New students warmly welcomed to Stockton-on-Tees
Durham University International Study Centre's first students have arrived in Stockton-on-Tees ready to start their studies.
And to help the 450-strong intake get to know all the good things their new home has to offer, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has been working with the University and partners to organise a range of welcome tours and activities.
From shops, eateries and events in Stockton town centre to thrill-seeking adventure at Air Trail Tees Barrage, plus Yarm's historic High Street and Preston Park Museum and Grounds, the students were given the opportunity to visit the landmarks and find out more about the Borough's amenities, heritage and culture.
During the tour of Stockton town centre they stopped at the Town Hall where they were officially welcomed to the Borough by the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Maurice Perry and Mayoress Mrs Laraine Perry.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "We're delighted to welcome the first intake of students and hope that they enjoy their time here. Having so many international students here year-round is a major boost for us, as are the visiting family members they will bring with them.
"The Borough is a great place to live and the tours have given the students a flavour of where they can shop, eat and have fun whilst studying. We certainly had a great response from local businesses, who were delighted to welcome them during the tours."
One of the businesses to benefit was Who-Ray, the award-winning gift shop on Stockton's Silver Street.
Owner, Martin Shipley, said: "We had a really busy day. The students were very friendly and very polite, and we've already had some of them returning for a second look with their families.
"They are really enjoying it here and are quite excited by the 'Britishness' of it all. They were liking the quirkiness of Stockton so I think they're going to love our Kapow sci-fi festival next year."
Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Durham University, added: "The opening of the Durham University International Study Centre is a key moment in our development. We are proud of what the ISC will offer, proud of our investment in Stockton-on-Tees and we are pleased to welcome the first cohort of students."
The International Study Centre, which is based at the University's Queen's Campus, will prepare the non-EU students for entry onto Durham University undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes.