Editor’s note: On Saturday, April 23, over 50 vendors will gather at Union High School for a Vendor Fair that will begin at 10 AM and conclude at 3 PM. Proceeds from the event will help support the fundraising efforts of the students who will travel to Germany for three weeks at the conclusion of the school year. In addition to the many products and services for sale that day, walking tacos, hot dogs and other concessions will be available. German students still have $10 Pizza Hut coupon cards for sale, a great way to get up to 12 free pizzas. -MW
By Holly Dunkelberger
We are scheduled to depart May 29th, flying via Iceland to Munich. We will head to Salzburg, Austria by train for a few days. Plans include a visit to the Hohensalzburg castle, the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines, the Untersberg mountain, various Salzburg highlights such as Mozart’s birthplace and home, the Mirabell Gardens, catacombs and the Salzburg Cathedral.
After a few days acclimating to the time change and the language/culture, we travel by train to Lautersbach in Hessen, Germany. This is a new location for Union students, as we have a new partnership school, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Gymnasium. This type of school is a college-prep school going to grade 13.
The Union-AVH partnership is part of a program administered by the Goethe Institut, a government supported institute to support the learning of German language and sharing of the German culture all over the world. The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) matches schools from both countries who communicate and visit each others’ schools.
We will spend two weeks living with host families in Lauterbach, attending classes and learning about their town and daily lives. As part of our joint project titled “Wir lernen uns kennen-Getting Acquainted,” students will be sharing what they learn about the community, school life and families in Germany on our Facebook site. When the German students visit us next year, we will do the same, introducing them to our towns, organizations, culture, families and school life.
Union High School has enjoyed a partnership with German schools since 1998. For many years, we were paired with the Karolina Burger Realschule in Ludwigshafen. Many life-long friendships have been forged and maintained between the German and American families. During these visits, students discover the similarities and differences they share with their new-found foreign friends. They become international citizens with broader perspectives of the world.
After the family stay, we will return to Munich for a few days. Plans call for a tour of the old city center, various cathedrals and churches, the market square and the royal residences. We will make a side trip to the Dachau Concentration Camp and the Olympic grounds. While we are in Germany, Munich celebrates its 858th birthday.
On June 20, we make our way back to Iowa, having made many new friends on the other side of the world during our tour of incredible places in Germany.
The Union German Exchange Trip group is very grateful for the support of our communities. Be sure and like our Facebook page to see what we are up to!