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NCL Turing scheme Niagara College exchange

Students have arrived home after enjoying NCL’s (@NCLanarkshire) first foreign exchange trip organised as part of the Turing Scheme, the UK’s new international student mobility programme.

The group of seven students – five from Travel & Tourism and two from Hospitality courses – travelled to Canada on 17th July for a two-week visit to NCL’s partner institution, Niagara College, staying with host families in the local area. The students were accompanied by two members of staff, Derek Steven and Evelyne Waters.

The group took part in a range of activities arranged by their host college, including classroom assignments, practical skills, employer visits and cultural trips. They also got the chance to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls, where they took a boat trip on the Maid of the Mist, which allows visitors to get up close to the impressive waterfalls. On their final day, the students took part in a graduation celebration event.

Julie Cuzen, who studies Travel & Tourism at NCL said: “From start to finish, the trip was exciting, fun, professional and nothing short of perfection. I made new friends, new family and I even made connections for when I graduate college and pursue my future career in hotel management. Every single trip, activity and tour was planned and delivered perfectly. My homestay family were absolutely amazing and are now a very big part of my life!

“I would like to say a huge thank you to New College Lanarkshire and Niagara College for making this possible. You have provided me with memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Travel & Tourism student James Rodger added: “It was an amazing trip – everyone was so friendly, and it was the experience of a lifetime.”

The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training. Named after mathematician and Second World War code breaker Alan Turing, it replaces the UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ student mobility programme following Brexit.

NCL signed a partnership agreement with Niagara College in Ontario in 2021. As well as giving students the opportunity to visit Canada, the partnership also allows students and staff to benefit from best practices in Canada’s applied education system, with a particular focus on sustainability.

Hazel Scott, International Activities Manager at New College Lanarkshire said: “The students who took part in the visit are a great bunch and they fully embraced the experience.  Even though they’re from two different departments, they gelled really well and have been a great support to each other. As they were staying with host families, the students used public transport to travel to and from the Niagara College campus each day, which has also built their confidence.  They sent us daily updates and lots of photographs of their experiences and the sights that they’ve visited, which we all enjoyed seeing. We hope this will be the first of many international trips that NCL students can benefit from through the Turing Scheme.

“We are looking forward to welcoming staff from Niagara College to NCL for a visit this autumn, and we hope to be able to offer similar opportunities to our students during the next academic year.”

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