The St Benedict's German Exchange Partnership continues
St Benedict’s German GCSE students spent a week in Meschede, in the west German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Their visit continues our successful exchange partnership with a German Benedictine school, now in its 17th year.
The September trip to Meschede was the second part of the exchange partnership, following the German students' visit to London in March, which you can read about here by clicking the link:
Joe, a student in Upper Fifth (Year 11), reports on this exciting German trip:
On the 25th of September 2022, the German Exchange pupils woke up bright and early, ready to meet our teachers at St. Pancras station by 7am. We then set off on the Eurostar to Brussels where we had time to relax and have a bite to eat before we took the remaining trains to Meschede Hauptbahnhof. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by our partners and their families before we were quickly whisked away back to their homes for a nice relaxing evening.
Our German friends had treated us like family during the time we were there.
The next morning, the partners were free to do any activities they wanted. Some decided to play mini golf, some went to watch their partner’s handball game and most went to a German fete where they were able to try delicious dishes such as Currywurst and Schnitzel.
The German exchange was an eye-opening and brilliant experience, and I would love to take part in something like it again. I hope all we all keep in contact with our newly made friends.
When Monday came around, the English pupils were given a tour of the school by our German partners, and we then joined them in their lessons until 11:55. At 12 o’ clock, all English partners met with their teachers to have a reflection session where funny, crazy, and interesting experiences were shared. We then met back up with our German partners and either had lunch or went home as some students had no periods left. When everyone was finally at home, we all had a nice relaxing evening in, adjusting ourselves to this new German school routine.
On Tuesday, we began the day by joining the German students in their lessons once again, before we were given an interesting and informative talk and tour of the Abbey by Pater Klaus-Ludger, a priest at the school. At 2 o’clock however, things started to heat up as the German Exchange pupils would take on the home German team in a football match. Things got off to a good start for the Exchange team as goals from Rory Johnston, Jamie Porter-Thomas, and Felix, one of our German partners, put us up 3 goals to 1. However, a loss of momentum allowed the home side to take control which led to them winning the match.
Wednesday was a completely different day for us as we visited an alpaca farm and then headed to a wildlife park where we split off into small groups, walked, talked, and had something to eat.
On Thursday, the German students had to endure a regular day of lessons whereas the English students went into Dortmund and visited the German Football Museum where we learned about many of Germany’s amazing players and even saw the World Cup. Once our museum trip was over, some decided to go shopping whereas some whizzed around the beautiful city on E-scooters. It was an amazing visit and I’m sure we would all love to go again.
When Friday arrived, we spent the whole school day in lessons with our partners. However, once it was over, we all headed to Hotel Waldhaus Föckinghausen, which was owned by one our exchange partner’s family, in order to have some traditional German food such as Bratwurst and Kartoffeln and also to just have a nice end to a brilliant trip. Some people sat at tables and chatted, and the rest organised a football game on the grounds next to the hotel.
A week had already gone by, and we all met back at Meschede Hauptbahnhof at 8:30 on Saturday where we bade a final farewell to our German friends who had treated us like family during the time we were there. Overall, the German exchange was an eye-opening and brilliant experience, and I would love to take part in something like it again. I hope all we all keep in contact with our newly made friends and special thanks to Mr. Thomas, Miss Davis, and Fr Thomas for organising such a great trip and allowing us to have this amazing experience.
Joe Crammer, U5 (Year 11)