November 6, 2015 11:45 AM
Mid-Pacific Institute's new bilateral exchange partnership with Feudenheim Gymnasium has just successfully concluded its first phase. Feudenheim Gymnasium is a college prep public high school located in Mannheim, Germany. On October 17, fifteen 10th grade students arrived with two teacher chaperones; the group departed on November 5.
Mid-Pacific Institute expects to return the visit to Mannheim in June 2016 with fifteen students and stay for about three weeks. The bilateral exchange has received support from GAPP or the German American Partnership Program, which seeks to further German-American school and cultural exchange. The Mid-Pacific Institute exchange is modeled on a previous school exchange between Souhegan High School and Feudenheim Gymnasium that I participated in and helped chaperone.
The exchange is an exciting opportunity for students to practice global citizenship, make lasting friendships, and learn about other cultures. The German students were selected from Feudenheim's 9th grade and matched with Mid-Pacific 9th graders, with the idea that the first exchange group would arrive in October of the students' 10th grade year. The German students selected for the exchange had to write an essay in English, go through an English language interview with a teacher panel, and have excellent grades and recommendations.
After arriving, each guest student lived with their Mid-Pacific host brother or sister for the duration of the stay. During the school week, the guest students traveled to school with their host brother or sister. Some of these days, they stayed in school and followed their MPI brother's or sister's school schedule. Other days, the German guests went on field trips to places like Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Cultural Center, University of Hawaii, the Lyon Arboretum, Diamond Head, and the state capitol to meet the Governor and First Lady of Hawaii. Students also enjoyed fun activities together such as an afternoon on the beach swimming in Kailua; they also visited Waikiki and went to Ala Moana shopping center.
By Chris Herold
Click to see photo gallery: http://gallery.midpac.edu/High-School/Feudenheim-Friends/