S3 German exchange: “It was really fun and an experience I will not forget.”

Eleven of our S3 German pupils had a fantastic learning experience during their exchange programme with partner school Gymnasium Langen from 7th to 11th May. 

Participating in group projects and excursions, they truly immersed themselves into German culture and school life, making memories to last a lifetime.

After first making contact with pupils of Gymnasium Langen through a pen pal partnership in 2020, the pupils were excited to finally visit the school and meet their peers in person. 

Our pupils were partnered with a pupil of similar age from Gymnasium Langen, who they have kept in regular contact with before embarking on this trip. They have also had the opportunity to stay with host families, fully immersing themselves in the exchange programme and using their German vocabulary. 

They spent their first day attending the exchange school Gymnasium Langen with their German partners, working on group projects in preparation for two excursions. The first of their trips saw the pupils visit The Wadden Sea, a unesco heritage site with a unique landscape that is home to various sea creatures. 

Later in the trip, the pupils also had the opportunity to visit the Deutsches Auswandererhaus, where they toured an exhibition learning about the life stories and personal memories of emigrants and immigrants from Europe and across the world.

Before leaving to return home, they enjoyed a final gathering at the school, with lots of cake, to say a fond farewell.

Ms Speidel, Teacher of Modern Languages shared: “We are delighted that we finally got to meet our German exchange partners in person after having set up a pen pal exchange with them in 2020. The pupils were so excited to have this great opportunity to make new friends and experience German culture and school life up close.” 

Finlay (S3) commented: “The German exchange was a great way to expand our vocabulary and make new friends, as well as using our existing vocabulary in real life scenarios. It was really fun and an experience I will not forget.”

Mr Campbell, Head of Modern Languages added: “Participating in an exchange, whilst a daunting thought to begin with, really is one of the best possible ways of immersing yourself in the way of life of another country and taking your language skills to the next level. Creating opportunities for pupils to communicate in real life situations brings what goes on inside the classroom to life, and seeing pupils use their language skills to build meaningful relationships and links with others far beyond the walls of the classroom is always wonderful to see. 

“At Robert Gordon’s College, German is a language which has grown hugely in recent years. Whilst many schools have unfortunately seen their numbers fall, or indeed may have phased it out completely, we are very pleased to have so many pupils who are studying Europe’s second most commonly spoken language after Russian.  Pupils very much enjoy their time in class with Frau Speidel, not just learning vocabulary and studying grammatical structures, but also learning about different cultures, countries, people and communities. 

“German, like Mandarin, Spanish and French can be studied from S1 all the way through to Advanced Higher level, and we are very pleased that every year a high number of pupils continue their language studies to university level, either as a languages degree, or as part of a joint degree with other subjects such as law, international relations, engineering or business. 

“Studying a language teaches pupils to be open-minded, global citizens who respect and celebrate differences and who flourish in a world in which we treat each other with mutual tolerance and respect. The wide range of languages on offer at Robert Gordon’s College gives pupils in S1 and S2 the opportunity to experience a variety of different languages before choosing which one to pursue further at national qualification level. Within the department we also have native language assistants who work with pupils in small groups as well as individually to help build their confidence and fluency.”

We are looking forward to welcoming our German partners to Robert Gordon's College in September.