German Exchange with Matare Gymnasium

This year’s year 11 German trip to our exchange school in Meerbusch near Düsseldorf in Germany successfully returned on the last Sunday of half term. The group comprised some quite nervous students at the start. Some were staying in home stay families and some residing in the youth hostel in the city centre of Düsseldorf itself. They returned after 5 days with a real sense of having overcome these initial nerves and many found it quite a wrench to leave their German student buddies and there was a real sense that everyone left with a deeper and more rounded understanding of German culture, family life and language.

The trip comprised a series of cultural as well as linguistic challenges, now in its tenth year. The initial day was spent in our large partner school in Meerbusch, Matare Gymnasium where we started the day with a very heart welcome from the head master Herr Gutjahr-Doells. The students joined their buddies at the start of the day and worked on presentations of sites in the target language. Our students then went into town on the following day and presented each of the sites to us all as if they were a tour guide – many received high praise indeed for their communication skills. There was a rather wet and cold day in Düsseldorf itself on the Friday, but the Saturday saw the sun again and the group headed to Bonn for a really interesting tour around the Haus der Geschichte (Germany’s Museum of Post-war German history) followed by a visit to Cologne and the delights of a Brauhaus lunch, packed with sausage and sauerkraut! The final morning we all ascended the Rheinturm (the tall tower that is an imposing height over the river in the city centre) and were blessed with lovely sunny views over the Rheingebiet.

All returned tired but secure in the knowledge that we had all appreciated the opportunity to learn more about a language, culture and people we all have grown to love. Many thanks to Miss Gibb for having organised this with our partner Herr Vonk in Germany. The German students join us in the middle of November in school.