P-Seminar Englisch organisiert Schüleraustausch mit Schülerinnen aus Sligo
Student exchange between AG students and Irish students from Sligo
During our Christmas break 2017/2018, the first part of the long-awaited Irish- German exchange in the context of the “P-Seminar Sligo”, organised by our teacher Dietlinde Kautz and the representative of the town twinning committee Claudia Michna-Aardeck, took place in Kempten. On Monday, 1st January 2018, our exchange partners arrived after a long and tiring journey by bus and plane and we were all looking forward to the following ten days we would spend with our guests from Sligo.
When the exchange was organised, we found out there was very little snowfall in Ireland and almost none of the Irish students had been skiing before. Thus skiing lessons were planned on the afternoons of the first three days, whereas the mornings were free in order to get to know each other better. Unfortunately, the weather interfered with our plans on Wednesday and Thursday as a heavy storm and rainfall caused a change of plans. On Wednesday, most of us used the opportunity to show our partners the city of Kempten and meeting up in a café in the evening offered a good alternative to skiing.
The following day meant bowling with both the Germans and the Irish in the local bowling centre which was not only amusing but also an excellent possibility to make plans for the next days and to organize movie nights in small groups.
On Friday, we were all cordially welcomed in the town hall by the deputy mayor Mrs Sybille Knott who gave a speech about the town twinning between Sligo and Kempten and the importance and value of international student exchanges. As the definite highlight of the week, all the Irish students and some of the Germans ones went skiing afterwards. Not surprisingly some of the Irish students took to skiing and wished to go skiing again with their host families at the weekend.
At the weekend, the host families planned and arranged various activities individually allowing time for the German students and their exchange partners to meet other participants of the exchange. Some of us went hiking and summer tobogganing, swimming or visited places of interest like the castle of Neuschwanstein. In the evenings, we met up for movie nights or going to restaurants to enjoy our last vacation days.
On Monday, after having spent three hours of class in school with the German partners, our Irish friends made a trip to Oberstdorf to view the arena where the famous ski-jump competitions take place. Subsequently, they went for a long walk in the snow-capped landscape.
The last full day approached which we spent in school again and for lunch, we all met in the cafeteria where we had a home-made meal cooked by parents of Allgäu-Gymnasium students. Finally, in the late afternoon, our trip to the swimming centre Cambomare completed our common activities with our exchange partners.
Wednesday was the day of departure. After break, we took leave of our new friends and ensured that we were really looking forward to our return visit in the upcoming Easter holidays in two and a half months.
An exchange means making new friends, getting to know other cultures, engaging in situations you never had before- and even if everything does not go according to plan, or maybe especially because not everything runs according to plan, you have the opportunity to gain valuable, new experiences. We are greatly appreciative for the possibility to take part in this exchange which is enabled and supported by the financial aid of the city council of Kempten and the local town-twinning committee. In the end, we want to thank Ms. Claudia Michna-Aardeck and particularly our teacher Ms. Kautz who accompanied us during this exchange, who arranged the whole sequence and made it possible for us to gather these memories.
Saskia Egger, P-Seminar Sligo