Publications

Great opportunities in Germany

Two Year 11 students have left for a memorable visit to Germany.

WORDS: MR MALCOLM PACEY – HEAD OF GERMAN

Greatscot _dec 2011_28a

JIA XIANG ZHENG (IN BLACK BOW TIE) AND MAYEN TAKAKURA (LIGHT BLUE BOW TIE) PICTURED AFTER RECEIVING THEIR SCHOLARSHIP CERTIFICATES.

Scotch German students Mayen Takakura and Jia Xiang Zheng (both Year 11) have left for a life-changing experience as exchange students in Germany this summer.

The boys, both studying German in Year 11, received scholarships from BASF and Allianz respectively. These two top multinationals have for many years now supported students as they take their first trip to Germany under the auspices of the Society for Australian-German Student-Exchange (SAGSE).

This program has been exchanging students between the two countries since 1967, and Scotch boasts a strong record of success, especially considering only around 16 scholarships are awarded each year in Victoria. The scholarships cover travel costs and provide host families for the 10-week exchange, as well as ongoing contact with the sponsors: German companies with branches in Australia.

The boys departed in late November to spend their entire summer break discovering life as young people in Germany. They have been matched with exchange partners from Heidelberg (Mayen) and Lübeck (Jia Xiang), and will accompany their new-found friends to school each day, where they will clearly have the chance to practise their language skills and to see first-hand what life in modern-day Europe is like. While spending Christmas away from home can be a little hard the first time around, the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the season will certainly put to rest any homesickness!

One of the aims of any exchange program is to develop independence in students, and with this in mind the boys will have the opportunity to plan an unaccompanied trip in small groups to different parts of the country. Getting to know new people, learning how to manage one’s own money, and appropriately representing Australia to foreigners are among the challenges students abroad face.

We wish Mayen and Jia Xiang the very best for the most memorable of trips to Germany, and look forward to welcoming them home and hearing of their adventures.

Boys studying German in Years 11 and 12 in 2012 will have the opportunity to apply for a SAGSE scholarship, and younger students of German are encouraged to explore the other exchange opportunities offered by the school’s German Department.