Young Scot at the European Youth Event
The Scottish delegation at the 2018 European Youth Event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. ©

British Council Scotland

Here at British Council Scotland we have recovered from the festivities and we’re feeling refreshed and excited for the year ahead. But before we dive into what 2019 has to offer, we wanted to take a look back at one of our most exciting projects of last year.

As many of you will know, 2018 was Scotland’s Year of Young People. Across the country, businesses, charities, arts organisations and educational institutions came together to celebrate the talents and voices of young people in Scotland.

As the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, we too recognised the value of that special year. With so much of our work dedicated to opening up international opportunities for young people across Scotland, we knew we could contribute by providing an international focus to the year.

Working in partnership with Young Scot, we delivered a digital engagement campaign called GlobeScotters, which aimed to encourage young people to embrace international opportunities and engage with other cultures. We also partnered with other organisations to provide meaningful international experiences and knowledge exchanges for young Scots. 

Our Highlights

  1. The launch of GlobeScotters

The GlobeScotters campaign was the first of its kind for the British Council, so its launch in June was an exciting time. Over the next six months, the campaign used articles, interviews, competitions and surveys to promote the benefits of international experience for young people’s social lives, education and career prospects

2. The European Youth Event

Also in June, four members of Young Scot’s Communic18 group attended a British Council Scotland-funded trip to the European Youth Event at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. While there, they presented their own workshop on the Year of Young People to their European peers. Saoirse Docherty, who worked on our YoYP involvement, joined them. You can read her reflections of the trip here

3. The British Council Nature Writing Seminar

Next, we sent a group of young, Scotland-based writers to attend the British Council Nature Writing Seminar with Robert Macfarlane in Munich, Germany. The theme of the workshop was the borderless phenomenon of the Anthropocene. Maria Sledmere, one of the writers selected for the trip, tells of her experience in this blog post.

4. Community Jobs Scotland International Trips

Working with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, we provided funding for three groups of Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) staff to take up international experiences. Two youth workers from Callander Youth Project flew to Washington D.C to learn about social enterprise D.C Central Kitchens. You can read our interview with Zara and Eilidh here

Then in November, CJS employees Jack and Sarah travelled to Ghana where they visited Sandabbi School and the organisation CHANCE for Africa to learn about youth work overseas. Finally, Callum, a Navigator for Glasgow-based Braveheart Industries, visited Homeboy Industries in LA where he shadowed the mentoring staff for four days.

5. WoW Festival in Rio de Janeiro

Most recently, we joined forces with Glasgow Women’s Library to send a young, female, Scotland-based artist to the Women of the World (WoW) Festival in Rio de Janeiro with a British Council Scotland delegation. The successful applicant, Emily Beaney, is a community artist who explores themes of equality and female relationships in her wearable art. You can read Emily’s reflections of the trip in this wonderful blog post.

What’s next?

Although the Year is officially over, we are determined that the focus we have placed on young people will continue into the future. We are currently compiling a report of our YoYP activities, which we hope will provide recommendations for developing more international experiences for young people. Watch this space!

In the meantime, you can still visit the GlobeScotters site. For more information on the international opportunities we have available in 2019, take a look at our Study Work Abroad page