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German Exchange

Last day in Heidelberg (Katherine Chang)

Saturday, June 29

On the last day, we all woke up with mixed emotions; some happy and some sad. Ready to tackle Heidelberg, we left the hotel in the morning in order to see Heidelberg University. After this, we walked to the Heidelberg Castle, where we were given an extensive tour. We viewed Heidelberg from many different heights and angles, taking in the view of the beautiful city. After our tour, we all ate lunch in a cafeteria in the castle. Then, we hiked up to the Königstuhl above the castle, where we were able to view the city once again from a different angle. Sweaty and exhausted, we were all rewarded with a relaxing ride in a funicular. We then had free time in the city for about an hour and grouped together once again for our final dinner in Germany. It was nice to have a conversation with everyone at once, including Christoph! After, we played a game of mafia by the river. Then, Herr Mogen treated us all to ice cream.

~ Katherine Chang

Wandering through the Schloss ruins.
High above on the Königstuhl.
A last Abendessen.
Final Eis.
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Carlon Ford – My Favorite Exchange Memory

The best time I had in Germany was the last Sunday I was able to spend with my host family. I slept in really late and soon after my host father Andreas grilled some meat for everyone. It was like nothing I’ve ever had in America and I made sure to eat as much as I could. However, I think the best part of the day was when I went to the lake with my host family. I spent lots of time talking with Andreas who didn’t know English about my life back home. He joked that my beach back home might be a little better than the lake in Germany but I just laughed and said I didn’t have an opinion. We also talked a lot about the wildlife in America. I explained that you can often see dolphins from the shore in Virginia Beach and how there are sharks but I am fortunate enough to have never seen one. However, there were several times when I couldn’t understand what he was saying so I just nodded and said “Ja”. But I no longer felt afraid of speaking in German. Although I am still far from fluent it was truly a great feeling knowing that people could understand me in a different language. This was an experience I could never replicate in German class and I was fortunate enough to form close relationships with people on thousands of miles away from home.

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Rachael Stromberg – My favorite memory of the 2019 Exchange

As my three weeks in Germany comes to a close, I reflect on the great times I had with everyone. One moment that stands out to me the most is a cook out we had during our first week with our host families. The German and American students all sat together, talking and catching up since the last time we were together was way back in April. After dinner ended, everyone started playing volleyball together in the yard. This will always be one of my fondest memories from my trip to Germany because everyone put their phones aside and enjoyed each other in the moment. This naturally brought us all closer to each other. 

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Kedar Johnson-Smith)

Thursday, June 27

During our second day in Rothenburg, our group first visited the Kriminalmuseum, which displayed medieval torture devices as well as gave insight into law and order in the medieval time period. After exploring much of the old city and its walls we visited the St. Jakobs Kirche (church) and admired the lavish architecture built when Rothenburg was a wealthy city inhabited by rich merchants. Our group then dissolved to explore many of the little shops throughout the city. Returning to our hotel for a group dinner, we then set out once more for a group hike outside the city walls into the valley below. To finish the day, we had our daily photo contest and ice cream.

On the Stadtmauer.
A view well worth the hike.
Eis: the only proper way to end the day.
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Headed toward Heidelberg (Ben Shine)

Friday, June 28

Today we left Rothenburg and headed on a bus ride to a museum that had 100s of old cars and planes that were cleaned up and insanely cool. We saw huge airplanes, massive tanks, and some lambos. Then the group played some mafia waiting for the bus and then we took the bus to Heidelberg. This city looks like the Venice of Germany. We then got settled into our hotel room which was actually really nice. Afterwards we took a long walk through this beautiful city and came to pedal-boats where we pedal-boated in a very beautiful area on the Neckar for about 40 minutes. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel and had some free time to eat dinner and explore the city. Wyatt, Colin, and I went to a Italian restaurant called Vapianos that was actually very good. We then just walked around and explored the beautiful city. We then came back to the hotel and had a really good sleep as the tempature outside was perfect.

~ Ben Shine

Lamborghini Tractor.
Cooles Auto!
Pedal boating on the Neckar.
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