During half term, a group of students visited their exchange partners in Münster who had visited us in Bath earlier in October.
Here are some of their impressions:
The school is a little different to ours, for example:
Their school is mixed • They don’t have to wear uniform • Lessons start at 7:50am • They’re allowed to go into the city during the day and for lunch • Almost everyone cycles to school • We loved the bell which was much softer than ours – more like a pleasant gong.
On Wednesday, we took a trip to Köln, a highlight was our visit to the Lindt Chocolate Museum where we had a guided tour. Our guide encouraged us to think about the origins of chocolate, its history and we even tasted cocoa beans and cocoa butter and were given free samples of chocolate to try.
We also got some free time in the city, where we could go shopping and look around. The city is interesting; although it was bombed heavily in WW2 some of it was rebuilt in the older style. The city also has a great shopping area.
Visit to Lüdinghausen
On Friday, we went to Lüdinghausen, which is very close to Münster, to visit the Burg Vischering. It is a beautiful example of a ‘Wasserburg’ (moated castle). The castle was originally built in 1271, damaged by fire, and then rebuilt in the 16th century. Naturally, as it is a ‘Wasserburg’, it is surrounded by water, it was really interesting to learn a little bit about German history. We also had some free time in Lüdinghausen, which was very pretty.
We spent the weekend with our exchange partners and their family, so we had the opportunity to do a lot of different and exciting things, like visiting the Send, a fairground that comes to Münster 3 times a year. We also did some sightseeing in Münster, visited the Pablo Picasso Museum, travelled to Hamburg and went swimming.
Benefits of Taking Part in an Exchange
Promotes independence and international understanding
Good for your social skills
Make new friends – new connections abroad
Get to experience the culture from a ‘native’ perspective.
Seeing a different education system
And of course improving your language skills!
Comments from Girls
“I found that the German exchange really validated my motivation to learn the German language, the experience of actually being in the country really teaches you a lot about how the language operates in real life, with small words or sayings the Germans like to use. I feel like even if you don't see yourself continuing to learn German, by going there it really enriches your knowledge of Germany and you can appreciate the culture and become inspired to understand customs and make friends.”
"I really enjoyed the German exchange because my exchange family were extremely kind and welcoming. This was very good because it allowed me to practice my German in a comfortable environment, where I could speak the language and get help with pronunciation and vocabulary."
“I found the German exchange a really enjoyable experience. It was exciting to see a new city in Germany and see what German life is like. We actually managed to speak quite a bit of German and most of the time, we were understood by them which was really reassuring that we could actually communicate with German people.”
“I think it is worthwhile to go on the exchange because it gives an insight to the German culture and widens our understanding to the language through communicating with the family. It should definitely be recommended to all students doing languages.”