Our German Exchange group returned from our stay at our sister-school in central Germany at the end of April. Friendships were established that promise to last a long time, and at the farewell party before the end of our stay it was wonderful to talk with many happy German families whose children were the partners of our McKinnon students.


Our students expanded their German vocabulary and experienced family life in Germany and were warmly integrated into family and community activities.


Our student Isabella Petroulis, Year 10 said of her German exchange partner: "We got along straight away and it was so crazy to see her in person after only seeing each other online for months." Lucy Green, Year 10 reported before our return to Australia that she believes "our experience in Germany will last a lifetime".


Our students made presentations in classes at our sister-school, booked by several teachers, so that the local students could learn (including via hands-on activities) about aspects of Australian life and culture directly from our students. The PE teachers at our sister-school were impressed with the way our students ran the introductory sessions on AFL football! We have a good foundation for the return visit to McKinnon SC by those German exchange partners in September 2024.


During a three-day trip to Berlin organised by our teacher counterparts at the sister-school, our students learned more about German history from a visit to a museum about life in the former GDR, and they visited the Bundestag and saw the large chamber where internationally significant matters are decided in the German federal parliament. Our students also had the opportunity to chat with and ask questions of a federal parliamentarian who did a superb job of explaining political matters and challenges at a level suitable for our students.


Our students took part in an evening of local folk-dancing practice!


We experienced evidence of the long-term friendship results that our exchange program has engendered when a German woman who participated in our exchange program 20 years ago (when she was a student at our sister-school) contacted us while we were there. She told us of her ongoing friendship with her former McKinnon SC exchange partner, and of other former exchange partners who still have reunion visits in Germany or in Australia.


You can read introductory information about the German Exchange at this link.


David Nutting

German Teacher