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Can you recommend a German exchange/study trip/company

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by germanlass, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. germanlass

    germanlass New commenter

    My school has never been able to have a German exchange programme due to Health Safety concerns, but our new Head Teacher would like to introduce an exchange programme and there are some Year 10 girls very keen on going.

    Could you recommend a company which you have used in the past?

    Ideally, it would be nice if the pupils could live with families, partake in trips and also visit schools during the day/or/and do language training.

    I have never organised an exchange/study trip before so any advice/recommendations would be great..

    Vielen Dank,

    germanlass
     
  2. pnorris208

    pnorris208 New commenter

    First things first: Exchanges are awesome! Students, families, teachers and schools get so much out of them. Yes, they are a pain to organise, but they are well worth investing your time into. I'm still buzzing about the recent Exchange I led to Germany in March this year!

    I've run Exchanges in three different schools, each with their own different approach to organisation. However, some things remain common:
    • Find a partner school first.
      • Two of my Exchanges were/are linked to schools in twin towns, which made it a bit easier, given the historical link.
      • One arose because a teacher on the German side had strong links to the area my school was in.
      • Check out the British Council website. It has a bunch of good advice on finding a partner school and working forward from there.
    • Be prepared to organise the Exchange independently.
      • I organised and led two of my Exchanges with the support of the schools' finance/admin teams. The time commitment for me was significant, but ultimately rewarding.
      • One of my Exchanges made use of a local company that specialised in Exchanges - I worked closely with someone from the company to establish the principles/protocols for a new Exchange; we paid for her consultancy. This was particularly useful in the context of the school I was in at the time [new school, wanting to set up new Exchange], but the vast majority of the work still fell to me.
    • Know your guidance inside-out
      • Check out the extensive information, guidance and associated documentation at the Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel. The info here ranges from a clear outline of your roles/responsibilities, risk assessment forms, partner application forms, codes of conduct for students and families, DBS expectations, and much more!
      • From this you will be able to confidently put together a detailed proposal to your school, and, more importantly, to the parents of the students you hope to take with you.
    I'm happy to discuss this in more detail with you - I've got a lot of documentation already in place [itinerary outlines, risk assessments, study packs] that might be useful to you. Have a read of the British Council and OEAP websites first, just so that you are clear what you would be letting yourself in for, then drop me a line if you think I can be of any use.
     
  3. germanlass

    germanlass New commenter

    Hi,

    Sorry it has taken some some time to get back but I was away for some of the Easter holiday and we have just had the inspectors in and it has been a frantic time.

    Thank you so much for this really detailed message and all the great links! I was so happy t find the post.

    I am going to start looking into them after this week as have A2 and IGCSE German Orals to do..

    It sounds like there is tons of work, but I am excited too! I have never done any of this before so to find some a positive and detailed reply has made my day! It would be great to do something like this..

    How long did it take you to arrange it all? I imagine many months?

    I will start at the top of the list!

    Thank you once again,

    germanlass
     

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