Scholars into Schools


Working with Durham University, the council’s international relations service arranges a volunteering programme for international students to spend time in local schools.

Examples of possible teaching materials are shown below:

ISV activity handbook

The induction presentation for students is also found below

Scholars into Schools presentation 2016

For further information about the scheme, contact


Guidance on school exchange visits

France 1

Etienne and Clémence, France


Schools have asked for the most up to date guidance when organising school visits to partner schools in other countries. The most recent from the Department for Education states that :

There is no legal obligation for host families to provide an equivalent of DBS checks in Germany or France.  Therefore, before the exchange takes place, it is important for UK schools to work closely with host schools abroad to ensure that the suitability of the families to host has been considered, risk assessments have been carried out and that the hosts are known to the host school.

A review will take place during this school year but in advance of this, schools are encouraged to follow the guidance below which has been produced with ASCL and the British Council


England – Italy: Let’s reduce the distance



Hi everyone, I am Ilaria, I am 18 years old and I come from Italy, more precisely from Padua, a dynamic and vivacious city near Venice. Padua is quite a big city rich in culture, tradition and history. There are lots of places to visit, both in the countryside and in the city. In fact the Southeast is occupied by the “Colli Euganei” (Eugani Hills), with their green valleys and astonishing landscapes. Near the “Colli Euganei” we can find the largest thermal area in Europe, with its “Terme Euganee”, known for their therapeutic waters. Terme Euganee are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Padua. The city centre is full of history, monuments, shops and… students. Yes, in fact Padua is, like Durham, a University town. People from all over Italy and abroad come to Padua to study and find, among many departments the Uni is, the best one for them.

In Padua I attend a language High School called “Pietro Scalcerle”, and I study (as well as normal subjects) 3 foreign languages: English, French and German. I love them! Studying languages opens your mind, makes you discover the culture, history and tradition of a specific place and, most of all, gives you the possibility to travel easily around the world. Thanks to my school I had the chance to travel to France, Australia and England.

Travelling makes you a different person. When you come back you won’t be the same “you” you were before. On the way back, the baggage won’t be only filled by clothes, but it will be an explosion of memories, feelings, experience, joy and a bit of nostalgia.

I arrived here in Durham 3 weeks ago, on the 19th of August and I’m nearly to the end of my experience. Here, I had the possibility to work as an intern at Durham County Council, at the International Office. Here I have met wonderful people, and everyone has been friendly and kind with me and my school mate Massimo (who works with me as well). We have done lots of interesting things here and in the office the time passed very fast.

This experience has given me a lot. I had the chance to improve my language skills, have a work experience abroad and test myself, living for some time far from home. These are the experiences everyone should make at least once in life.

I have spent a beautiful time here in Durham and I hope I will come back in the future.





Hi everyone I’m Massimo

I’m an Italian student from Padua and I’m working here in Durham with Ilaria in the International office at County Council Hall.

 In Italy I’ll attend the 5th year in a language school called “Pietro Scalcerle” located in the suburb of Padua. There I learn English, Spanish and German and in the future I hope to extend the number of languages that I know.

 I arrived here in Durham on the 19th of August and I was really excited, because it was my first time in England.

 I immediately understood that I would have loved this city, because of its colourful and peaceful landscape. Something that I admire of Durham is the friendly people and also pubs. I love the atmosphere inside pubs, with a tasty beer and good music. Unfortunately we are here in August, which is holiday period for the Durham University, so sometimes the city is quite empty, but it’s not a problem, because you can have an awesome walk in the peaceful countryside.

 My experiences are not only in Durham. In fact I visited a lot of cities around here. I went to Newcastle, Bishop Auckland, York (lovely view from the top of the cathedral) and to South Shields where I had an energetic bath in the cold water of the North Sea.

 The main experience is here at work, where I’m laying the foundations of my possible future. Here I’m not only using new computer programmes, writing accounts and power points and packing envelopment. Here I’m entering the world of work doing what I like: speak languages. In fact I had to work in English, of course, but also in German. Who did know that I had to work so much in German?

 To sum up everything that I said surely this experience will be constructive for my language’s skills, but mostly for me as a person.

 I hope I didn’t bored you and who knows if I will have the possibility to come back to Durham.

 Bye bye from Massimo


Ilaria & Massimo

Durham, 08/09/2017