During the summer holidays from the 10th to the 16th of August, I travelled to Germany to take part in the inaugural exchange between Radley and the Schyren-Gymnasium in Munich. For me, the trip provided an invaluable insight into a different school and cultural life in an iconic area of Germany. Despite the difficulties of experiencing a total linguistic immersion in another culture, seeing first-hand what life is like there was extremely rewarding. For example, schools in Germany do not require a uniform, and extra-curricular opportunities such as music, sport and other activities are not included to the same extent in the curriculum as they are here at Radley.
Throughout my time in Munich, not only did I get a taste of lessons and a reflection of the school system in Germany, but I was also very fortunate to be able to stay with a very warm and welcoming family. I was lucky enough to see many famous Bavarian landmarks as well during my stay, such as the annual 'Blumenfest' and visit the city centre, not forgetting iconic scenes such as the Allianz Arena and the Olympiaturm.
Although the exchange only lasted a week, it was essential in allowing me to gain an understanding and appreciation for the difference in lifestyle in Germany. I would fully recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in studying languages at GCSE, A Level and beyond as it not only improves language skills immensely, but also presents a new social and cultural awareness in interacting with an unfamiliar environment that supports and enhances the work done in a classroom.
Report by Will Barker, 6.1, D Social
During the first week of July I spent a week with a German family in a small town near Munich, called Scheyern. I attended the local school for four days, which was a very different experience from here at Radley, with the school day finishing just after midday and classes of about 25 students. It was nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable few days and was fascinating to be able to experience a school system completely different to our own. The cultural and linguistic immersion was very valuable and further strengthened my confidence with the language and allowed me some valuable insights into the culture about which we are currently learning so much.
Whilst I was there, I was also able to visit Munich for the day and saw sights such as the Town Hall, the English Gardens and the Bayern Munich football stadium, the Allianz Arena. I was also lucky enough to go into the Bavarian mountains to visit the spectacular Linderhof Palace, built by King Ludwig II in the 1800s. Whilst in the mountains we also caught a glimpse of the amazing Neuschwanstein Castle, which we were unable to visit but which is at the top of my list next time. Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip and I would love to return in the near furture.
Report by Freddy Campbell-Gray, 6.2, K Social