Reception held for German students

March 29th, 2007    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

Milford High School German students greeted their German exchange partners to Ohio with an official welcome reception at the high school March 23.

“It’s time to turn the tables,” said Milford High School sponsoring German teacher Randy Vaughan. “It is our turn to host the German students; all of the students are very enthusiastic and excited to have them here in Milford.”

Last summer, the 15 participating Milford students visited their exchange partners in the Jugenddorf-Christophorrusschule in Konigswinter. While there, they lived with the host families in their homes, attended school with them, saw the sights, and gave presentations about American life and culture.

The German exchange students, who are all fluent in the English language, arrived March 21 and will return to Germany April 6.

The 30 participating American and German exchange students at the welcome reception on the Milford High School campus March 23.
In the two and a half weeks that they will be in the United States, the German students will shadow their exchange partners around, attend school, and give four presentations to the Milford student body. The topics that they have chosen to present include new German music, German holidays, how Germany deals with right-wing extremism and its Nazi past, and whether or not there is a specific European identity.

The German students are also looking forward to touring Cincinnati, visiting the many museums, attending the high school baseball games, going to the zoo, racing slot cars, and going to parties.

"I am most looking forward to finding out what it is like to live as an American," German exchange student Jessika Nilsson said. "I have spoken English and studied America since I was eight years old. This is my first time in America and I cannot wait to experience what life is like here."

The German Exchange Program, started in 2001, had an auspicious beginning. Having experienced some difficulties in other states, some German schools were becoming reluctant about continuing with its exchange programs with America.

Milford High School English teacher Valerie Foppen, who is originally from Wales and happens to have a cousin that teaches in Germany, was the one who made the initial connection. She called this cousin and suggested that Milford would make a perfect home for an American-German exchange. Details were ironed out, and the exchange program very quickly became a success.

"The exchange program has become a success simply because it is an invaluable experience for these excellent groups of kids," said Vaughan. "Not just those participating in the exchange, but for all students in the school. The kids are outstanding representatives of their countries and it expands the horizons of all those involved. It becomes a life-altering experience by bringing the language and culture alive. We are thrilled to welcome the German students here today. They will not leave disappointed."

This is Milford High School's third cycle of the German exchange program. It is a self-designed program that is set up by the German American Partnership Program, a program supported by the U.S. State Department and the German Ministry of Education.

The Milford students participating in the exchange are Katrina Ball, John Hoskin, Alex Lutz, Jessica Lingo, Claire Slupski, Sam Lyon, Mike Carter, Katie Coomes, Kati George, Zak Vance, Chris Sunday, Kory Schueler, Linda Horner, Jonathon Gebhardt, and Caitlin
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