Three Week Tour Offers Union students a View of German “Life in the Country”

By Holly Dunkelberger
German-studentsNineteen Union High School German students and their chaperones, Frau Holly Dunkelberger, Herr Mark Hookham and Herr Joshua Dunkelberger, recently traveled to Germany on a school exchange trip. Union High School has a partner school in Wörrstadt, Germany – the Rheingrafen Realschule plus. The German students visited Iowa last fall. The theme for this year’s exchange was “Das Leben auf dem Land” or “Life in the Country”.
The trip began with a flight via Iceland to Munich, Germany and a train ride to Salzburg, Austria. The Union group spent three days in Salzburg before traveling on to Munich for three more days.
Salzburg delighted us with its Hohensalzburg fortress, mountain scenery, gracious old city charm, impressive cathedral, modern Natural History Museum, the Red Bull Hangar 7, and much, much more. A side trip to Berchtesgaden’s salt mines and the Eagles’ Nest in Obersalzberg was also very interesting.
The metropolis of Munich was certainly a far cry from our small Iowa towns of La Porte City and Dysart. The subway whisked us away to destinations such as the Old City with its Bell Carillon, giant Farmers’ Market, and Cathedral of Our Lady, the Olympic grounds, the BMW World, and the royal palace and treasury. Some explored the Hunting and Fishing Museum while others toured the Toy Museum or shopped up and down the main street. The visit to Dachau’s Concentration Camp was a sobering reminder to never let such atrocities occur again.
On June 9th, we met our host families at the Wörrstadt train station and enjoyed a welcome BBQ. The UHS students lived with host families for two weeks, attending school, taking field trips, and experiencing the everyday lives of their German host families.
Frequent field trips brought us several times to Mainz, to Alzey, Cologne, Trier and along the Rhine river. The mayor of the united community VG Wörrstadt, Markus Conrad, hosted a day-long trip to local businesses that matched our theme “Life in the Country.”
We learned so much and the time flew by much too quickly.
The students would like to thank the community for all the support during their fundraising efforts and invite everyone to view their blog at