Exchange Program Highlights German Heritage

Exchange Program Highlights German Heritage
Posted on 08/25/2016

Exchange Program Highlights German Heritage

Boerne High School students visit Germany's Neuschwanstein castle.

The Boerne community celebrates its rich German heritage year-round.

That heritage was brought to life recently for a group of Boerne High School students, who spent part of their summer in Germany as part of a revitalized student exchange program at the school.

Ten Boerne students, traveling with school chaperones, stayed with host families for two weeks in Oberstdorf, Germany, in June. The students attended classes with their host partners at the Gertrud-von-le-Fort Gymnasium Oberstdorf; students from the German school had been in Boerne attending classes and experiencing local culture in March.

"There is extraordinary value in this exchange program," BHS German teacher Jennifer Christianson said. "Our students went on multiple field trips to places such as Neuschwanstein, Dachau, München, Kempten, and Berlin. They also served as ambassadors for Texas, presenting multiple classes at the German school about life in Boerne, our schools and cultural stereotypes.

"In Berlin, students had the opportunity to tour the German Parliament, see historical places of interest that they've only read about in history books, and enjoy the culture surrounding a major European capital. It is an enriching experience."

The exchange program with German schools dates back to at least 1992, when students from Gesamtschule Mettlach-Orscholz engaged in a bi-annual exchange program with Boerne High School. The organization German American Partnership Program (GAPP) facilitated the exchange, a relationship that continues today. Currently, German classes from both Boerne High School and Champion High School take part in the exchange program.

Students traveling from German are immersed in local culture by their host families. Visits to the Alamo, Enchanted Rock, a working cattle ranch, a rodeo, Cibolo Nature Center and a San Antonio Spurs game all might be part of a typical itinerary for visiting German students.

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Exchange Program Highlights German Heritage

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