Last month, Reading College and the Technology Faculty welcomed a group engineering students from Lycee Saint Eloi in Aix en Provence, France, as part of a robotics collaboration for British Science Week, thanks to the Charles de Gaulle Fund.
The trip was the conclusion of an exciting robotics collaboration that saw both sets of college students experiencing life in a different country, with the Reading students having completed their visit in November last year.
During their visits, young people were able to experience French culture and language. Te programme also gave educators opportunities to learn from different education practices, leading to improvements in learning outcomes for young people.
The French students and teachers all stayed with host families, mainly the parents of our engineering students. They also got to experience some staple British food with their host family, including apple crumble, which was a particular treat.
For British Science Week, both colleges worked in Anglo-French combined teams to build robots which competed in a robot race which took place on the final day.
During their ten day stay in the UK, French students and staff visited a number of key places, including the BMW MINI Plant in Oxford to discover more about the production process of one of the world’s biggest car makers. The students also took a trip into London, taking in iconic sights such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.
Our French guests concluded their stay by delivering a presentation to Reading college students about the highlights of their visit - in perfect English.
As a reward for their hard work, Technology Faculty Manager David Dickins presented the college with a Reading Football Club shirt, which was signed by all the members of the technology department.
The collaboration has been such a success that plans are in the works to repeat the exchange again for the next academic year. A big thank you to the staff and students of Lycee Saint Eloi college for making the experience one to remember for a long time.
The Charles De Gaulle Fund is for learners aged 17 to 19 and allows colleges or schools the ability to visit a French partner school and experience French culture. The visits also give students the chance to prove to future educators and employers that they are globally-minded, committed and dedicated young people.