Why twin?

You’ll see the signs every time you enter the city – but what does it mean, and why do we do it?

Twin city links give citizens the chance to engage with other cultures and ways of life, and make these experiences more accessible through established contacts and networks in the linked cities.  They also bring benefit to cities through knowledge-sharing activities, where professionals can learn from how problems are tackled in other countries.

So explore Bonn, Grenoble, Leiden, Leon, and Perm for yourself, and start to make your world bigger!

Join in the fun! When you visit one of the Oxford Twin Cities, add the #OxfordTwinCityLinks hashtag to your photos and it will land on our homepage.

You can also add the following hashtags for each city: #OxfordTwinCityGrenoble, #OxfordTwinCityLeiden, #OxfordTwinCityPerm, #OxfordTwinCityBonn, #OxfordTwinCityLeon.

Explore the Twin Cities, attend an event, participate in a project, or start something yourself

Read the latest from our Twin City Reps about their adventures exploring Oxford's Twin Cities

Football Exchange 2018
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Oxford-Bonn-Leiden-Perm youth exchange: 15th-22nd August 2018 All photo credits Stephanie Wilde unless otherwise indicated (CS, Christian Stegmüller) Wednesday 15th August                         The Bonn Rot-Weiss-Lessenich team enjoyed a good journey to Oxford in their coach hired from the Weiss company in Bonn. Their … Read More

Mandala Young Company’s exchange to the Rencontre, Grenoble – Anusha Abbas
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Cultural exchanges like the Rencontre allow young people to be completely immersed in more than just one culture. That’s the unique thing about this festival, we’re not only embracing other cultures but experiencing being a part of them. This experience … Read More

Mandala Young Company’s Exchange to the Rencontre, Grenoble by Ildi Nagy
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If the World Cup and France’s upcoming games aren’t enough, Crearc’s Rencontre also brought life and noise into the otherwise rather quite scenic town to celebrate art, theatre, Europe and of course the summer. Grenoble University surely has the most … Read More

The Cycling Connection
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Oxford has taken part in a network of twin cities exploring cycling since 2015. Oxford cyclists have visited Leiden (Netherlands) and hosted cycling visitors from Leiden, Torun, and Bonn. This year we were invited to send a group to Torun … Read More

Ethno England 2018
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30 young musicians from 20 countries visited Oxford for Ethno England – a week-long residential exchange programme in June organised by the International Links Officer in partnership with Tandem Collective. The project uses peer-to-peer learning to encourage democratic engagement between … Read More

West Side Story Tour
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My daughters and I have been involved in West Side story since the very first production in 2014. I say we, as A acts and sings, I help with costumes and my eldest daughter has helped with make-up and on … Read More

We came, we sauna-ed, we conquered
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  Veni, vidi… banyi? Not your traditional formula – and I think even Julius Caesar would have been a little apprehensive before his first foray into a Russian banya. For those unacquainted with this particular Russian tradition, a banya is somewhat similar to a … Read More

A snapshot of Leiden’s art scene
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When Bella and I first arrived in Leiden we noticed countless public buildings decked out in a pattern of red, yellow, blue and black rectangles. This Mondriaan motif brightened up shop fronts and adorned cafe windows. It was obvious the … Read More

1 Week, 7 Sunrises, and Many Cups of Tea in Perm
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On boarding the plane to Perm I was filled with both excitement and apprehension of the week ahead. My preconceptions of Russia were mostly from headlines in our own media, and faded memories of history lessons. I had no idea … Read More

Meet your Oxford Twin City Reps

To get this project launched, 8 representatives from Oxford visited the Twin Cities. You can learn all about them and what made them decide to take part in the Oxford Twin City Links project.

Emma Williams

City Rep

I graduated from Oxford Brookes with a degree in Fine Art & Publishing and have since worked for Arts at the Old Fire Station, where I was also a studio artist. My hero is Dervla Murphy and I’ve inherited a travel bug since embarking on cycle camping, skiing and walking adventures from the age of one.

Last year, I undertook a project interviewing artists and photographers in South Africa, and next year I’m doing my International Citizen Service placement with Restless Development, living and working with a host community.

I’m pleased to represent the link between Oxford and Leiden, as both are beautiful, forward-thinking cities with a dynamic cycling culture! You can check out some of the projects I’ve worked on here.

Bella Dunnett

City Rep

I have just graduated from Durham University with a BA in English Literature. I spent a semester abroad last year in Iceland which really drew me to the world of travel-writing, and travelling in general. I threw myself into all elements of Icelandic culture which made for a brilliant experience and gave me the inspiration to win a travel-writing competition about a sheep-herding festival (really!). I also have a part-time job running the social media for a PR company.


Shukria Rezaei

City Rep

I’m a poet and have great love for travelling because I believe travelling improves my vision and understanding of the real world and helps me to reflect upon my journey as a whole. Representing Oxford in its twin city, Bonn, means representing Oxford’s multiculturalism and its ancient seat of learning. I welcome challenges positively, and I hope I use this resilience and strength as a city rep.

