Rio 2016.

Using our past Games experience, we began building a network of colleges, universities and Games stakeholders in Brazil from 2011.

We worked in partnership with Brazil’s Public Olympic Authority (APO) to host several conferences in Rio de Janeiro in the build up to the Games where delegates from UK colleges and universities were able to showcase the integral role they played in the successful delivery of London 2012.

Since 2012, we have also hosted several delegations of Games stakeholders from Brazil in the UK, including senior members of the APO and staff and students from one of our partner colleges in Rio.

Our work in Brazil enabled us to successfully identify a skills gaps for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee which led to World City Links supplying 30 specialist volunteers – media and linguistic assistants – from universities in Europe and Asia to fill those gaps.

Each of our volunteers enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience of spending three weeks living in Rio de Janeiro with a local family from one of our partner colleges and volunteering on the Olympic Games. They also had the opportunity to learn Brazilian-Portuguese through a bespoke six week course at our partner university in Minas Gerais.

Ele Johnston, a language student from University of Leeds, said: “It was incredible to be a part of a global sporting event and I made lots of new friends and enjoyed learning about the culture of Brazil. Furthermore, my host family were extremely welcoming and I had a wonderful stay with them.”