After the partnership between the Frankfurt comprehensive school Schule Am Ried and Sakuragaoka Municipal High School in Yokohama was established in 2017, the first visit by Schule am Ried to its partner school took place in 2018 and the school made return visits in 2019 and 2020, the exchange had to be put on hold for the time being as the visit by Schule am Ried planned for autumn 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Although there was still contact online, the next visit to Schule am Ried had to wait until now.
At the beginning of November, the time had finally come again and fifteen students travelled to Yokohama with two teachers. Most of the students, aged between 15 and 19, were visiting their partner city for the first time.
The students stayed with their host families for a week, attending classes at Sakuragaoka, taking part in club activities and a joint workshop on environmental issues. The students were even welcomed by Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka at Yokohama City Hall, who was particularly pleased to see them again after having visited the Ried school in July as part of his trip to Germany.
When asked how they liked Yokohama, the students replied that they had a lot of fun in the group and with the exchange students. All the Japanese they met were very friendly and not only wanted to teach them as much as possible about their country and culture but were also very interested in learning about Germany and the life there. “I actually didn’t want to leave,” some of them even said.
After Mayor Yamanaka’s visit to the Ried School and before the students’ trip to Yokohama, our office supported the trip with an information event for the students and their parents. We introduced Yokohama, explained the historical, geographical and social characteristics and answered questions on how to interact with the host families.
Sakuragaoka’s next visit to Frankfurt is planned for fiscal year 2024. Our office will continue to support the lively exchange between the two schools to the best of its ability.