Students Say German Exchange is Cool

Despite having to brave temperatures of -18 Celsius, 11 East Durham College students have recently returned from a highly successful exchange trip to Bavaria, Germany.

This was the 18th year the exchange has taken place between the College and a school called Stattliche Fachoberschule und Berufsoberschule in Altötting, Bavaria.

The main focus of the trip was for the students to participate in work placements which included working in; hotels, leisure centre/youth centre, a school, the local authority, travel agencies and the tourist information centre.

Student McKenzie Thompson for example, aged 17 from Hartlepool, who is studying on a BTEC National Certificate in Travel & Tourism, was placed at the tourist information centre in Marktl which is where the current Pope, Benedikt XVI, was born and she was also fortunate enough to also visit his childhood home.

The students also got a real favour of life in Germany as they stayed with host families of the German students that had participated in the exchange trip to England early in the year.

Sandra Ambrose, who helped organise the trip and travelled the students over to Germany, said: “All of the students really enjoyed their time with the host families and on their placements, although they found the surroundings unfamiliar at first they settled into life in Germany very well.

 

The exchange is a very important initiative as it offers a wonderful enrichment opportunity for our students, a number of whom will not have had the chance to travel abroad or experience a different culture in this way.”

As part of the trip the students enjoyed a number of fun evenings from a traditional Bavarian evening, where some of them even dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes, to Go Karting.

They were also lucky enough to visit the iconic BMW museum, near the Olympiapark in Munich and got to see the Town Hall home to the famous Glokenspeel Clock. 

The trip enabled the students to visit a number of other places of interest including; Burghausen, Salzburg in Austria and the Rauschberg in Ruhdpolding which is part of the Alps mountain range.

As usual most of the students were really sad when it was time to return home and a few tears were shed. They all said it had been a fantastic experience and would certainly recommend the exchange to interested students next year.