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For many years, we have maintained good partnerships with schools from all over the world, with whom we hold regular exchanges. On the one hand, these support the acquisition of foreign languages by students, but also cultural exchange and create cross-border friendships.
Our student exchange with the Herderschule in Riga exists since 2005 for the 9th grade. Every two years a Latvian group of up to 20 students visits Nonnenwerth before the autumn holidays and spends a week with our students and their families. The return visit takes place in April/May.
This extraordinary exchange between the Franziskus Gymnasium Nonnenwerth and the Herderschule in Riga, where German is already taught from the 1st grade on and where you can take the bilingual Abitur at the Goethe Institute after the 12th grade, was created after a study trip on the occasion of the eastern expansion to the Baltic States in 2004. The aim was and is to bring young people from East and West closer together, to get to know the culture and mentality of the country and to explore the changing history and the connections to Germany.
Since that time, of course, a lot has changed in Latvia – the city scape has been visibly restored more and more, tourism is increasing. Riga is considered the ‘Paris’ of the East, with wonderful Art Nouveau buildings, but also a medieval core and modern architecture.
‘What struck us most was how clean the city was, and how well-tended the parks and flowerbeds were. Medieval, Baroque and Art Nouveau – the city has a bit of everything and seems very spacious and expansive due to the bridges over the Daugawa, the river through Riga, which then flows into the Baltic Sea. Especially in the evening and at sunset, the panorama of the Old Town from the other side of the river looks very picturesque!’ (Annika Engels).
Felix Keune reports about a joint school project: ‘The central task was to compare the habits, likes, dislikes, hobbies and leisure activities of the German and Latvian young people and then to present these in the form of a Power Point presentation. The following topics were covered: ‘sport’, ‘music we listen to’, ‘culture’ and ‘making music’. It was interesting to see how our opinions and habits partly corresponded completely with those of the Latvian young people and in other areas were very different. This was a programme item that was very close to reality for me and in a relaxed atmosphere, which involved us in good and exciting discussions."
Conclusion: ‘The week has passed far too quickly. We all experienced a lot of new things, got involved in new things and flew home very enriched. The many tears at the airport give an idea of the deep contacts that were made on a personal level – and this across language and cultural boundaries. Simply a successful exchange!’ (Esther Kantorek).
Like the students, our colleagues from Riga have become good friends over the years and we look back on many wonderful experiences together.
Astrid Heilmann-Cappel, initiator and coordinator of the exchange, firstname.lastname@example.org
The focus of our student exchange to Krakow is to get to know one of our neighboring countries with its language and culture. In the process, our students make new social contacts. These encounters broaden their horizons and shape their private and professional future. By looking at different perspectives, their own values are questioned, thus promoting understanding, tolerance and openness to the world. Furthermore, our students learn to adapt to a new situation and to act on their own responsibility. Our student exchange program thus makes a significant contribution to the promotion and training of key competencies, such as social, communicative and intercultural skills.
Every two years it’s ‘Mile Witamy.’ – Welcome to our island Nonnenwerth! So, our Polish exchange students are always greeted warmly with a small welcome party at our school, before going to host families. For one week the Polish students of a Salesian high school live with students of the 9th grade of our school. Together they attend classes as well as many excursions in Bonn, Cologne or in the direction of Koblenz, in order to give the guests an understanding of their German homeland.
Half a year later our students get to know the families and the home country of their exchange students. Cracow offers the nuns from Nonnenwerth an exciting and eventful week, as the city is not only historically important for Germany, but also has a lot to offer in terms of cultural history. Known as the study place of Pope John Paul II, this university city is not only fascinating because of its charming cityscape and fascinating surroundings(Zakopane), but also touching because of its painful history during the Second World War.
So our students return home after an all-round varied program, not only with many new impressions of our Polish neighbor country, but also with many experiences gained in the exchange with the other culture.
Our student exchange with Northside Highschool has existed for almost 20 years. Roanoke is located about 380 km southwest of Washington D.C., near the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Roanoke Northside High School is a typical American public high school. Our exchange program is designed to improve English language skills and to learn about the culture and life of a typical American small town. Our students, usually from the 10th-12th grade, stay there for 3-4 weeks, accompanied by two colleagues, and attend Northside Highschool together with their host American students. This gives them a good insight into life and learning at an American high school. The program also includes short excursions to neighboring places of interest and, if possible, a short stay in Washington D.C.
The students are accommodated in American host families whose children attend Northside High School; this exchange takes place every two years. If possible the American students come to Nonnenwerth one year later for a return visit and are then also accommodated in our families.
The SCHUMAN programme offers pupils in grades 8 – 10 the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the neighbouring language and gain a good insight into the culture and everyday life of one of the partner regions. The individual stays in the partner region also encourage independent action and self-confidence and impart key competences of intercultural learning. This programme offers both a 2-week and a 4-week stay in France.
- ‘Romain Rolland’ for the 9th grade
- ‘Anna Seghers’ for the 10th grade
Further information can be found on the homepage of the Education Server Rhineland-Palatinate.
Coordinator for the individual exchange with France is Isabelle Blaich: