A group of foreign students have been made honorary Geordies, taking part in a local language session and emulating Newcastle legends such as Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer by scoring at St James’ Park.
The events were held as part of the city’s welcoming of students from 152 different countries who have come to Newcastle to study. Newcastle is the only city to hold dedicated celebrations for the welcome of its international students.
As part of this, Geordie as a Foreign Language, was held at Grey’s Monument and involved phrases like ‘gan canny’and ‘whey aye man’.
Another group of students from sixteen different countries were given a rapturous cheer from 50,000 Geordies as they took part in a halftime penalty shootout at St James’ Park, where the entire centre circle was decorated with a specially designed welcome flag.
The events were part of Welcome Students of the World, run by Newcastle NE1 Limited, the city’s Business Improvement District, which brought together businesses and people from across Newcastle to celebrate the arrival of students.
The celebrations also included a University Challenge, hosted by Catherine McKinnell MP, and climaxed with a fireworks display at Wylam Brewery attended by Guest of Honour Sunil Kumar, First Secretary and Head of Chancery, High Commission of India in London.
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1, said: “The welcome provided by our city to the thousands of students joining us from 152 nations around the world has been amazing. From the national flags displayed at Central Station and the airport, to on-street events and not least, having the once in a lifetime opportunity to take a penalty at St James’ Park.
“It has been an exciting month for Newcastle, as the city really comes to life during term time, and our international visitors contribute so much in making Newcastle such a vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan city.’’