A visit to the harbour city, walk along the long sandy beaches and an encounter with schools and universities in Germany. Two groups of school students from the city are going to have an unforgettable summer vacation at Germany, courtesy the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan.

The first group comprising 16 girls and two teachers from Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School will leave mid-May on a student exchange programme with Maria Ward Gymnasium, a school in Germany, for two weeks.

The second group has 12 students representing four city schools leaving to St. Peter Ording, in the northern part of Germany, as part of the PASCH Partner School Initiative by the Federal Foreign Office. On Friday, both groups with parents of the students attended an interactive session organised by the Goethe Institut, where Karl Pechatscheck, Director, Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai clarified queries. Though a bit apprehensive about whether they will like the cuisines as they had heard Germans prefer semi-cooked food, the thought of going surfing and visiting other locations has made a group of boys quite thrilled.

The all-girls group, on the other hand, are excited inspite of the restrictions imposed on them. “Each of us would be staying with a family and there is a lot we are hoping to learn and see,” said C. Namrata and N. Zehra. The girl students are taking up a project ‘Women in India and Germany' and going to visit schools and universities too.

According to Mr. Pechatscheck, it is spring and the loveliest time to be in Germany. He said the exchange programme between a city school and one in Germany would be an ongoing process. “While in the PASCH programme students get to make friends from across the world, the exchange programme would give a cultural experience with many new things to learn and take back,” he said.

Prabhakar Narayanan, head of the language department, said other schools are also showing interest in the exchange programme. However, it was Sacred Heart which was first to grab the opportunity and do all the ground work, he said.

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