Students Prepare Summer Field Trip to Germany

Jarod Hecules, Staff Writer

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A foreign language class usually requires students to memorize prepositions, accents, and various sentences in order to speak the language properly, but many students do not get to see how the language is actually spoken on a normal basis. However, German students have the opportunity to explore Germany this summer.
“Every year I try to bring as many students as possible with me on the trip to Germany. This year I have eight students and we will be visiting Munich, Freiburg, and Berlin. We will be spending around eight days in Germany where we’ll go on a tour around the cities and see the various sights. I also allow the students a lot of freedom to break away from the set tour, because I want the students to discover things that they want to do,” German Teacher Chester Hight said.
The students will be able to see the various unique things that can only be found in Germany.
“While on tour we will be going on a four hour bike tour of Munich that takes us all around the city. We’ll see a river that people surf on, and visit the BMW show room with all the high end cars that they’ve produced. We will also be visiting the infamous death camp, Dachau, where the Nazis killed Jews right under civilians noses, that part tends to be the most somber part of the tour for obvious reasons,” Hight said.
The tour is expected to extend to the more normal areas of the city as it’s hoped that the students will get a feel for the foreign culture and people.
“In the city of Munich many streets are closed off to vehicles and they call these areas Fussganger. Foot traffic is really heavy in these areas and it really helps the students see how Germans are in public. They are not that different from a normal American, if you treat them with respect then all will be fine. Seeing the culture is good thing because the students can see different buildings such as a Russian Orthodox Church that looks like it should be in Moscow, not Munich,” Hight said.
Aside from Munich, there are things to see that are more isolated than the museums.
“We also visit Neuschwanstein castle, which is one of the last, true castles built around 200 years ago. It’s very nice, so nice in fact, that Mr. Walt Disney modeled the Disney castle after it. We also get to ride a train from Munich to Freiburg. The trains are so nice in Germany because they’re clean, there is good food, and you can relax which is nice because the train ride takes around three hours,” Hight said.
After finishing their trip in Munich, the students travel to the city of Freiburg where they continue to tour the sights.
“In Freiburg, we do a lot of the same stuff such as a bike tour, eating the local food, and picking up any knickknacks that catch the students’ eyes. It’s the first time that I’ve taken the students to Freiburg, and I want to take the students to the organic farms to see how organic food is grown,” Hight said.
After spending time in Freiburg the trip will take another train to the big city itself, Berlin.
“It has a lot of history such as, the Brandenburg gate, which is one of the most well known German monument, the Reichstag, which is the capitol building of Germany, and we’ll also see what’s left of the Berlin wall. Another stop is the Schutzstaffel museum, which details the inner workings of the Nazi party and its military branch,” Hight said.
On the trip the students will see how diverse Germany actually is as it is a country of many different cultures such as Northern German and Southern German.
“Germany has many different cultures in its country, especially in the food. In Munich, we should see a lot of schnitzel and sausage, plus a lot of the famous Beer Halls. While in Northern Germany, we will see a lot of ox and beef foods. The best part is that food, its all locally produced and all fresh,” Hight said.
A lot of emphasis is placed on the freedom the students have during the trip as they decide if they want to follow the tour or go on their own.
“The students are given an allowance of 50 euros a day, not including any money they bring themselves. They can go to any restaurant they want, buy anything they can afford, and go to other areas they want to visit in the eight days we’re in Germany. The students all have a great blast on the trip because of this freedom they have,” Hight said.

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