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International and European Studies

Furness International Programme

Being at the heart of Barrow, we understand how important location is in developing the wider experience of our students. Barrow has a rich history of industry, architecture and culture.

However, we understand that developing our students’ world experiences will help them become wiser, more tolerant and more aware of the world they live in. Therefore, we work hard to find opportunities to support our students’ cultural development and build their
cultural capital.

Since 2016, we had the pleasure of being part of the European Union Erasmus+ project scheme. Through our involvement in these projects, our students have met teaching staff and students from schools across the globe, learning all about education around the world. We have both hosted visitors at Furness Academy and had the opportunity to send our students and staff to schools in Italy, France, Portugal. Greece and Spain in recent years, fully funded by the EU. These projects span the breadth of Europe, from Hungary to Spain, Lithuania and Romania, Greece and beyond.

We have been proud members of ten successful European projects, with projects continuing until 2023.


In 2021, the UK alternative to the Erasmus+ scheme was launched, the Turing scheme. Furness Academy was one of only 15 school in the North West to have an application granted in 2021, which saw 40 students travel for a week of cultural activities and study in Italy, fully funded by the scheme. In 2022, Furness Academy was proud to have had their application granted which offered 20 students travel to Cambodia and India during the Summer term.

In 2023, we were successful for an unprecedented third year, achieving almost £100,000 in funding for 60 students to travel to Spain and South America.

We also run four successful school exchange programmes. Supported by bid-funding from the British Council, we have partner schools in Germany, Spain, New York and China which support reciprocal visits. We have hosted our German partners and also spent a time in their school in Germany, sent staff to China and last year, had our first fully funded visit to New York City as part of an international study and debate programme.


All those who represent us on an International basis become one of our International Ambassadors. These students share their experiences with our wider school community, through presentations, assemblies and speeches. The development of the students who take on these roles is phenomenal, with clear boosts in both confidence and self-esteem. We want to build our students cultural awareness, developing them as global citizens and we are proud of the opportunities that we can offer to our students.

International School and eTwinning School Status

Furness Academy is proud to hold the foundation level of the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

Over the last three years, Furness Academy has worked hard to become an international school. Our Erasmus+ projects are a new venture for us and require a high level of cooperation between our own staff and those in schools across Europe. However, the experiences provided to our students and shared knowledge gained by our staff is worth the work. We are pleased to be able to offer these opportunities and are thrilled that our work as an International school has been recognised.

In March 2020, the UK National Agency granted Furness Academy with an eTwinning School Award, giving us eTwinning School status. We are one of only 23 schools in the UK with this title and 2139 across all of Europe. It’s an amazing achievement. 

We were recognised for our approach to eTwinning in particular through:

• our high quality, impactful projects with other schools in Europe
• the impact these projects have had on our students
• our school’s approach to eSafety
• involvement in eTwinning events and training activities
• the work we have done to promote our eTwinning work with others