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Creative college students leading the way in new Oxford-Wrocław city link

8th Mar 2019

A group of students and lecturers from Abingdon and Witney College’s creative department recently visited Oxford’s partner city of Wrocław for a new cultural exchange programme.

Staff and students from the College were treated to a range of cultural tours and workshops, school visits, and insights into the city’s creative industry.

Using their creative and practical skills over three action-packed days, they took part in photography workshops, presented the news, went live on the local university radio and visited the Depot History Centre, a modern form of exhibition on the post-war history of Wrocław.

Some of the workshops were held in the city library, significant for the fact that Wrocław and Oxford plan to implement cooperation projects between libraries in both cities.

The College had hosted over 40 Polish schoolchildren back in December 2018, in what was the first interaction between the two cities since the link was established last year.

They returned the welcome by hosting the College at their school, Niepubliczna Szkoła Podstawowa Montessori, whereupon the College students were shown the highlights of the Maria Montessori philosophy, taught some useful Polish phrases and treated to doughnuts!

Kevin Howick, Curriculum Manager for Media, Games, Performance & Production said:

“Our students and staff were taken back by the warm welcome we had at every site we visited in Wrocław. I cannot thank the people of Wrocław enough for the hospitality, friendliness, warmth and helpfulness that they showed us throughout our stay.

Not only did this visit help develop our students’ subject specific skills, but it has also heightened their historical and cultural awareness of the area and the city, which many of our students did not even know of, or like me were even able to pronounce the city’s name prior to the visit!

We’re really looking forward to visiting again.”

The co-organizers of the visit were schoolteacher Jolanta Ziemba, Bring Teaching to Life and the Office for Foreign Co-operation of the Wrocław City Council.

An article on the students’ visit has also featured on the city’s official website.

A revisit is already being planned, along with several other collaborative projects such as guest lectures and fellowship programmes, with a focus on intercultural education cooperation between Wrocław and Oxford universities.

Other areas of cooperation include environmental protection, local entrepreneurship, culture and sport, with attempts to organize an eagerly anticipated rowing competition between the two cities.

(March 2019)