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Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth

Greenhills Welcomes German Exchange Students


Recently, staff and students at Our Lady’s College, led by teachers Karin O’ Hare and Bettina Wuerdinger were delighted to extend a warm Greenhills welcome to a group of German students (17 girls and 5 boys ) accompanied by teachers Katharina Reinery and Johanna Sarry from Friedrich Albert Lange Schule, its partner school in Solingen, Germany.

The exchange of students between the two schools is a long established tradition that dates back to the 1990’s when German teachers in the school Anne Travers, Anne Kerrisk and the late Brianne Mc Hugh established the programme with the aim of providing opportunities to Greenhills students to form friendships and improve competency in spoken German through immersion in the language with a family homestay and experience of school life in Germany.

Situated in North Rhine-Westpahalia, Solingen, known as the “City of Blades” since it has long been renowned for the manufacturing of scissors, razors and knives is located 25km east of Dusseldorf. The Greenhills girls however are more interested in the fact that it is home to an enormous Haribo factory! They are looking forward to having the opportunity to sample original Goldbaren on the return leg of their exchange visit to Germany this September.

On this trip to Drogheda the German guests stayed with their host family, attended class with their Irish partner and enjoyed a hectic few days that involved brown bread baking, bog-jumping and a crash course in Irish dancing at Causey farm as well as a visit to Epic museum of Irish emigration and the replica famine ship, the Jeanie Johnston.

The departure of the group marks the end of another very successful cross cultural and linguistic exchange and reminds all of us of the value and learning to be had in promoting conversation and student engagement.