At the end of 2012 we decided to try and expand our education offering and look at markets abroad. We joined forces with the UKTI team here in the North East and began to develop ways to bring people from abroad to visit Newcastle . Firstly we decided that we could offer a unique cultural and social dimension to learning especially English and we embarked on travelling to two very different market places.
In November we travel to the city of Vilnius in Lithuania. An emerging democratic country in the Balkans where there is an a
appetite for learning and for collaboration with the West and the rest of Europe.Lithuania is an EU member state working towards becoming a member of the Eurozone. We talked to language companies with a view to offering their students activities to learn a little more about the country and its culture from a North East perspective.
We are busy putting together packages for those studying at English language schools in Lithuania to come to the North East and find out a little more. We also talked to people involved in education and to schools and we are looking to find funding to develop a scheme to collaborate educationally at all levels from Primary through to University.
In December we ventured to China, Shanghai to explore the possibilities of bringing people who are studying English to the North East but to also make connections with theatre companies who would like to visit the North East and to also provide cultural and social activities for visiting business people by introducing North East businesses to China through the Newcastle Business Forums. We are busy organising a
visit from a theatre group in Shanghai to Newcastle in August which will involve a variety of enterprises in the North East and we are looking forward to returning to China later in the Spring.
We are also looking to involve partners who are committed to the idea of sharing ideas and collaboration in a global market place. Our first step towards this goal is to set up a Pinterest page which will show people around the world the vast array of cultural and social opportunities that there are here in the North East.
We are developing out online learning resources and we hope this will enable us to connect with people overseas and develop a relationship with them prior to inviting them to come to the North East for short study and cultural events.