The first group of Korean students to enrol at Bournville College have arrived for their summer programme.
The college welcomed 15 students from Kyung Hee University, Seoul – one of the best universities and graduate schools in the South Korean capital - to its Bristol Road South site this week.
The students will be at Bournville College for four weeks on their university’s overseas internship programme, in which they will be studying English and electronics.
Bournville College won the £11,500 contract after links forged by UK Trade & Investment’s commercial team during a market visit to Seoul last December.
The college’s international marketing manager, Anjum Mirza, said: “We met the commercial team and gave a presentation about our business and our courses. They were very enthusiastic about us and really engaged with us, asking lots of questions.
“Shortly afterwards, we received an email from representatives at Kyung Hee University, introducing themselves and explaining that UK Trade & Investment had given our details to them.
“As a direct result of this, we won the business and are looking forward to welcoming our first group of Korean students. We are delighted with the help we have received from UK Trade & Investment, which has made this possible.”
Bournville College was established in 1913, when it was created to support workers at Cadbury’s chocolate factory.
It now employs more than 400 staff, and around 12,000 students enrol on courses at its three sites each year.
In December last year it joined UKTI’s Passport programme – a flagship scheme that gives new exporters the training, planning and ongoing support they need to succeed overseas.
Through Passport, the college is benefiting from a package of support, inclusive of: a free export health check, attending an export workshop, assistance in formulating an international trade strategy and matched funding to help implement this strategy, quality training and mentoring advice, access to the full range of UKTI services and membership of the Midlands World Trade Forum, the regional export club.
The college’s marketing team has also visited Dubai and India with its international trade adviser, Steve Cunnane, to try and recruit more foreign students.
Mr Cunnane, based at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “I have been working with the team at Bournville College for the past couple of years, with a particular focus on the Gulf States and various markets in South Asia.
“Their enthusiasm for developing their international business is considerable. I am looking forward to continuing to work with them and for them possibly to join the business and professional services focused visit to Hong Kong and Shanghai that I am planning for the early part of 2009.”