Eighteen students from Cambridge-Isanti High School traveled to Germany in June to participate in an exchange that goes back over 35 years.
Ingrid Maikkula started the exchange with Darmstadt and it has continued under the leadership of CIHS German teachers Laurie Nicol and Trina Dallmann.
CIHS hosted 20 students from the LGG school in Darmstadt for three weeks last October. They showed them life in Minnesota, including many field trips, bonfires and everyday life. Many of these host students traveled this June to stay with the partner they hosted.
This year’s exchange began when “Fraus” Nicol and Dallmann and 18 CIHS students left for Germany on June 11. Munich was the first city visited, and included had a walking tour featuring Munich’s most famous churches, the Viktualien Markt and town hall to see the Glockenspiel. They took a tour of the Nymphenburg palace, Residenz, and visited hunting and fishing museums, art galleries and BMW World. The second day in Munich included a tour of the concentration camp, Dachau.
After Munich, the true “exchange” experience began as students went to their host families in Darmstadt. Here the students get a feel for what it is like to be a part of a German family. They see first-hand what houses, meals, school and daily routines are like–and they are surrounded by the German language.
Students met at the Ludwig-Georg-Gymnasium. This school has fifth- through 12th-grades. They attended classes and also went on field trips to Frankfurt and Wurzburg, a boat tour on the Rhein River and experienced Darmstadt and sites including its Heinerfest.
The group also spent two days in Berlin. They stayed at a youth hostel near the city center and did walking tours, saw Checkpoint Charlie, the remains of the Berlin Wall, Parliament and a number of museums and cathedrals.
Aside from getting to see such great stuff and learn about a different culture, the best part about the exchange is the relationships and bonds formed between students and teachers from across the world.
After 17 years of doing the exchange we have close friendships with the teachers Petra Roth and Nina Martens and have seen numerous students stay in contact with each other and keep the America/Deutschland bond strong.