Austausch mit der Heathwood Hall School / South Carolina
During the last autumn vacation, a group of twelve lucky students accompanied by Mr. Pack made their way to the United States.
After a long journey of travelling, we were heartily welcomed by our host families with whom we stayed for the next two weeks. Our host sisters and brothers were all students at our sister school Heathwood Hall, located in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina.
The following days were spent exploring Heathwood’s impressive campus and immersing ourselves in the everyday life of an American high schooler. We had the chance to attend classes, which allowed us to adapt to different teaching approaches and learning methods. We were all fascinated by the variety of classes we could choose from, including e.g. Drama, Robotics, US Government and five different types of math classes! During PEAK class which focuses on outdoor activities, we even climbed the school’s high ropes course.
Our host families organized the after-school activities which mostly consisted of showing us around downtown and taking us to typical American places. We were thrilled to go grocery shopping at Target, get waffles at Waffle House, Donuts at Krispy Kreme and watch our very first football match. The car rides on the highway were equally as interesting since we took turns blasting our favourite German and American music.
Every other day our German group went on field trips such as visiting the Riverbank Zoo, the State House or the Congaree National Park where we got in the rare and lucky position of spotting a free-living alligator in the Congaree River!
The first weekend was entirely spent with our host families which successfully managed to keep us constantly entertained. It ranged from travelling down to the coast or up to the mountains over art exhibitions, pumpkin farms, concerts, going to the movies, touring universities, visiting Disneyland and even a German Oktoberfest. Every one of us had a special and unique experience.
The peak of our trip was reached when the whole group travelled together to Folly Beach. On the way, we stopped in Charleston and strolled around the beautiful city built during the time of the first settlers. When we arrived later that day at the beach house we didn’t hesitate and immediately changed into our swim gear and headed to the beach. This was followed by a long night of cheerful chatting and having fun together.
The days in South Carolina went by far too quickly. The last evening, we threw a karaoke farewell party with loads of pizza and s’mores. We really grew together with our hosts, which is why the parting at the airport ended quite tearfully.
We want to thank our host families and especially Heathwood Hall for making the whole exchange possible in the first place. All of us returned home with a broadened horizon and more importantly a smile on our faces. We are very thankful for the privilege of having experienced this extraordinary adventure.
At the beginning of March we were lucky enough to have a visit from our American friends from Heathwood Hall School in South Carolina. During a very busy and fun-filled week the four pupils and two teachers got to see what life in a German school is like. The American students particularly enjoyed the heavy snow which fell on the Wednesday.
There were lots of day trips planned for the week, including Bonn, Cologne, Limburg and Maastricht. Thank you to the teachers who helped to make these days so exciting for our visitors. Mrs Kriege, Mr Knöbel and Mr Pack all worked very hard and thank you to the host families who welcomed our visitors with open arms. On our last evening together we had a party with dancing and singing and pizza eating. Very American!!
We look forward to seeing our friends from Heathwood Hall again and we cannot wait for pupils from the Bodelschwingh Gymnasium to visit America in October 2024. This exchange is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Long may it continue!