CHARITIES and businesses in Whitley Bay have been strengthening their French connections as part of an initiative to broaden the cultural horizons of youngsters from the other side of the English Channel.
Each year, students from Sophie Germain High School in Thionville spend a month in the town as part of an exchange scheme to brush up on their English skills and learn more about North Tyneside.
During the EU-funded visit, students stay with host families and do work placements to find out how business is done abroad.
This year, 11 students spent time with North Tyneside Council, Tyne Tunnel 2, Wallsend’s Tyne Metropolitan College, Age UK, Barnardo’s, FuDa International Trading Company in North Shields and Whitley Bay’s Made to Treasure gift shop, Selling Smiles toy shop and Northumbria School of English.
The French students also took lessons with their British peers at Whitley Bay High School and visited tourist attractions.
Pupil Stephanie Jourdain said: “I love Whitley Bay. The town is very beautiful, and the people are very friendly.”
Christine Goodwin, of Northumbria School of English, said: “The group have been absolutely delightful this year.
“We have all enjoyed hosting or working with them.”
Anyone interested in acting as a host family or business mentor next year can call Christine on (0191) 252 5265.