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Greg Dorey


Part of UK in Hungary

6th June 2011

Connecting Classrooms Ambassadors

I spent early Friday at the Hungarian-Chinese bilingual School of Budapest. They, together with 9 other schools, were participating in a “Connecting Classrooms” Festival event at the end of this academic year. Connecting Classrooms is a British Council global project which aims to build lasting partnerships between schools in the UK and others around the world. Through these partnerships, the programme develops trust and understanding between young people in different societies, creating a safer and more connected world for the future. (And you can read more about it at http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-connecting-classrooms.htm.)

Chinese School

Aside from the students and teachers and the Council, the Hungarian Commissioner for Educational Rights; trainers and sponsors of the Young Leaders training MOBILITÁS (administering the European Commission’s Youth in Action program); and the Council’s educational partner Mérei Institute were participating. So about 150 people.

I couldn’t stay for the whole day, unfortunately. But after some wonderful entertainment (costumes, music and dance) I spoke to the students in Hungarian about my role as an Ambassador for the UK and about what an Ambassador needs to do to represent his or her home country. This was because the Connecting Classrooms schools in Hungary will need to select a Student Ambassador in September who will represent Hungary in international events. Hopefully I excited the students about what this means! But I hope too that I made it clear that although I may be the most visible member of the British Embassy in Budapest from the outside, I rely on an excellent team to deliver my responsibilities – just as the Hungarian student Ambassador will be relying on all of his or her fellow-students.

The enthusiasm of the students was infectious. I was sorry when I had to leave. Connecting Classrooms is a truly inspiring programme. But I was also struck by the diversity and creativity that can be found in some Hungarian schools – certainly those participating in this Festival.