German students’ reluctant farewell

The German students aboard HMS Trincomalee
The German students aboard HMS Trincomalee

A GROUP of German students have waved Auf Wiedersehen to Hartlepool and east Durham following a two week-long exchange trip.

Nineteen German students, along with two of their teachers, spent a fortnight living and working in the North-East and experiencing some of the region’s top attractions as part of an exchange trip between the school and East Durham College, in Peterlee.

The trip marked the 20th anniversary since the exchange scheme began between the two colleges.

As part of their visit, the students, from a school called Stattliche Fachoberschule und Berufsoberschule, in Altötting, Bavaria, visited a number of tourism spots, including Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience and the HMS Trincomalee.

The students visited places including the Metrocentre, in Gateshead, Sunderland’s National Glass Centre, the UK Superbowl in Hartlepool, the Sage and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Bamburgh, Durham and Whitby.

They were also treated to an owl and falconry display at the college’s Houghall campus, on the outskirts of Durham City.

Another highlight of the trip was a birthday party for 17-year-old German student Carolin Herold and teacher Hannes Holzinger.

Students from East Durham College also put on a talent show for their visitors in the Peterlee campus’s Lubetkin Theatre.

The students were guided on the trip by East Durham College staff Steve Metcalf and Sandra Ambrose.

During their stay, they also went on work placements at the college or with local businesses Mecaplast and Seaward Electronics, The Peterlee Fire Company and local nursery schools.

Mr Metcalf said: “I have made 19 very nice new friends. They didn’t want to go home and I was really sad to see them go.

“One student, Michael Schleicker, said he wants to come back as soon as he possibly can.

“It’s been a real pleasure because the students are so friendly and polite and we had great fun.”

Mr Metcalf and Ms Ambrose will accompany 14 East Durham College students on a return trip to Bavaria in March.