This year we are celebrating the 5th year of our exchange with the Albrecht Ernst Gymnasium in Oettingen, Bavaria. The students arrived in Exmouth after a long journey on Saturday afternoon. The eleven students are accompanied by two of their teachers; Herr Huettinger and Frau Tietze and are staying with the families of some of our students. The remaining time at the weekend was spent with the families and they were able to make the most of the glorious weather with some going to the beach and others slightly further afield exploring our beautiful region.
Monday was about discovering what it is like to be a student at Exmouth Community College before heading into Exmouth to delve into a little of its history and to explore our town and what it has to offer. They were welcomed by Mr Alexander during the course of the morning as well as being given a guided tour of the college by Year 8 German Club. Some year 10 students showed Frau Tietze around the school, as this is her first visit to Exmouth. The German students were also able to sample lessons in a variety of subjects with their partners, or with other students who kindly agreed to stand in where this was necessary.
On Tuesday the German students visited Living Coasts in Torquay. As Oettingen is a long way from the sea, coming here is always an exciting experience. Wednesday saw the German h visits to Widecombe in the Moor, Buckfast Abbey and the House of Marbles before returning to college.
German Exchange 2017:
Five Successful Years
Here the Year 11 German class had prepared the room for our birthday celebration with cake and drinks. This was a great event with students from Exmouth who have participated in the exchange over the 5 years. Every year of the exchange was represented and the cake was cut by Jodie Pearce from Year 12 (as she took part in very first exchange) and Lina Roters, (who was able to join the exchange this year only when a student from Exmouth unexpectedly asked to be allowed to take part, and so is the most recent addition to our exchange). Students chatted to each other and we took photos to mark the occasion.
The Year 10 twilight German class were able to benefit from our visitors in their lesson and used the opportunity to practise speaking and translation skills. On Thursday, the last day of the exchange visit to Exmouth, the German students visited Exeter with the opportunity to learn something about the city with a red coat guided tour and to finish any last minute shopping before returning to Germany on Friday.
Over the five years, the exchange has been very successful and a number of Exmouth students have returned to visit their partners in Oettingen privately. Many more still have contact with their partners and later this year we will be welcoming a student from Oettingen who took part in the exchange last year to the college for 5 weeks.
I would very much like to thank all the students, families and staff who have contributed to the success of the exchange here in Exmouth and hope that we will be able to welcome visitors from Oettingen again next year.
On Monday 27 March Mr Alexander welcomed German exchange students and staff to the College. They enjoyed discovering the area and the college whilst staying in Devon.
The return leg of our exchange with Oettingen this year began the day after the German students had returned to Germany. We travelled by minibus to Bristol Airport to catch a flight directly to Munich. All went well and with a minor delay we arrived at the school in Oettingen on Saturday evening. The families were all there to meet us and we went our separate ways to spend the remainder of the weekend with partners and their families. Some students discovered that their partners had arranged a visit to a water park near Nuremberg for the Sunday. Some of us just enjoyed spending time with the families and enjoying some traditional German food and other activities.
The first day at school came as a bit of a shock to some as lessons begin before 8am and there is a long bus journey (or even two buses!) to get to Oettingen for some of the students. We were welcomed by the new head teacher, Herr Schmalisch before taking part in some lessons. After lunch we explored the small town of Oettingen, and discovered some of the history and facts about it by following the town trail. There was time to do a bit of shopping or enjoy Kaffee und Küchen in one of the cafes before returning to the Albrecht Ernst Gymnasium to meet our partners and return home for the evening.
On Tuesday we caught the train to Augsburg, which is still a significant town, but has been so since Roman times. It was an important town for trade and has many historic buildings. We were able to explore the Golden Hall, created for important meetings of very significant people and the Fuggerei. This is social housing founded in 1516 by the Fugger family who, from being weavers became one of the richest families in the world. People still live there today, paying a yearly rent of 0.80 Euros! If you want to live there, you must live in Augsburg for two years and be Catholic. (You are required to pray for the Fugger family as well as pay the rent.) More free time after the tour to visit the town and experience German food (even McDonalds tasted different according to some!).
For our visit to Nördlingen on Wednesday, we were joined by the German students. Nördlingen is a medieval walled town, where we completed a town quiz. Some of us again found time to sample German food before visiting the Ries Crater museum, which explains how the area came to be the way it is following being hit by an asteroid about 15 million years ago. Further time to explore and try Spaghettieis! The afternoon was spent with families.
Thursday saw the whole group in Munich, which is not only interesting as an historic city, but gave us the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and visit the Allianz Arena, the home of Bayern Munich. The arena is a very impressive structure and we had the chance to see the changing rooms, with a photo of each player over his own spot. In the city itself the Hofbräuhaus was worth a visit, where we were able to hear a traditional German oompah band and see the long wooden tables with benches that belong to a bierkeller.
Our last day in Germany was Friday, which gave more opportunities to visit lessons and watch an English speaking competition for the Year 8 classes (our Year 9). The final event was a lunch for all the students participating in the exchange and staff from the school. Several of the students attended the “prom” at the end of their partner’s dance course in the evening, where they were able to put into practice their ballroom dancing skills.
No one wanted to leave on the Saturday morning, but the journey back was comfortable and all safely arrived back in Exmouth in the early evening. It had been another very successful exchange with the German and English students all bonding well together. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit again next year, but some students could not wait that long and have plans to go back in summer. Many good friendships have been forged over the last five years and long may this be the case.