Dignitaries paid a special visit to Hartlepool as two projects in the town were given the seal of approval.
The Lord Lieutenant of Durham, Sue Snowdon, met students and teachers from five countries who have linked up as part of a project linking education to employment.
The UK host of the project is Catcote Academy, in Hartlepool, and they have this week welcomed schools from Italy, Germany, Sweden and Turkey to help students develop their skills.
The Lord Lieutenant, who is the Queen’s representative in County Durham, praised the ‘Erasmus’ project after hearing of the benefits it was bringing.
Paul Sowerby, the lead for computing and online safety at the school, said: “It was brilliant to welcome the Lord Lieutenant and demonstrate the benefits the project has been giving.
“The students have grown so much in confidence over the three years the project has been running.
It was brilliant to welcome the Lord Lieutenant and demonstrate the benefits the project has been giving.Paul Sowerby
“It has been fantastic to see that and also watch them use the skills we have been developing over three years.
“The language barrier has been overcome through great communication skills and being willing to trust in their own abilities.”
The visit of European students to Hartlepool was the sixth such trip involving students working together as part of the project.
In total, it has involved five countries and 99 student exchanges.
Meanwhile, the High Sheriff of Durham, Caroline Peacock and her husband Jonathan, visited Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station as part of a tour of the town.
They were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool, Coun Paul and Mary Beck, before paying tribute to the work of the volunteer lifeboat crew.
Following the tour of the Ferry Road lifeboat station, the High Sheriff said: “It was inspiring to learn about the work of the RNLI volunteers, who launch to around 50 or 60 call outs a year, and I was very impressed by the kit they wear and the training they take part in to save lives at sea.
“It was a most enjoyable visit.”
Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat operations manager Chris Hornsey said: “It was a pleasure to meet the High Sheriff and the Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool, who showed a great deal of interest in the work of the volunteer crew members and the training involved here.
“We hope to welcome them back again in the future.”