German students host exchange students for two weeks

Meya Green

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The language department has been participating in a student exchange for a few years now and this is the second year they have partnered with the current German school. German teacher Nanette Bergen explained how she picked the current partner school while she was spending time in Germany. After talking with the main contact person with the school, Bergen applied and made matches with the students.

“The main idea was to let the students know there really are native German speakers and to tear down stereotypes,” Bergen said.

Having these students for only two weeks gives them a different opportunity than the other foreign exchange students that will stay throughout the school year.

“We don’t get any financing for this, these kids pay for themselves. It’s just a way for them to get to know a little bit about it, but it’s nice because it isn’t a six month commitment because not everyone wants to do that,” Bergen said.

“Definitely. First of all the exchange itself as opposed to just going on a trip helps them to get to know what life is like in Germany for a real German and so it also gives them a chance to build friendships.

Since the idea was for the students to experience new things, the German students were involved in going to school games and taking electives.

“We went to all of them. It’s cool, we don’t have that in Germany. We don’t have school teams and everyone is together and I really like that,” German student Kato Ragin said.

The hosts made sure to have things planned for the German students to do while they were here, such as kayaking, shopping, and hanging out.

“My favorite part are the evenings and nights we spent together at bonfires and things,” Ragin said.

The students who participated in this German student exchange are planning a trip to Germany on Memorial Day. They plan to return on the 25th of June.

The two-week experience made sure to let students understand a different part of the world without having to go there.

“It was overall fun and I enjoyed the experience,” Sophomore Trevor Waldrop said.