International U3A Exchanges
The current situation concerning International U3A Exchanges by Surrey Network will be described here.
The Third Age Trust has been represented on the International Association of U3As (AIUTA) for more than twenty five years and members have been able to attend international conferences in different countries around the world. The numbers who attended have been small, but over the years other activities such as visits, exchanges and twinning have been developed by individuals or U3As. In 2015 the Trust set up its International Committee which intends to build on all these initiatives.
U3As in Surrey have already been involved in exchanges with Japan, Poland, Sweden and Spain. The exchange with Poznan U3A in Poland started in 2013 and is an on-going relationship. In 2018 a group will be travelling to Poznan for four nights in May/June; the date will be decided shortly. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who would be interested in learning more and who might be interested in joining the group. Poznan U3A has about 1200 members and its English Language interest group has about 100 members. All our hosts have a working grasp of English and on previous exchanges we have been helped by having members of the Surrey party who were native Polish speakers.
As well as this Polish link I am aware that the exchange with Spain is likely to continue. In addition I was approached by the President of Mauritius U3A, Armoogum Parsuramen, who set up a twinning and exchange programme between Mauritius and the UK. Ten members were chosen for an exchange trip to Mauritius in February 2017 and we are expecting the return group in August 2018. The UK members came from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Chester plus five members from Surrey U3As; Ashtead, Fetcham, Horley and Horsley.
Ian – 01372 374236