Yearly Trip to Germany

As they navigate through the streets of Dortmund, Robinson students absorb all the different culture the city has to offer. German teachers Carolyn Ostermann-Healey and Desiree Reynolds embarked on the journey to Germany along with 13 students June 17 .

During their tour of Germany, the group got to visit several different cities and historic sites. Everyone stayed with their host families from Dortmund at night and took trips during the days. Experiencing everything from climbing the stairs of the world’s largest cathedral and Germany’s most visited landmark, the Cologne Cathedral, to the more adventurous activities, such as going zip lining and entering a coal mine, the students got a little taste of everything in German culture. Other cities they visted include Bochum, Münster, Berlin and Würzburg.

“Würzburg was very historical and a lot of fun to visit because in the town, there was a really cool fortress and beautiful palace that we were able to tour,” sophomore Audrey Hibdon said.

Aside from the historical landmarks the students learned about, they also got to experience things typical German teens do on a daily basis.

“I think they enjoyed seeing what a German school was like and how it is different from an American school,” Ostermann-Healey said.

Aside from the differing school systems, other aspects of German culture that differ from American culture include some of the sports Germans play, some of things they eat, and even their personalities throughout daily life.

“One of the biggest differences that the Americans noticed in Germany was their attitude. We noted that Germans take their free time seriously. Here if we had free time, some of us would work on homework, or run, or do something to better ourselves. In Germany, if you have free time, you literally do nothing,” junior Jontyler Hartman said. 

The requirements for participating in the trip are simple. As long as the student hosts an exchange student from Dortmund, the city in Germany where Robinson’s partner school is located, they are eligible for the trip. Students from Dortmund arrive in Virginia every fall for three weeks to experience American culture and tour historic sites. This year’s students arrived Sept. 29 to experience American culture with their classmates and host families.

Several of the languages at the school offer trips to a foreign country. This can offer several benefits, such as broadening students’ knowledge about the country and can even be something to help standout on college applications.
Whether it is France, Germany or another trip foreign languages offer, most students will say that the experience is definitely worth taking.

“If you take this trip, you’ll be able to grow in so many aspects. I made friends in Germany who I talk to a lot, and most weren’t even my host,” Hartman said. “In my opinion, being immersed in a language is the only way to truly become bilingual.”