‘Eine wunderbare Erfahrung!’

German Exchange – Internat Solling December 2018

Exchange programmes have become a core element at Warminster School over the last few years.  This exchange, however, was a particularly exciting one for the MFL Department as it was our very first with a German school.

The Internat Solling is a unique institution, as it is both a boarding school and Landschulheim, which prioritises independence, practical work and comradery. Horses roam the paddocks around the campus, and alongside their academic work, the pupils are encouraged to develop more practical skills. Last year we started a pen pal project with pupils from the Internat Solling and our visit provided the opportunity for us to finally meet our German partners in the flesh!

We enjoyed an action-packed week at Internat Solling thanks to Frau Naglik, who organised multiple trips and cultural activities for the pupils throughout our stay. Afternoons spent at the Christmas markets in Höxter and Hameln (the home of the Pied Piper!) provided numerous opportunities for the pupils to experience German culture at its finest, including a visit to the Children’s Opera of Hansel and Gretel in Hannover.

Pupils were able to put their German to the test in the classes they attended each morning, ranging from German literature and English to politics and art, while also experiencing full language and cultural immersion with their host families. It was a wonderfully festive way of spending the final week of our winter term, culminating in an evening at the school’s annual Weihnachtsball, complete with a fresh fall of snow. 

This is just the beginning of our partnership with Internat Solling. Our link with the school will be strengthened with our regular pen pal letters and future exchanges overt the coming months and we are particularly looking forward to welcoming our German friends to Warminster this June for the second leg of our exchange!

To give you a flavour of what the pupils thought about our trip here is what they said:

Maddie Dempsey, Year 9 “I was really nervous at first because I didn’t know if we would talk but I actually learnt more German and more about German traditions and culture. I was able to learn how to order food at restaurants, and it was a lot of fun!”

Will Moxham, Year 9 “I learnt a lot, I loved immersing myself in their way of life and learning about German culture, it is different to England but also similar in many ways. It was great to see how life is in Germany, and I’m looking forward to seeing my exchange partner again in June!”

Zoe Palmer, Year 9 “I had so much fun and now I feel like I know a lot more German. I have also made many friends who I can’t wait to see in June!”

Max Ellis, Year 9 “I loved experiencing both the boarding house and host family lifestyle. The family took me to visit the animal park, which was amazing, and also interesting to see many animals that we don’t have in England.”

Tilly Street, Year 9 “I have made many friends during this exchange, and I will miss them very much! I was really nervous and wasn’t originally planning on going to Internat Solling, so I’m very proud of myself and glad that I did!”

Will Doyle-Davidson, Year 9 “I particularly loved the day we had with our host family. They took me to an animal park and we saw the wolves in the snow.”

A big thank you to Claudia Eeles (OV17), who is currently studying History and German at King’s College London, Miss Vera Carbin, Teaching Assistant, for accompanying this trip and to Miss Barbara Mitterrutzner, our German teacher, for organising the whole exchange and providing us all with such an incredible experience.