education system, and experienced a much more multi-cultural society than they are used to, which they have very much enjoyed.

“Our students were also impressed with the facilities here such as smart boards, the fitness centre and the learning resource centre. The College also offers very good personal support and learning support to students.
“We are looking forward to the English students coming to Germany next year.”

The exchange programme has been funded through the British Council on a scheme known as the Comenius initiative. It is the first time vocational schools or colleges in the twin towns have taken part in an exchange.

The programme enables students to improve their language skills, gain an insight into education in another country, and broaden their cultural and social horizons.

As well as being twinned with Schleswig, Hillingdon is also partnered with the French town of Mantes-la-Jolie.

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