German exchange an unforgettable experience for pupils

Fifth Year linguists enjoyed an action-packed time in Bad Segeberg, north Germany, as they spent the week with their exchange partners.

Leaving a rainy Manchester early on Thursday morning, the boys and girls reached Städtisches Gymnasium just before midday where they met their partners. After spending the day in classes, they then headed to their partners’ home to meet their host families.

Friday saw pupils visit the Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, and the Chocolate Museum where pupils enjoyed a guided tour of the exhibition before sampling warm melted chocolate drizzled on crispy wafers.

The pupils spent the weekend with their respective host families, where they improved their German conversational skills, visited local attractions and experienced the local customs and cuisine. They also visited a waterpark where they went on the rides, relaxed in the open air heated pool and chatted with everyone.

The new week started with a visit to the Miniature World and they also took a walk through the Elbe Tunnel, which is 24 metres deep and has been transporting people and vehicles since 1911.

An interesting and enjoyable few hours was spent at Phänomenta, an illusion museum in Flensburg on the border with Denmark on the Tuesday. On Wednesday they visited the Hanse Museum and hit the ice for a spot of skating.

On the final day, they went back to the school with their partners to experience life in a German classroom, before walking around the Great Segeberger Lake and finally heading to the airport for their flight home.

Pupil Lucy Snell said: “I really enjoyed the trip and the experience. My host family spoke in German quite a bit so I was able to use my language skills a lot. I understood lots more near the end of the trip than I did at the start and it was good to learn German in a fun way.”

Lauryn Hunt added: “The Chocolate Museum was good and really interactive and the ice skating was fun. My host family was really welcoming and helpful and my language skills have definitely improved.”

Will Garrett commented: “I thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to join their English lesson and to work with the students on improving their English grammar and creative writing skills. It has been an experience that I won’t forget and I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity to go on a foreign exchange.

“Experiencing a different culture broadens your outlook on life and, for me, speaking German for a week was a highlight. The trip was a real success and gave us the chance to reinforce friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.”

Mrs Linda Morgan, who organised the trip, said: “The pupils really enjoyed the trip and learned a lot. Städtisches Gymnasium excelled in their choice of trips this year, with the welcome visit to the Chocolate Museum a great, and very tasty, new edition!”

The outing was the return trip for our pupils, who had previously hosted our German friends towards the end of 2017.

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