GERMAN BUSINESS STUDENTS visited Sunderland to learn more about the city, its economy and culture.

A delegation of 25 students and two teachers from Theodore Heuss Gymnasium business school in Sunderland’s German twin city of Essen, spent a week in the city.

The aim of the educational and cultural exchange was for the students to join their English counterparts in business studies classes at Sunderland College, improve their language skills, and take part in a series of activities with highlights including a tour of Nissan and a visit to the Stadium of Light.

During their visit to the stadium the students met the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, and members of Sunderland City Council’s International Team who arranged the exchange with Essen.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “Maintaining the strong links we have developed over the years with our European and International partners is vital to the future of our city.

“We are always delighted to welcome visitors from our partner communities, and to continue to work together to generate economic, educational and cultural benefits through these important relationships.

“Exchanging ideas and experience, and learning from different approaches, is key for all of us.”

Tim Field, Curriculum Manager, Business & Professional for Sunderland College said: “It was wonderful to welcome Business students from Essen and share a week of activities and visits to local areas of interest such as the Stadium of Light and Beamish. It was a fantastic opportunity for the young people from Essen to visit Nissan.

“The exchange was a great success, particularly when the Sunderland and Essen students shared presentations about cultural influences on businesses – which will be a great help to each of them in extending their knowledge of international business relations.

“It was a real pleasure to spend time with students from another country who are studying the same subject area and to exchange ideas and views on current business news and trends.

“All the students were a credit to their respective colleges and we would like to see these links developed and strengthened in the future.“

Annika Mecking, Lecturer from Theodore Heuss Gymnasium added: “The first visit of Essen/THG students at Sunderland College was a very precious experience on all levels.
“We received a very warm welcome from the Sunderland students and staff, and delivering and sharing presentations on ‘Cultural Factors in International Business’ offered interesting insights into many similarities and few differences within international business culture.

“Coming from an industrialised region ourselves we also enjoyed a guided tour through the Nissan car plant learning about day-to-day operations and technological processes involved.”

Annika added: “We envision establishing a long-term partnership under as part of the relationship between the two twin cities of Sunderland and Essen based on business and culture related projects, and our very next step will be of course to invite and welcome the Sunderland students and staff to Essen.”

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