Imagine going to a different country for six weeks to improve your foreign language skills and experience a different culture by becoming part of it! That sounds like quite an adventure, doesn’t it?
The Holywood Steiner School offers exactly that to their students. All our children learn German as a foreign language from Class 1 (P3). Learning a foreign language is fun, useful and important as it helps open the children’s eyes to other cultures. Some of our students will continue to do German right through to their GCSEs and quite a few of them go on to do their A-Levels in German with a view to travel, study or work in a German speaking country.
When our children reach Class 9 (Year 11), all of them, regardless of whether they will take German as a GCSE subject or not, have the opportunity to join our exchange program with the Steiner School in Bochum. The school in Bochum has been a kind patron to our school since the early days of our school. Bochum itself is a vibrant little city in the heart of one of Germany’s cultural hubs and a region of natural beauty, the Rhineland.
The students are paired up with a student of the same year in Bochum and stay with their family for up to six weeks. They are part of family life, go to school with their exchanges and have the opportunity to explore the region or even country. One of our current students, Jago, was even taken to Berlin by his host family. An experience he thoroughly enjoyed!
The Bochum students will come to Northern Ireland in return. This is a great experience for everyone involved. The children have a lively and interesting cultural exchange, improve their language skills, and, very often, lovely and long-lasting friendships develop. All students who participate in the exchange grow in confidence, from which they benefit in all areas of their lives. All in all a wonderful and life-changing experience!