2022 was a fantastic year for the Social and Cultural Programme at NILE.  

Our courses kicked off with warm welcomes at a local pub, followed by guided walking tours of Norwich with Cheryl Cade, weekend excursions to places such as Cambridge, the Norfolk coast and London, and finished with traditional cream teas to say a fond ‘till next time’ - and that’s before we get on to the weekday events!

What were some event highlights from 2022?

  • The low-key chaos of Ceilidh dancing to the instruction of the caller whilst keeping in time with the live music! It was an evening of missteps and belly laughs, and all with the backdrop of Norwich’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. 
  • The party atmosphere of NILE’s Got Talent, with teachers from France, Spain and many other countries, performing their nations’ favourite sing-alongs and Macarena-type dances. A particular highlight was the rendition of Queen’s “I want to break free”, re-written to be about the, let’s say, “sub-optimal” service by local buses this summer. It was a stroke of genius, but we do hope the buses improve in 2023!

Were there any new additions to the social and cultural programme in 2022?

  • Group walks along the river Wensum were an excellent opportunity for sight-seeing, meeting new people and taking advantage of the warm, sunny weather. Starting at NILE and finishing at Norwich Cathedral, this route incorporated some of the most iconic parts of Norwich: the willow trees and colourful houses at Fye Bridge; the ivy-covered St James’ Mill; the imposing Cow Tower, and Pull’s Ferry.
  • Inspiring talks by the founder of the Papillon Project, Matt Willer, told the story of the impactful work the charity does in setting up allotment projects in secondary schools across Norfolk - a cause NILE are proud to support. 

Other events enjoyed by the course participants included ‘Tales from the British Isles’ with storyteller Su Squire, ‘Shakespeare and Other Folk’ with musician and ELT specialist Jeremy Harmer, stand-up comedy with Jamie Keddie, British Culture quizzes, bowling and laser quest!

Hold on - aren’t we forgetting something?

The NILE Online courses have a Social and Cultural Programme too!  As well as various weekly activities for course participants to interact with at their own pace during the 8 weeks, such as Norwich museum virtual tours, recommendations of music by Norwich-based musicians, and various activities to promote wellbeing, the programme also included a live Cultural Exchange event which was the perfect opportunity for online course participants across the world to connect and get to know each other. 

One highlight from the online Cultural Exchange events was a pertinent and honest discussion about the participants’ strategies for remaining resilient in the face of challenges, not least war and the global pandemic, and all alongside the more usual challenges of teaching. It was a special time of ‘building bridges, not walls’ which NILE hopes to continue to be part of in 2023.

We look forward to many more brilliant social experiences in 2023.  


Read more about the NILE Social and Cultural Programme