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Cultural Exchange

The teaching of German at Macleod College aims to introduce students to new ways of thinking, of looking at the world and dealing with problems. Our students develop greater knowledge of and sensitivity to, cultural issues arising in our community. It also, of course, offers our students the academic advantages that familiarity with a second language brings.


Languages at Macleod is undoubtedly its relationship with our sister school in Düsseldorf – the Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium (GSG).

This relationship began in 1986, when one of our German teachers, Ilze Svarcs, undertook an exchange year there as a teacher of English. Since 2000, Macleod students have travelled to Germany every second year for a 2 week home-stay with host families from the GSG and then a further 2½ weeks of travel through Germany and Austria.

Every other year a group of students from the GSG lands on our shores and we reciprocate the hospitality. It is also possible for individuals to undertake exchanges.

Involvement in our exchange program as a host family, a study tour participant, or as an exchange student, offers a wealth of opportunity, to both students and their families. This provides a unique opportunity to experience another language and culture first hand, broadening horizons and whetting the appetite for more of the same. Our study tour participants, in particular, return home waxing lyrical about the “best time of their lives”. The contribution that this program makes to their personal growth and self-esteem is immeasurable.

The 2018 German Study tour was definitely a highlight of my high school years. The trip included travelling to a variety of different cities, including Düsseldorf, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Prague, Amsterdam and Rome. Whilst in Düsseldorf, I spent two weeks with my German exchange partner and attended classes at the Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium, our sister-school.


During my two-week exchange, I was able to live as a German high school student and be a part of a German family where I spent a lot of time bonding with them and enjoying German Christmas festivities.


In Europe, I got to experience different cultures and sights including Christmas markets, castles, mountains, churches and interesting but delicious food. My favourite parts of the trip were going to Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany, where I got to experience snow for the first time and seeing and touring the Neuschwanstein Castle.


The tour was not only a fun experience but also a trip where I learnt a lot about travelling independently and of course, practising and improving my German. I can say that the trip definitely helped me with my German and by speaking with the locals it benefitted me with my VCE German, learning new slang and vocabulary which I can use for my Year 12 exams.


      Jelena Kalem

      Year 12 2020

      2018 German Exchange Tour

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