Schüleraustausch – from the dreaming spires to the Bavarian Alps

Oxford High and Magdalen College School have a long-running exchange with Gymnasium Fürstenried in Munich.  Every year the girls from OHS join with the boys from MCS to welcome the German pupils, before heading out to Munich.  For this blog entry two OHS pupils tell us about their experiences of the exchange earlier this spring – from film studios to football stadiums, castles to car factories!

The away leg – Munich bound!

On Friday, we flew out to Munich from Heathrow. We were all really excited to come to Germany, and our exchange partners were all very happy to see us. It was great to see my exchange partner again, as we got on very well.

Aerial Marienplatz
The view of Marienplatz from the Peterskirche

We spent the weekend with our exchange families. I went around Munich on Saturday with some of my exchange partner’s friends and their exchanges. It was really interesting to see around Munich, as it is a beautiful city. We went up the St. Peter’s Church tower and got a really good view of the city. On Sunday, my exchange partner and her family took me into the Alps, which were really scenic.

On Monday we went to the school to have lessons for the morning. It was quite strange to have lessons in German, but I managed to understand some of what was going on. In the afternoon we were all allowed to go around Munich with our friends, before having a guided tour of the city. We saw many interesting things, including beer halls!

A Bavarian Schlosspark
Beautiful parks around the palaces

On Tuesday we all went to visit Burghausen Castle- our exchange partners came with us. It is the longest castle in Germany, and felt more like a village than a castle. We had a tour, and enjoyed having a look around. After that, we took a boat trip to the Palace of Herrenchiemsee, which was the former residence of king Ludwig II of Bavaria. This was very interesting, and it was very elaborately decorated.

Inside the Allianzarena!


On Wednesday, after another morning of lessons in German, we got to go to the Allianzarena, home to the famous football team Bayern Munich. We had a tour of the stadium and even had a go at scoring some goals ourselves.

Thursday was one of our busiest days. In the morning we had a workshop with our German exchange partners, where we created posters about the various differences between Munich and Oxford. Then, we took a trip to Bavaria Film Studios, which were very interesting. We saw many film sets, including the submarine used for the film Das Boot, and some of us had a go at being on screen ourselves. After that we visited the Olympia centre, which had been constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics, and there were some great opportunities for group photos there.

Friday was our last day in Germany, and in the morning we visited BMW world. We had a tour, which was really interesting and gave us an insight into how cars were manufactured, and we got to look at the various cars and even sit inside them. Afterwards, we returned to the school for lunch before saying goodbye to our partners and boarding the coach to the airport. It was sad to leave Germany, as we all had a fantastic time!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and I felt that my understanding of the German language had improved greatly. I would definitely recommend the exchange to anyone studying German.

Louisa, Oxford High.

The home leg – Welcome to Oxford!

On the 11th of March our German exchanges arrived in Oxford. After a slightly delayed flight we met the German group in the canteen for tea and cake before taking our partners home for the weekend. Over the weekend we got to know our exchanges – all of whom were lovely and spoke very good English. We entertained them, taking our partners to the main Oxford attractions such as the Carfax Tower, Martyrs’ Memorial and Radcliffe Camera. Some of the group even took their German exchanges further afield to London and Blenheim Palace to give them an experience of British culture.

On Monday we had some lessons with our exchanges and we had the opportunity to introduce them to our school friends and teachers. In our German lesson we welcomed the German group by singing “Any dream will do” in English (this year’s school musical is ‘Joseph’) followed by a German song called “Fliegerlied” later in the week. On Monday evening we all went bowling which was really fun and rather competitive! For the rest of the week our exchange partners went on trips to visit different areas of England including Stratford, London and Bath. On Friday morning we had our last few lessons with our exchanges and then at lunchtime, after a group photo, we waved farewell to the German group as they headed to the airport.

All of us got on really well with our exchanges and we are looking forward to visiting them in Munich.
Issie, Oxford High.


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