Located 30 km southwest of Hamburg, Buchholz is the home city of Gymnasium am Kattenberge, our partner school since a pairing agreement was signed more than 10 years ago. The Germans had spent the end of January in Hong Kong and since then, communication had continued on social media.

Our students therefore spent a week with families they already knew discovering northern Germany. Hamburg, the Elbe, the historical warehouse district, the new Philharmonic Orchestra building, St. Michael’s Church and the City History Museum, where we saw an exhibition about the life of the Jewish community in Hamburg. The old town and marzipan makers in Lübeck. The Lüneburg Heath with its special climate and vegetation. The weather, very hot and sunny the first 3 days, turned to rain and cold: we even had hail, a discovery for some of our students.

And then, of course, they took part in the daily activities of the young Germans at school, with families, on weekends. The last evening was memorable as the German families had organised a Grillabend where we could eat, sing and laugh a lot.

The tears shed as we left are a sign that the week in Germany will remain a highlight of the year for our students.

A big thank you to all the staff who made the trip possible, especially to Mrs de Briançon for agreeing to accompany the group. Thank you also to the students who behaved impeccably and were so curious and attentive that we’d like to do this project again.