MORE than 100 people came together at Leamington College to celebrate the close of a programme for students from Brazil.
College group WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) has hosted 46 students from the north-east state of Paraiba since January – with families across the county taking the students into their homes as part of the international education programme.
Staff, students and host families were all invited to an awards evening at the college in Leamington with around 130 people joining the celebrations.
The programme was run in partnership with Education Together UK through WCG’s higher education arm Warwickshire College and University Centre.
The Connect the World programme is funded by the government of Paraiba and aims to encourage the internationalisation of the states and the growth of its prosperity through international exchange initiatives for students and staff from state schools.
It saw students undertake English language lessons and then a tailored learning programme to each student. The students were also given work experience opportunities at the college and with organisations around the region.
They were treated to a range of day trips to London, Oxford, Warwick, Stratford and more to learn about UK culture.
Anna Beatriz Silva Costa, 17, was one of the students involved in the programme.
She said: “I’m in love with England. The teachers and everyone have been so amazing, they made our experience really special. I’ve made some amazing friends and the whole experience has been magical.
“I stayed with a family in Cubbington while I was here and they were so welcoming. In Brazil I’m studying to be a nurse, but I’m hoping to get into medical school as I want to be a doctor and learning English helps me a lot with that.”
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, was joined by Leamington Mayor Coun Nick Wilkins to present students with trophies in recognition of their time studying in Warwickshire.
Angela said: “If all the young people in Brazil are like these students then the future is very bright for the country. The students brought incredible energy to our colleges, embraced every opportunity, and leave us with a range of new skills which will help them to thrive in the next step in their education or careers.
“We would like to thank every host family for their support and helping to create a wonderful cultural experience for the students during their time with us.”