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European exchange hailed a great success


Sussex Downs College has been host to 40 students for the last three weeks from Germany. The students who come from the Leo Von Klenze schule in Bavaria received two weeks Business English with a week’s work placement with local employers.

The exchange is part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, which aims to build a skilled workforce across Europe. The project has been in partnership with the Leonardo da Vinci Mobility Scheme. It is focused on the teaching and training needs of those involved in vocational education and training between Germany and the UK.

The current project encourages young people to experience the differences between the two countries through in-country internships and research on the systems that structure all aspects of life such as social security and taxation, the political and electoral system and the background of the EU.

The students identify similarities and differences on specific topics and complete an assessed presentation of their findings to their class and tutors in England.

The weeklong internship placement is a key part of the project. Stefanie Bartsch (19) an apprentice at Audi in Ingolstadt said: “I was looking forward to seeing the differences and similarities between Germany and the UK. I have enjoyed the whole experience, as I have been able to improve my English and collect new knowledge, which will stay with me for the rest of my life.

"The whole group are proud of their achievements and we would like to thank our hosts and work placements for their help and guidance.”

The interns offer a strong working knowledge of English and bring a wealth of experience to the work placements.

Feedback from the work placements was extremely positive; comments included punctual, professional, polite, fast and accurate. Many of our placements support the scheme year after year and one commented that: “The interns are always very capable and have a strong work ethic.” Paul Nunney, General Manager of the Hailsham Pavilion said: “The students were both great with perfect attitude and excellent English language skills. Our staff and customers were very impressed.”

Sussex Downs College is always looking for new internship work placements. Any organisation interested in having an intern working with them for a week should contact Clare Critchfield on 01323 637238 for further details.

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