Hallo, Germany

Students are preparing for the German Exchange this summer


Photo courtesy of Wendy Langer

German teachers Andrea Turner and Wendy Langer in front of the Rathaus in Munich, Germany.

Paige Hightower, Staff Reporter

Since 2017, Millard West and the German American Partnership program have had the opportunity to exchange students in order to better understand their language and their culture. American students are able to help German students practice  American language and culture in the spring, and in the summer, they travel to Germany to practice their language skills, and better understand their culture.

This year, German teachers Andrea Turner and Wendy Langer are preparing for the first exchange since COVID-19 in 2020. The application process opened on Friday, a more extensive version than the applications in the past. 

“We’ve created a whole application process,” Turner said. “We have students write essays on why they would be a good exchange student or ambassador of our school. We just think it helps our students feel more invested and really think about why they would want to participate in the program.”

Turner and Langer plan on taking only 20 students on the exchange. The application process ended on October 3, and on Oct. 12, students will find out if they’ve been selected. The selected students will be able to host a German student at their house in April, and introduce them to our culture.  

“We host 20 german students from Waiblingen,” Langer said. “They go to school with our students and we take them on field trips around Omaha. They’ll be here for around 14 days and we try and match the German students with the Millard West students so they click easily and form really good friendships.”

Students will be staying in Waiblingen, a small city near Stuttgart. And after 2 weeks of staying with their host families, will travel as a group to Mainz. During this travel period, students will explore the Frankfurt area, and see many notable landmarks including castles. During the whole trip, students will have the opportunity to better their speaking skills, and learn a little more about the German culture.

“I’m looking forward to improving my German,” junior Justina Cole said. “I’m also just excited to meet new people, make new friends, and explore southern Germany.”

German teachers are looking forward to sharing their love for Germany with their students, and hope that the friendships they form on this trip will last a lifetime. While teachers aren’t doing much in class to prepare them for the trip, students that are selected will attend meetings outside of school hours for more information regarding the trip.