Nine students and two teachers from Herzog-Christoph Gymnasium, Bilstein, Germany, visited the Trivandrum International school for two weeks as a part of the International Exchange Programme between the two schools.
“The student exchange programme with Herzog-Christoph Gymnasium has been going on for the past eight years and is greatly treasured by both the schools,” said Rama Pillai, the Head of Trivandrum International middle school.
Her words found resonance in the remarks of Adrian, Aron and Movitz, the students from Germany: “We think the exchange programme is an exciting and enriching experience for all of us.”
Even Dewi and Kim, who were part of this programme sounded quite overwhelmed by the wonderfully balanced reciprocal exchange of cultures: “The last two weeks were more than an exchange for us. It was the beginning of many long-lasting friendships.”
The teachers and students from Germany mingled quite uninhibitedly and explored quite a few facets of education, tradition and culture of the city of Trivandrum. From visiting temples, museums, palaces and paying a visit to the Princess, to having a guided tour to UST Global and boating at Pooar, to visiting the serene beaches at Varkala and being guests at a traditional Malayali wedding, and relishing the feast on banana leaves, it was indeed a time of exploration for them. The overseas students embraced the new culture with spontaneity and were obviously thrilled.
The Indian students from TRINS, who hosted their German buddies, are really looking forward to their visit to Germany next year. In the words of Anya and Tiya, grade 11 students of TRINS, “the exchange programme is indeed a rewarding experience. We made so many new friends and can’t wait to go to Germany next year. Looking forward to making more such wonderful memories.”
For the students and teachers of both the schools, the exchange creates a forum of greater understanding and collaboration in the future.
Judith and Kathrin, the teachers accompanying the visiting students, did an apt encapsulation of the unique experience: “Culture is not right or wrong, it’s just different. This is what we have learned in the last two weeks here. Differences can be seen everywhere but it is wonderful to learn other varieties on how to eat, drive, talk and pray.”
The school had earlier this year hosted guests from the Ahmadhiyya International School, Maldives, as part of its second Indo-Maldivian Exchange Programme. Twelve students of grade 8 and two teachers from the Male school had visited here as part of this academic and cultural exchange programme.
The host buddies are now planning their trip to Maldives and look forward to foster their friendship when they visit their partners.