German Exchange Trip 2018

I had the great pleasure of taking 10 students from Year 9-13 on our annual German exchange to Aschaffenburg including a 24 hour stop in Berlin. Once again we all came back with a rucksack full of memories and the students really did us proud with all the courage that goes with staying in a stranger’s family. I am immensely proud of them. I am very grateful to Mr Fanchi whose support on this trip in invaluable and without whom I wouldn’t be able to organise this trip every year. Also our German host families and teachers, especially Mr Barz the head teacher, have to be thanked for their warm welcome and hospitality. Now we are looking forward to hosting our German friends in July 2019, but before that let’s have a look at what we got up to and for this it is best to let the students speak for themselves:

Molly Ahmed Year 9: “This was my first time going on the exchange and I really enjoyed going to Berlin and going to the Stasi prison and going on the tour. I also enjoyed going to school in Germany”.

Rozie Ehata Year 10: “My exchange partner and her family were really friendly. The food was very good”.

Sofia Denno Year 11: “Going to Germany was an awesome experience which I recommend to the older and younger years! My exchange partner and family were lovely and I will continue to keep in contact with them. They have become like a second family and the whole experience has really improved my German by giving me new and useful vocabulary”.

Laura Bell Year 11: “Going on the exchange was a fun way to improve my German and make new friends. The exchange students and my exchange family were very friendly and they made me feel very comfortable by letting me practice my German but also speaking to me in English when I struggled to understand them. I really enjoyed the trip and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested”.

Oscar Year 11: “Sort of being the third time going on this exchange it was just as great as any year. The families were absolutely lovely as well as the fantastic food. However, specifically this year, we were able to stay for a night in Berlin, making room for some sightseeing including sights such as Brandenbrg Gate and the Stasi Museum. Although I believe the most important part of the trip even over your development in German is having the ability to spend a decent amount of time hanging out with some lovely people that you may not have usually associated yourself before”.

Celeste Dewshi Year 11: “I loved the sights and their history. We defeated the language barrier by laughing at it. I was welcomed so warmly by my German family, I felt I was at home. The architecture in Frankfurt’s old town rivals that of Oxford – in many places the buildings are beautifully gilded. The exchange cultured my confidence and I look forward to seeing my exchange again”.

Mukahang Limbu Year 13: “Every exchange has been an opportunity for us to apply the language we have learned in real life situations. The exchange is also an experience where we strengthen our understanding of the history and culture of Germany. Visiting the Stasi museum and learning about the holocaust victims in Aschaffenburg was important in exploring the fragility of our current circumstance; it illustrated how we must be vigilant and aware, how we must learn and exchange dialogue between different histories to understand not only the problems of today, but to prevent history from repeating itself. The time spent with the families, and the relationship that we built in a few days are a testimony to how dialogue, communication and the desire to learn more about each other transcends borders and the differences we share. It is an exciting, frightening and rewarding experience. I was personally very fortunate as my family lived in a village, so I was able to go on long walks, and take time to think and de-stress. I have participated in the German exchange three times and it has made the difference to my German speaking skills, expanding my vocabulary, and fluency. Due to the exchange I have made many friends, and I am also now lucky enough to have three more homes”.