Posted on 10th May 2024
Paderborn “Where it all began”


It all started with a letter in 1973, when the council of Paderborn reached out, open armed, to Bolton in hopes of becoming twinned cities. 2 years and 2 twinning ceremonies later, Bolton (the biggest town in Europe) solidified its union with Paderborn (the city with the biggest heart).

Over the span of more than a decade, the Anderton Centre has worked closely with Paderborn-Elsen High School. We take pride in our international connections. It is a great opportunity to learn about one another’s cultures, and to teach the Paderborners how to speak our ‘proper English’ (or Lanky Twang as we like to call it). In exchange, the Paderborn group motivate, energise, and humble us with their dedication and growth to their work experience and how they adapt and flourish in a new country with new surroundings and unfamiliar cultural idiosyncrasies.

Each year, students from Paderborn have the opportunity to work in an exciting range of roles in and around the community. In March, two students worked at the university’s IT Department, at Royal Bolton Hospital, in a gym, a museum, in primary schools, at Bolton FM, and one student even worked alongside the mayor and Labour and Conservative councillors of Bolton.

Work experience, or Praktikum as it is called in German, is undoubtedly important when it comes to giving students a taste of the working world. It can help to relieve the shock of this transition seven-fold. It can also provide a clearer understanding of what career paths they may want to pursue; what works for them, what doesn’t, and ultimately what they want to get out of it.

At the end of their week here, the students all gave presentations, and they did an amazing job. All their managers and supervisors were there to cheer them on, and there was plenty of balloons, food, and flags falling off the wall from being hastily sellotaped together. We congratulate all those who battled with nerves, and they did an exceptional job considering that for many this was their first time not only speaking publicly to such a large crowd, but in their second language as well!

As the herd of taxis came to pick them up outside of reception that fateful Friday, you could not say that they didn’t leave changed for the better.