A DELEGATION of students and teachers from Sunderland’s French twin town Saint Nazaire have been visiting the city’s university and college.
A 36-strong delegation from Saint Nazaire College (Lycée le Masle) sales and marketing course have been in Sunderland to learn more about education and business methods in the city and also to develop their own skills.
The visit is part of developing closer educational links and working relationship between the Lycée and the City of Sunderland City College which began with a similar visit in 2010.
The Saint Nazaire group were invited by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Norma Wright, to a small civic reception in the Mayor’s Parlour to mark the end of their visit.
The delegation of three tutors and 33 students have spent time at Sunderland College, the University of Sunderland’s Business School and at the civic centre.
The links between Sunderland and Saint Nazaire date back to 1953. Recent activities included the European-funded education Comenius Regio programme, which saw a group from three Sunderland schools and the environmental charity Groundwork North East travel to France to work with partners on a two-year project on sustainable education.
Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Norma Wright said: “As a modern university city we pride ourselves on our strong international connections, and our long-standing friendship with Saint Nazaire is one of our most valued.
“During my term of office I have been delighted to meet a number of visitors from our twin town, and hear first hand what this relationship has achieved in terms of strengthening the links between our two communities, creating real benefits for both areas.
“I’m pleased our visitors have taken this opportunity to gain a real insight into life in our city and learn more about our shared heritage, and that we can also share ideas and experiences on how we can continue to develop the partnership.”
Lead teacher from the Saint Nazaire delegation, Marie-Laure Nicolas, said: “It’s been a great experience for our students to spend this time in Sunderland. We have had the opportunity to get to know the city as well as working with colleagues and students from the College and the University. We are delighted with both the quality of the work we have been able to deliver and the warm welcome that we have received.”
One of the students, Thomas Prudhomme, added: “We have really enjoyed our time in Sunderland, both working with our partners as well as getting to know the place and people.
“It has been great to get to know our partner city in England and we are already looking forward to further work together in the future.”