Trip to Magdeburg and Berlin (Germany) December 2011
In December AS and A2 German students went on an educational trip to Germany with the aim of furthering their linguistic skills as well as of supporting them in their cultural studies of a German region and a period of 20th Century German history.
During their stay in Magdeburg (capital of Saxony-Anhalt) the students visited a state of the art newspaper print centre where they learned how 16 regional editions of the local newspaper are produced - from a huge roll of white paper to the end product. Other activities included a guided tour through Magdeburg’s ancient cathedral, a guided walk round the historic centre, a visit to the theatre and cinema, several trips to a contemporary and medieval Christmas markets and a guided tour of the ‘Hundertwasserhaus’ (the last building designed by the architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser). We were fortunate that Magdeburg’s Historical Museum run a temporary exhibition about the rebuilding of the town after it was very badly destroyed in a bomb attack in January 1945. The many questions asked by the students about the exhibition were a testament to their interest. The students also spent a morning in Magdeburg’s central library researching the lives of Otto-von-Guericke and Otto the Great; two historic personalities who are both closely connected with the town and the region.
Students’ existing language skills came in handy when they chose a treat from a menu of around 30 different ice-cream sundaes at an ice-cream parlour as well as fending for their daily lunch. During a bowling evening the students battled it out – boys against girls, with the girls being very close ‘second winners’.
Whilst spending a lot of time together as a group the students also enjoyed their free time, exploring the shops, the Christmas markets and the ice rink amongst other things.
Our last day took us to Berlin. There we started with a sight seeing tour, which took us to both the Eastern and Western parts of Berlin and included sights such as remaining of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. We had the opportunity to walk through the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the division of Berlin for 37 years, and visited the Holocaust Memorial and its very moving exhibition rooms. A lift took our students up the tallest building in Germany, the 368m (1207ft) high Berlin TV Tower, before we had our final meal at the ‘Kaufhaus Galeria’ at Alexander Square.
It has to be said that everyone had a very enjoyable time and that all students were a credit to themselves, their parents and indeed Strode’s College. The staff at the youth hostel where we stayed genuinely enjoyed having our students, as they were always courteous, polite and very well behaved.
I am very grateful to all the parents who so readily helped with transport to and from Gatwick Airport. A special thank you must go to Darren Smith (Art/ Photography) who not only accompanied the group but who also took fantastic photos for us.
This report was written by Annette Jenkins, German Tutor.