German Exchange

Ryan Saik and John Paciga

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For 25 years, Delbarton has participated in an international exchange program with students from the Bildungszentrum Markdorf, a university prep school in Germany. They hail from Baden-Wurttemberg, a town in Southern Germany situated just north of Lake Constance. Every other year, Delbarton students host about twelve German students for two weeks during the spring, and in the alternate years, Delbarton students have the opportunity to visit Germany. This year, we both had the pleasure of hosting a student, and the experience was like none other.

My exchange student, Daniel (and all of the other German students) spoke English very well. By the time they visit us here in America, they’ve usually taken at least five years of English. In fact, when I tried to speak to him in German, he would often reply in English to practice. The Germans’ proficiency in English helped them tremendously on their trip to America. They followed a rigorous and exciting itinerary, which included three visits to New York City, a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., exploring our own backyard, Morristown, and a tour of Princeton University, as well as spending several days with us in school. In New York, they visited many iconic landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and the World Trade Center Memorial. I accompanied them on one of these urban adventures, during which we went to the “Top of the Rock” and enjoyed breathtaking, bird’s-eye views of the city, and saw the a cappella musical, In Transit. Although our exchange students had a very busy schedule, we had plenty of time to spend together at home and develop lasting friendships. Their two-week stay flew by, but the memories will last a lifetime. I am very much looking forward to spending time with Daniel again next summer – but this time in Germany!   ~John Paciga

 

My exchange student, Celina, and the rest of the visiting German students had an exceptional time here in New Jersey. I practiced German with her, while she tried to speak in English all the time to practice her second language. The first weekend I took Celina to see New York City. She reminisced how incredible it was to finally see the huge city in person. We went to see School of Rock, and had dinner at Carmines. The entire weekend was a shock for Celina, but she soon got the hang of the American lifestyle. The rest of her week went as John explained above. A few days before the Germans left to go back to their motherland, Sam Fuchs and his parents hosted all the German students and their hosts to have a wonderful dinner at their home. It was a potluck, so needless to say everyone was happily full. We played soccer, basketball, football, ping pong, and of course Dance Revolution. Dance Revolution seemed to be the hit of the night, with even the two visiting German teachers, Mr. Dalheimer and Mr. Lächelt, participating in the dancing fun. Our German friends are now safely in Germany most likely eating sauerkraut and Wienerschnitzel without the greasy American food. We will never forget our friends who visited for two weeks. ~Ryan Saik

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