In September last year, we welcomed 30 German students to Trinity as part of our German Exchange with the Clara-Schumann-Gymnasium in Bonn. During the February half term, it was our Fifth-Year students turn to visit Bonn and stay with German host families. Our students attended lessons at the Clara-Schumann-Gymnasium, learned about the local area and many experienced football in one form or another. Plus, they sampled local culinary delights such as doner kebabs and Haribo… 

Here, some of the students share their highlights from the trip: 

Benedict said, “The exchange was a fascinating cultural and linguistic experience. I loved getting to know my partner, his family and friends and understanding how our lifestyles are so similar yet also greatly different. The best part of the exchange was our day trip to Cologne, in which we played a tense England-Germany football match at a sports museum. Luckily, it was a well fought 1-1!” 

Robert said, “The trip was very fun, the architecture of the German towns was traditional and fantastic. As well as this, the Cathedrals in Köln, Aachen, and Bonn were very beautiful. The experience of being in a German school was great, as it meant you could learn more German whilst still learning about the subject being taught.”

Lucas said, “I really enjoyed the German exchange trip, it was a great way for me to not only improve my German but broaden my range of experiences and knowledge. I got to make some new friends, I learnt about the city of Bonn itself as well as Germany, the society and the way they do things. I really liked trying out their specialities such as the doner kebab. I really hope I get an opportunity like this again in the future and encourage others to try something like this.”   

Franco said, “Our trip to Bonn surpassed all my expectations – not only did I learn a lot more German than anticipated, but I was also amazed by the friendliness and accommodating nature of the locals. My host family were incredibly welcoming and arranged many exciting things for us to do, most notably celebrating Karneval and attending an exciting football match – FC Köln vs Frankfurt. Many of my English classmates and I were astounded at the school’s relaxed approach (with no school uniform and use of phones during lessons), yet nevertheless the students were enthusiastic and attentive. I found the Biology lesson particularly engaging, as the teacher conducted the entire lesson in English for our benefit, so we too could participate. We also visited many intriguing places, from the world’s third tallest cathedral in Cologne to the Haribo factory in Bonn! It was an amazing experience and I came away feeling that I could quite happily live there!” 

Piran said, “The Trinity German Exchange trip is one that I shall never forget, as it was filled with exciting activities which allowed us to experience the best that the small town of Bonn and the area around it had to offer. We did everything from visiting museums like Haus der Geschichte (which gave us an insight into Germany post WWII), to climbing up Drachenfels which gave us a great view of Bonn and Köhn. The Haribo store was of course a highlight as we got to buy Haribo and this year’s Karneval was enjoyable as free sweets were chucked to us from Karneval Cars! The best part of the trip was when my exchange partner took me to see FC Köhn vs Frankfurt which ended 3-0. The atmosphere was certainly very different from any Premier League game.” 

Caden said, “Travelling to Bonn and being able to live with a local family was a truly unique trip which I’m really pleased to have experienced. I feel that, through going to Germany and challenging myself to interact with the people and culture there, it has improved my German and given me new confidence in speaking a foreign language. We were also given the opportunity to explore the culture and history of the local area, from visiting the historic city of Aachen, to celebrating the festival known as “Karneval”, which was incredible, and amazingly fun. The trip immersed us all in daily German life and has definitely inspired me to keep studying and practising the language.” 

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