German-American Student Exchange 2023 – Field Report of the German Schools

Spangdahlem High School visits Bitburg’s St. Matthias and St.-Willibrord-Gymnasium schools

For students of the Bitburg schools St. Matthias and St.-Willibrord-Gymnasium a very special visit was scheduled last week: The Spangdahlem High School visited the respective schools with two groups of students as part of a student exchange program.

Already before the visit, the German and American students had written letters to each other and introduced themselves. An exciting moment after the arrival was the first personal meeting of the exchange partners.

At St. Matthias School, the American guests were first greeted by the school’s principal, Mr. Joachim Schmitt, before being given a tour of the school to get an impression of the school building.

At St. Willibrord High School, guests and hosts first got to know each other better during a communicative game before exploring the school together during a school rally.

Afterwards, the American students visited classes with their German partners and gained an authentic insight into the German school world. Their teacher, Mrs. Jillian Besemer, was also able to experience the lessons and enrich them with her contributions.

One activity at St. Matthias School was the joint English lessons. The English language was of course a means to an end, but the main focus was on intercultural learning.

At the end of the day, the students had the opportunity to spend some free time together over lunch followed by a game of basketball/table tennis.

Overall, a positive conclusion can be drawn. It was an enriching day for everyone with a lot of fun and newly gained experiences. Now the German exchange partners and their teachers are looking forward to the return visit, which will take place at the end of March at the high school on Spangdahlem Air Base.

We would like to thank the Host Nation Council Spangdahlem for their generous financial and organizational support of the exchange.

Authors: Susanne Debald, Valérie Austel, Kerstin Hargarten