Our partnership with Germany is going strong:  Part 1: NewVIc visits the Kaufmännische Schulen in Rheine!

Five fantastic days in Rheine

Having made friends with the students from our partner college in Rheine when they worked with us in the workshops held at New Vic in November 2015, NewVIc’s A-level German students, together with Christine Khakhar and Prince Baabu, visited our partner college in Rheine from 7 to 11 March. We flew to Dortmund and on by train to the North-German town of Rheine, where we were greeted at the station by our host families and their teacher Marcus Maasen.  Our colleagues at the Kaufmännische Schulen Rheine had prepared a full, fun, fab programme that gave us many new insights and exciting experiences.

First we visited this German business college, where we were greeted by their headmaster, Mr Ralf König, learnt about the German education system and participated in lessons. 

We explored the town with its old market place and the river Ems, before we saw the futuristic side of Rheine:  In the centre for technologies of the future, we learnt how technology can help to protect the environment.  We not only saw a house that makes the most of solar power by turning with the sun,  but also experimented ourselves, making edible plastic or generating electricity from water. 

The former headmaster, Clemens Schöpker, introduced us to the European initiative dealing with climate change, in which Rheine participates.  We also discussed the situation of refugees, many of whom have found a new home in Rheine.  Without exception we only met people who were so positive and often actively engaged helping the refugees to settle in Germany. 

Another day took us to the university city of Münster.  Although everyone there cycles, we had a guided tour walking through the heart of the old town centre to the university.  There we were given guidance for foreign students at German universities – you can study for free!  But German universities demand a greater variety of A-level subjects, you need at least one science, a language, maths and humanities…

However, a more practical, vocational training in Germany is a real alternative to university studies:  Visiting the textile factory “Schmitz Werke” in Emsdetten, we were not only impressed with their production processes which try to minimise the impact on the environment.  We also learnt about the “duales Studium” which combines practical work and academic university studies, and the “duale Ausbildung”, which gives highly rated practical qualifications.

A highlight was certainly our visit of the “Saline”, a centuries-old way of making salt by trickling salty groundwater through high walls of twigs and boiling the resulting concentration until all water is evaporated and only salt remains.  Best of all:  We could take our self-made salt home! 

 

After all these experiences, we had fun evenings:  Getting together at home with our German friends, eating out at a Mongolian buffet with all the colleagues from Rheine, who had already visited NewVIc, and an evening of bowling.
As Tharjith and Ishmael said: This trip was a great experience and a lot of fun.  And Tielaxa comments:  When I visit Rheine again, I will have friends there. 

What a great result of our 20 year-long partnership!

 

Als unsere Lehrerin uns sagte, dass wir nach Rheine fahren werden, wusste ich nicht so genau, was ich denken sollte.  Aber ich wurde positiv überrascht.  Meine Gastfamilie hat mich mit offenen Armen aufgenommen.  Wenn ich wieder nach Rheine komme, weiss ich wohin ich gehen kann, ich habe nun Freunde dort und bin kein “Tourist aus London” mehr.  Wir haben sehr viel Neues über Deutschland erfahren und es hat uns sehr viel Spass gemacht in Rheine.

When our teacher told us that we would go to Rheine, I was not quite sure what to think.  But I was positively surprised.  My host family welcomed me with open arms.  When I return to Rheine I know where to go, I have now friends there and am no longer just a “tourist from London”.  We have learnt lots about Germany and it was a lot of fun in Rheine.

Tielaxa Veerakumar

 

Insgesamt verbrachten wir fünf Tage in Rheine bei unseren Gastfamilien, was für uns eine neue Erfahrung war. Unsere Lehrerin und die Schule hatten viel geplant.  Wir haben viel über das Schulsystem gelernt, die Anforderungen an deutschen Unis, wir hatten sogar die Möglichkeit unser eigenes Salz herzustellen, was sehr interessant war.  Die Klassenfahrt war eine schönes Erlebnis und machte viel Spass.

Altogether we were five days in Rheine with our host families, a new experience for us.  Our teacher and the school had planned a lot of activities.  We learnt about the school system, the demands of Gemran universities and even had the opportunity to make our own salt, which was very interesting.  This class trip was a wonderful experience and a lot of fun.

Shakirat Okunade

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