Published on 27/06/23
After several years’ interruption, we have resumed our German school exchange to Munich, the heart of Bavaria. We are now hoping for the same procedure as pre-Covid to continue - an exchange which has been running successfully with the Theresia-Gerhardinger Gymnasium am Anger for around 30 years.
From the moment we landed in Munich, we were immersed into the warmest and friendliest of Bavarian hospitality. The Year 10s were immediately whisked off by their host families and thrown into a weekend of exploring Bavaria - for some it was walking in the alps, for others it was visiting King Ludwig II’s castles, all sorts of excursions were organised. Culture was the main stop: new places visited and Instagrammed. Our Year 10s enjoyed getting to know their exchange partners and experiencing their daily lives. This, of course, extended to attending school in German and lessons. There were many comparisons made between the school systems, but there is no escaping homework wherever you are!
The highlight was the group excursion to the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg on the trail of Mozart, the Sound of Music and investigation of which Mozart praline ball is the best or most authentic or most tasty or all three! Afterwards, we took a fast train into the heart of a mountain to explore the salt mines and learn about how salt was mined. Our guide was ‘bairisch-irisch’ - alternating between the deepest, thickest Bavarian and the deepest, thickest Irish. Two steep slide rides down into the depths of Bavarian earth and one boat trip on an underwater lake with ‘son et lumière’ show later, we were thrown just as quickly back into the glorious daylight and hit the shops for all sorts of salt related goods.
So what did the students think?
Emily from Year 10 said: “Being a part of the German exchange was so much fun! It was really interesting to attend German lessons and experience new things, such as the salt mines and the Frühlingsfest. It was so exciting to go to a traditional German festival! We also visited the Schloss Nymphenburg, which was very impressive because of its history and grand rooms. Of course, I also enjoyed all the food, especially the pretzels!”
Eric from Year 10 said: “The German exchange was a great and fun way to experience German culture. The food was great, and we had the opportunity to meet many interesting people and visit fun places, while getting good practice on our German skills!”
Now back from our exchange visit in Munich, we are looking forward to our exchange partners’ return at the end of this summer term. Visits to London, Sandringham and Hunstanton are on our programme for the Germans. Not only much German was learnt, many friendships were made and we are so pleased that this special school exchange will continue.