Every year, the Vanier College Modern Language students studying German are invited by Alain Forget, Coordinator of the Modern Languages Program at Collège Ahuntsic, to partake in a three-week exchange trip to Germany. This year, one Modern Language student took advantage of this unique opportunity to experience German culture and language culture first hand. She traveled to Germany on June 1, 2013 with the group of ten students from Ahunstic College.
The students stayed one week in Berlin where they explored the rich culture of the city, and where the group engaged in a German language course. The group then traveled to Freiburg in the Black Forest region of Southern Germany. Here the students were individually accommodated by the families of their exchange partners; the students of the Rotteck Gymnasium in Freiburg. The language students gained insight into German family life and culture. (The German students will visit their exchange partners here in Montreal in October 2013.) The trip involved visits to Rotteck Gymnasium, as well as excursions to the Swiss town of Basel and the French town of Strasbourg. The value of the cultural and linguistic immersion to our participating student is immense and described in her own words as having been: “absolutely amazing and definitely an experience of a lifetime.”
The Berlin-Freiburg exchange trip not only allows participating students a rich linguistic and cultural immersion into German culture, but is also quite affordable thanks to the well organised nature of the program. The approximate price of the trip was $ 1,900 per student. In addition, in recent years, the participating students were generously funded by the Ministry of Sports, Leisure and Education of Quebec (MELS) and received approximately half of their cost back in funding at a later point in the year.
I am also pleased to welcome for the 7th year now, a young student teacher from Germany, Ms. Anika Droste. Anika will stay with us for the 2013/14 academic year. She will offer our German students extra-curricular activities such as conversation practice, language games, and German film screenings, and thus provide our students with an inter-cultural experience with a native guest from Germany. This exchange is funded by the Ministry of Sports, Leisure and Education of Quebec (MELS) and by the German Pedagogical Exchange program (PAD).