Eloïse Chambers

City Rep

I love adventures, and exploring the world – the people, culture, the outdoors and the science behind it.  I study Earth Science and am very excited to be part of the city twinning project and to be twinned with both Grenoble, the capital of the Alps in France and Leon, in Nicaragua, the land of volcanoes.  It has been a real privilege to represent Oxford and build friendships with our link organisations in two very different parts of the world.

Being part of the city twinning project gave me the chance to meet new people and see a different side of two of our twin cities.  The experiences were very different.  As an earth scientist it was fascinating to see the different landscapes.  Nicaragua is the land of volcanoes and Leon is just a short bus ride from idyllic tropical Pacific beaches.  Whereas Grenoble sits in the Alps surrounded by alpine pastures, ski resorts and of course some fantastic climbing.  I love the outdoors, from climbing to caving to kayaking, both with friends and as an instructor and in terms of opportunities for outdoorsy adventures Grenoble really does have it all.

What both cities had in common was a really warm welcome.  We had some typical tourist experiences, were welcomed by the mayor, ate some delicious local food, visited the universities and saw some of the development work that is being done in each city.  It was especially good to see firsthand some of the fantastic work that is being done in Leon with support from the Oxford Leon Association Trust.


Aimee Winkfield

City Rep

Hello, I’m one of the Oxford City Reps for Grenoble, France!

I’m 22 years old and I was born in Oxford. I also chose to stay here for my degree and I graduated from Oxford Brookes University in June 2017 having studied for three years doing a Communication, Media & Culture degree.

I’m a keen photographer, blogger and film-maker. I really enjoy getting involved with community projects and helping charities out with events. I’m also the Project Assistant to the Lottery Funded Rose Hill Regeneration project supporting children, young people and adults.

I became a Community Journalist for Rose Hill News in 2014, and then the newspaper Editor in 2016. In the same year I also launched a hyperlocal WordPress blog online called Rose Hill News Online, where I post news videos and articles. During this time I have found my passion for community engagement and always encourage others to join local community groups and creative projects, or volunteering in general in Oxford.

The Oxford City Reps project is very exciting for me. I love traveling, meeting others and being creative and I hope my journalism experience and my love for media allows me to help strengthen the link between Grenoble & Oxford.

Marianna Hunt

City rep


I’m Marianna. I’m an amateur writer, part-time travel blogger and full-time adventurer.

I speak French and Russian and spent a year living in both places, working various jobs ranging from wine tasting advisor to art critic to tour guide. I’ve written articles on culture and travel for The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, The Moscow Times, and The Culture Trip.

My favourite things are: the taste of overripe raspberries, the smell of freshly baked bread, and the feeling of not having to set an alarm for the morning.

Follow my wanderings (both geographical and verbal) on my blog: awanderinghunt

Ruby Beaupierre

City Rep

My name’s Ruby and I’m a young person City Rep for Oxford City Council.

Having lived in Oxford my whole life, and seldom having the chance to travel outside of the UK, it was hard to imagine the world outside of my bubble. This changed when I was fortunate enough to be selected by the British Council to study in Shanghai for 5 months. It was a fascinating insight into a world I had only ever imagined and enabled me to see way beyond the familiar. Whilst studying Mandarin in Shanghai, I lived in such a different environment that it has changed the way I see and relate to the world. Joining the Twin City Links programme has given me the chance to learn more about my home city’s cultural ties as well as encouraging me to seek out more such opportunities.

I enjoy photography, and there’s nothing I like more than getting out and about with my camera when travelling to a new place. Here are some examples of the photos I took over my time living and travelling around China.


Louise Hall

City rep

I’m Louise, an art and travel enthusiast based in Oxfordshire, and Twin City Rep for Perm!

I love to illustrate interesting places, cultures and food, whilst learning the interesting history and stories about people all over the world. I can often be found drawing and recording in sketchbooks- maybe in a crowded spot in the city, or soaking up nature’s inspiration outdoors. If I’m not sketching exciting food and ingredients, I’m usually eating them!

I am loving being involved with this international and cultural project, which celebrates community and multiculturalism both in Oxford and abroad. I think it is important that we experience other places that may be culturally and geographically different from our own, in order to better understand the world on our own doorstep.

You can find more of my work here

…and more travels and sketches here



Husnia Safari

City Rep

Guten Tag!

My name is Husnia. I’m currently in my final year of university studying Mathematics and Economics. I am multilingual and find language to be the door to different cultures and its people.

The Twin City Links initiative is a very exciting project for me, as it will allow me and everyone involved to see a different side of the world. It will help us broaden our perspectives along the way and open doors for the youth in Oxford to explore the unique way of life that each twin city has to offer, as well as their traditions and customs.

My favourite pastimes include photography, writing the occasional poem and drawing  things that would capture my imagination.

I am looking forward to sharing my experience of the beautiful city of Bonn with you all on my Instagram page.