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World Exchange at St Colms | Historical Notes

World Exchange at St Colms

St Colm's International House, at 23 Inverleith Terrace, was built in 1908 for the training of women missionaries and in its heyday was a centre for innovation and international community.

by Bobby Anderson 
(reprinted from The Inverleith News, Autumn 2003)

St Colm's International House, at 23 Inverleith Terrace, was built in 1908 for the training of women missionaries and in its heyday was a centre for innovation and international community.   In 1998 Scottish Churches WORLDEXCHANGE took over the management of the College, renovated the building and turned the original use on its head by opening the doors to Africans, Asians, Latin Americans and other Europeans who come to work or study in Edinburgh.  

We have succeeded in creating an international community in the heart of Inverleith at the same time as devolution has been changing the political landscape.   We believe it is vital for Scotland that there is an independent International House.

A Place of Meeting
St Colm's International House is ideally located as the meeting place for individuals from the business, not-for-profit and government sectors to meet around issues of common concern. Our vision is to develop St Colm's as an exciting place to visit, a forum where unlikely conversations can take place over food in a comfortable environment.

International residents
At the heart of St Colm's is an international community of people who are studying or working in Edinburgh and who share the vision of St Colm's as a place which can provide transforming international experience. Their commitment to St Colm's is to share in our work of building links between the UK and the developing world.

International Language and Leadership Courses
St Colm's continues to develop innovative short residential courses, which balance training input with opportunities for reflection and the exchange of experience. Our highly successful English Language and Leadership course (6 weeks residential) is designed to meet the needs of emerging leaders in organisations in the developing world. The balance of English language with business skills, organisational psychology and strategic management provides a cocktail of skills and networking opportunities, which make a real difference to the individuals, and the organisations they serve.

WORLDEXCHANGE is the churches' international ecumenical volunteer programme, sending 50 volunteers overseas annually, to work for a year in the developing world.   St Colm's International House is the base for our work.