Wilton and German students strengthen ties
It was a busy two weeks from Oct. 17 to 31 for the Wilton High School German classes and German Honor Society.
Four students from Überlingen am Bodensee, Germany, stayed with Wilton students and their families. This is a very exciting exchange, according to teacher Christine Higgins, as there is a 40-year partnership between the town of Überlingen and the state of Connecticut.
Historically, the exchange started in Ridgefield, and now has continued with Wilton High School and Fairfield Prep leading the program. There were 23 German exchange students and two teachers here this year.
Students from Wilton High School enjoyed forming transatlantic friendships, practicing their German, taking part in activities with German exchange and Fairfield Prep students, and showing the German students American fall and Halloween customs and traditions. The exchange teachers from Germany also led trips for the students to New York City, Hartford, Yale, and Fairfield.
On Oct. 28, the German classes also celebrated German-American friendship and made intercultural connections when the WanderbUS (sponsored by the Goethe-Institut, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany) came to Wilton High School for the day. On that day, not only did all 23 German exchange students come to Wilton, but also, Wilton’s German students had a chance to interact with them with activities provided by the WanderbUS team and their teachers.
Starting from Washington, D.C., the WanderbUS visited 65 schools across the country and Wilton High was one of the final stops. Students enjoyed conversing with German exchange students, but also loved the virtual reality simulators on board the WanderbUS, games, prizes, and even the photo booth.
The German teachers and students sent their thanks to the school, Principal Robert O’Donnell, and the families for a wonderful time here. Many memories were made on both sides.