Exchange students depart with Harrogate in their hearts

Visiting French students outside the Royal Hall.
Visiting French students outside the Royal Hall.
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A warm welcome for visiting French students from Harrogate’s twin town has helped cement continental links.

Pupils from Bagnères de Luchon in Southern France were welcomed in to the homes of students from the Associated Sixth Form of St Aidan’s and St John Fisher last week.The visit was part of efforts by the twinning project between Harrogate and Luchon.

Already a treasured memory for many of the pupils it is hoped the exchange will foster links for future generations in the face of Britain’s changing place in Europe.

Chloe Le Boudec said: “The family was amazing, I think they are like real family now, my exchange was a ginger girl like me so everyone said that we are sisters.

“They told me to feel like I was at home and they were so nice, everybody was.

“I feel at home and I do hope that it will feel the same because now I think it is in my heart and it will not change.

“When I think about leaving I know it will be so sad, it has not been the same as my other visits to places like London.

“We have a real link, the first I think out of all of my exchanges, where we have made a real connection.”

Justin Pistre said: “Their kindness has made the week extraordinary, they are so nice and so kind it will be difficult to leave them.”

Alongside visiting landmarks including Fountains Abbey and the Royal Hall the students also received an official welcome from the Mayor of Borough of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown.

Coun Brown said: “It has been a huge pleasure to welcome such a talented and personable group of young people from France.

“I doubt if there has ever been a more important time in our recent history, when international links of this kind are so crucial for our own young people’s futures.”

Harrogate Advertiser Series columnist Dennis Richards, OBE, of the Harrogate-Luchon Twinning Committee said: “This is very high quality link and a model of excellence and I think our links with Europe are going to be vital for future generations and these young people are a first class examples of why we have got to work hard at continuing this.”

If you want to get involved with the twinning link, email: news@harrogateadvertiser.co.uk