South African pupils off to a four week study trip through Germany
On the June 27, employees of the German embassy said goodbye to eight South African pupils who were leaving for a study trip to Germany organised by the German educational exchange service PAD. At the international airport in Johannesburg, Martina Wurm-Dittkrist from the cultural section of the embassy gave valuable advice to the excited youngsters.
Enlarge image PAD winners of the Germany trip (© GIC Africa) Eight pupils had succeeded in a South African-wide language contest German Olympics and had finally won the study trip in a further selection process. They all speak German very well and want to learn more about Germany and its language.The study trip is a worldwide programme of the PAD.
Since 1959, it aims to familiarize young people with the German language, culture and way of life. This year about 500 pupils from 91 countries participate in the trip which is funded by the German Foreign Office with more than 1.4 million Euro.
During the four week study trip, the adolescents will form multinational groups. Ayesha from Kranskop and Adrian from Cape Town will hence be in a group with other teenagers from Chile, Egypt, India, Serbia and Spain. In Germany, they will at first visit Bonn, where the headquarters of the PAD are located. After this, different programmes including trips to Berlin and Hamburg are waiting for the groups. Finally, the pupils will stay in host families for about two weeks and will take a language course at a local high school.
Some of the candidates have already been to Germany, for others like Jemaar from Cape Town it will be the first time. “I am looking forward to getting to know Germany's diversity between Hamburg and Bavaria.”, said Mamelo from Soweto. Molatelo from Pretoria, who wants to become a journalist, is particularly interested in the cultural offerings in the country of poets and thinkers.
Enlarge image PAD pupils (© GIC Africa) Martina Wurm-Dittkrist made the young travellers aware of some of the most striking differences between Germany and South Africa such as the public transport system and the recently cold summer in Germany. In anticipation of the trip, she handed each of the eight pupils a book with interesting facts about Germany.
The parents of the participants agreed: „The PAD programme is an extraordinary opportunity for the youngsters. We are very grateful.“ They thanked the embassy for the support at the airport and during the visa application process. They were looking forward to seeing their children again in four weeks with new experience, stories and photos.