German Exchange students praise Oldham College and students
Throughout April and May 2017 Oldham College has been delighted to welcome 7 students aged 17-21, who joined us all the way from BK GuT vocational college in Aachen, Germany.
Seda Henke, Florentine Simons, and Paula Zuiderduin (all design students) and Jens Dennigmann, Dennis Wendt, Marius Topham, and Nadine Fritzen (all IT students) have taken part in timetabled classes and got to experience a whole range of activities which they have thoroughly enjoyed.
Paula explains: “We have really liked our time at Oldham College. There are lots of things that are better than what we have back home. Here we get to take part in classes with different themes. There are lots of opportunities. We have done sewing, printing, fashion and design. At home we work mostly with computers doing more digital based work, which we like, but there is more variety here.”
Marius adds: “The students have been very nice. They have made so much effort to get to know us and include us in the things they do. A number of them have taken us out in to Oldham which we really enjoyed. I like to visit different cities and see their history and there is so much history here in Oldham. Part of it reminds of me Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films with all the cobbles and old town feel.”
The students are split between accommodation in Manchester and Chadderton, coming in to the college every day and visiting Manchester and Oldham of an evening. “We have spent a lot of time in the Northern Quarter and have been to see the Gay Village and Chinatown” says Seda. “Manchester is a lovely city and we’re glad we have been given the chance to visit here and meet new people.”
The students are completing vocational courses and apprenticeships back home and part of their courses include a 3 week placement in colleges abroad in addition to work experience and classes. Jo Manship, Head of Faculty for Digital & Creative at Oldham College explains: “A number of staff from BK GuT vocational college came to visit us just over a year ago. They wanted to see what vocational education looked like in the UK and we were happy to invite them in to see us. They loved what they saw and felt that their students would really benefit from studying with us and experiencing life in Greater Manchester. We’ve honestly had a great time with their students. They have been so keen to take part in as much as they can and they integrated really well with our own students straight away. Hopefully we will be sending some of our own students over to Aachen in the future.”
During their time here, the design students have been working on projects that will be displayed in our end of year exhibition in June. Florentine explains: “We have been looking at the issue of equality, British values and how to portray messages. I have been putting together a postcard collection and sewing my drawings on to materials to display. Paula is making a colourful statement bag with the words ‘Love has no gender’ and Seda is making a cushion that says ‘We are all equal’. Jo has promised to send us photos of our work when it goes on display next month.”
The IT students have been working with the college’s hardware and networking teams dismantling computers, looking at cyber security and much more. Dennis says: “There is different equipment for us to work on here and we have enjoyed being able to use this very much. The facilities are excellent too and we’re getting to experience so much.”
The students have also been writing blogs which will appear online and be shared with fellow students back in Germany.
Christiane Schweres, a tutor at BK GuT contacted Jo Manship to say how thrilled she was with feedback from her students. “I've received very excited and happy reports and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Oldham College for making our students so welcome and helping to plan this visit.”