Aberdeen Pupils Set to Engage with its Twin Cities

Secondary school pupils from across Aberdeen are preparing to travel to two of Aberdeen’s twin cities. As part of two separate twin city youth exchange visits, one group of pupils will travel to Regensburg in Germany to attend the Regensburg Youth Forum and another group will travel to a summer camp in France to be joined by pupils from Clermont-Ferrand and Regensburg. Both exchange trips are partly funded by Aberdeen City Council’s International Twinning Budget.

Six S5-S6 pupils from the city’s Hazlehead Academy will be attending the Regensburg Youth Forum from 31st July to 6th August along with Aberdeen’s Lord Provost George Adam. The invite was received from the Mayor of Regensburg inviting six young people from each of their twin cities to attend the youth forum. Aberdeen has been twinned with the city of Regensburg since the agreement was signed in 1955.

Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam will attend the forum to support the Aberdeen participants as they give a presentation about their home city as well as learning about the other cities in attendance and discussing ideas for future cooperation.

Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam said “These exchange visits to both Germany and France provide excellent platforms for young people to experience different cultures and traditions and make new friends in other countries. I am very much looking forward to attending the Youth Forum in Regensburg and I’m sure all the Aberdeen pupils involved in both exchange visits will be outstanding ambassadors for our city. These visits will further strengthen Aberdeen’s relationship with our twin cities.”

The aim of the forum is for young people to share experiences and ‘find solutions for a better tomorrow’. As well as the Aberdeen pupils, there will also be participants from Clermont-Ferrand (France), Brixen (Italy), Qingdao (China), Odessa (Ukraine), Pilsen and Budvar (Czech Republic).

In a similar exchange, ten S3-S5 pupils from across Aberdeen will spend two weeks at a summer camp in France from 1st – 13th August along with pupils from Clermont-Ferrand and Regensburg.

The pupils from Bucksburn Academy, Northfield Academy, Hazlehead Academy, St Machar Academy and Aberdeen Grammar School were invited following an initiative started by the Deputy Mayor of Clermont-Ferrand. The programme of activities includes outdoor pursuits such as surfing, fishing and a football tournament as well as intercultural days when participants will share cultural traditions from their home cities.

As part of the Aberdeen pupil’s ‘Scottish Day’, they plan to demonstrate highland dancing, have tasting sessions of some of our local delicacies and host a mini highland games and ceilidh.

If successful, the camping exchange trip could lead to Aberdeen City Council working in collaboration with partners to identify various funding streams in order to support a similar reciprocal project in Aberdeen next year. This would further enhance the twinning relationship between Aberdeen and Clermont-Ferrand who have been twinned since 1983.

The exchange visits are two of many projects partly funded by the International Twinning Budget – grant money to help support Aberdeen City groups or organisations in twin city projects and exchanges. The money for the budget comes from the Common Good Fund and applications must meet set criteria.