“I really enjoyed my time in Berlin and I made a lot of new friends.” This is how Sebastian van Niekerk (St. Pauls College) described his stay in Germany. He is one of ten exchange students, who have recently returned from their exchange programme, and who were all equally enthusiastic about their stay. The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Schlaga, and representatives of the Association of German School Societies in Namibia (AGDS), invited the learners on 12 February 2018 to relate their experiences.
Ambassador Schlaga praised the student exchange as an important tool to foster understanding among students. “There is nothing more beautiful than the exchange between young people. Namibian and German students are afforded the opportunity to learn the language as well as to get to know the countries of their exchange partners, having new and exciting experiences along the way.”
The Namibian students especially enjoyed the freedom of movement that youths have in Germany as well as going on several trips and to events such as soccer games with their guest families.
School Exchanges contribute significantly to overcoming mutual prejudices
For several years now, the AGDS, in partnership with the German Cultural Relations Abroad (VDA), has made the ten-to-twelve week stay for Namibian youth in Germany possible. The ten students, all of them ambitious learners of the German language, were hosted by German families and attended their exchange partners’ schools for the duration of their stay. Assuming the role of ambassadors for Namibia, they contribute significantly to overcoming mutual prejudices whilst building German-Namibian friendships. The current group returned from Germany in mid-January, enriched by many impressions as well as excellent German language skills. In exchange, the Namibian learners will host exchange partners from Germany from June to September, who wish to get to know Namibia and its people.
German Embassy in support of Exchange Programmes for years
The learner exchange programme has been supported financially and logistically by the German Embassy for several years. This year’s exchange was supported with N$ 31.955,00. This specifically enables youths to participate whose parents would not be able to afford to send their children overseas otherwise.