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The Durham Global Alliance welcome event

When you are a new international student in town, you would want to grab every opportunity that might lead to some good networking, be it casual parties or a more formal event. One such formal event was the Durham Global Alliance (DGA), an event to welcome international students to Durham County. Let’s take a sneak peek into how it went.

The Town Hall

This event took place on a Saturday at Durham Town Hall, this was built in the 14th century and is not to be confused with the County Hall, I often get confused! This must have been the oldest ever building that I’ve entered, and is situated in the heart of the bustling city. It has gothic-style architecture, with huge portraits of the past Mayor’s of Durham County hung on the walls. From an international student’s perspective, the entire feel of the building had an antique and royal touch to it. Amongst the many that caught my eye, was a beautiful stained-glass window at the end of the hall, called the West Window. I can imagine the sun glistening through this window would highlight the picturesque view of the monarchy, cathedral, and the people (weather was typically British that day). Every part of the window depicts a story concerning the Prince Bishop, Durham Cathedral and Durham’s loyalty to the crown.

Some of the portraits hung in the Town Hall
The West Window

The event

The DGA event was headed by the Mayor, Councillor, Chairman, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and international student representatives. The Mayor and his bodyguards had their traditional robes on, depicting how much they value their rich culture. I’ve been told the mayoral robes are handmade from wool and looking at them dressed in such traditional attire gave a regal touch to the whole event.

The Mayor started by giving us a warm welcome and his talk about County Durham and its history indicated how proud he is of the county and its culture. Needless to say, Durham has been nominated as the UK’s City of Culture for the year 2025, which was mentioned in the Pro-Vice-Chancellor talk that followed, he called it the 2025 campaign and I personally think Durham truly deserves to win this campaign. Later, they launched the DGA logo designed by a student from New College, Durham (not one of the 17 colleges at the university but a further education college nearby). This was followed by the presentation slides of all culturally important places to visit in and around Durham and one place that I was fascinated by was Beamish Living Museum of the North. Here, not only is the architectural history recreated, the costume and their lifestyle are bought to life, to provide a realistic feel of the 19th and 20th centuries, this sounds like a must visit! The event culminated with some tea/coffee, scones and signing of the DGA Pledge (all participants in the event got to sign it, check out the pic here). Then followed a walking city tour.

The city tour

This guided walking tour of the city commenced from the Town Hall and a walk up to the Cathedral. We were a small group of around 12 (I think!) led by the guide. The tour guide mostly explained the history of St Cuthbert, the origin of Dunholm house, the former exchequer building (this is now the Palace Green Library), the Castle, Bishop Cosins Library and walking around the Cathedral, all these buildings are located on Palace Green.

Palace Green Library MA Student Exhibiton
Palace Green Library

My expectation from this event was to interface with other students from varied backgrounds and to learn about the history of Durham, its significance in the Northeast and its grandeur.  Happy to have done both. Durham and its people no longer feel unfamiliar and the realisation of how big culturally the city really is dawned upon me.

Discover more

Visit the Durham Global Alliance website

Download our latest prospectus here

Follow our students on Instagram and YouTube.

Aishwarya Srinivasan

Hi, I am Aishwarya a.k.a. Aishu, from India, and I just began my MSc. Accounting at Durham University Business School (DUBS). By profession, I'm a CPA (United States). I'm also a trained classical dancer with a flair for event management. I love to write poems in my native language and am known to be creative among friends.
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