Our school carried out the first ever student exchange in the history of OBS. From the 14th-16th April, several exchange students from Geneva visited our 10th grade students at OBS. Later, our students traveled to Geneva from the 21-23rd April to spend time with the 11th grade students at our partner school. They stayed with host families of their exchange partners, visited for a day at the partner school and learned about Zurich and Geneva. The goal was not only to dive into French or German, but also to facilitate contact with young people from another canton to promote intercultural learning.
The project was initiated and carried out because of the OBS French teacher, Mrs. Gabriele Mittendorfer's, past experience with exchange programs. Over the past year, she found a suitable partner school in French-speaking Switzerland who showed openness to such a project. Beginning in January contacts with the partner school were carefully built.
In cooperation with Mme. Leclercq, our students wrote letters in French. In return, letters in German were written by their partners to establish correspondence and allow a mutual trust to grow slowly. Our students then corrected these letters. Nevertheless, all were understandably quite nervous before seeing one another in person. At the first meeting in Zurich main station, they approached each other cautiously, but during the day the students became more courageous and ventured out of their comfort zones.
While staying in Geneva, the friendships were strengthened further by the intensive cooperation during several lessons and a joint city tour. This helped improve language skills and to gain insights into different habits and processes in everyday life.
Our students took on a major challenge but mastered the challenge well and grew from the experience.
For our OBS parents and those of our exchange partners, this project was a special occasion. We would like to thank all parents very much for their cooperation. Their flexibility and commitment made this successful exchange possible!
Our school leaders, Mrs. Appenzeller and her counterpart Mr. Gabioud in Geneva, experienced the first exchange as very successful and would like to continue this valuable partnership.
We are very pleased to offer our young people these types of unforgettable experiences. We would like to offer a special thank you to Ms. Mittendorfer for her initiative.