Penn Manor Students Get To Experience New Culture

By Bryan Hess and Stetson Hershey –

Thirteen Penn Manor students will be traveling to Germany this summer to experience what life is like halfway around the world.

German teacher Nadine Smith, is taking some of her more experienced German students back to her homeland to expose the students to the culture.  The students will be leaving for their destination on June 9 and will be staying for three weeks.

Not only will the students be vacationing in Germany, they will be living  full-time with their exchange students for the first two weeks of their stay in the foreign country.

All the German students and exchange students. Photo by Katie Coon

They will also be attending school with them during the week, because in Germany, they have school year round.

“They observe how school works over there,” said Smith.

Even though these students will have to be attending two extra weeks of school, there are a select few who like the idea of going to a school in Germany.

“I’m interested to see what level English they are learning,” said Tyler Keck, a senior and one of the more fluent German speakers according to his teacher.

After the first two weeks, the students will spend the third and final week traveling throughout the country.

One of the destinations will be Smith’s hometown, Mühlberg.

“My parents usually host us for picnic,” said Smith

The students will also be traveling to Frankfurt, Munich, the Bavarian Alps, and Bamberg.

In order for the students to go on the German trip, some money must be raised.

“I’m not a big fund-raising person,” Smith said, “but it must be done so students can go to Germany.”

“We have done multiple fundraisers,” stated senior Kyle White, “I think they were successful.”

German exchange kids with their hosts. Photo by Katie Coons

The fundraisers that were done are a car wash and two candle sales.

“The car wash wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t like selling candles. I’m not very convincing at selling things” Joked junior Austin Rowley.

The students raised about $1,800 towards their experience.

Once the students get to Germany, they all will be participating in a culture show.  The culture show is an opportunity for the students to showcase some of their talents for their German friends.

Each student will be involved in at least one dance, but some students wanted to do something more personal.  Senior Peter Horning will be playing the piano.

Keck, along with senior classmate Katie Coons, will be doing a German dance.

“I’ve been dancing since I was three,” said Coons.

The goal for the students is to use little to no English on the trip.  Although the students will have their exchange students to help translate, the biggest challenge on this trip will be communicating.

In order to speak in all German, they need to keep studying the language.  Many students are achieving this goal by being a part of German club, others go above and beyond and study on their own time.

“I’ve been reading some articles in German,” said Keck.

A five-ten minute presentation will also be made, in German, by each student in front of a class full of German students.  The presentation will be on a topic that is part of the culture that the students live in.

“I’m a little nervous about the presentation,” said Horning.

“The goal of all presentations is to enlighten the students on daily life in America,” said Keck, whose presentation is about sports in America.

These 13 students are putting in a lot of hard-work and preparation for their trip to Germany, but they are all still very excited.

“I am excited,” said Rowley, “I think I will be homesick though.”

“It’s going to be a great way to experience the culture first hand,” said Horning.