Young Namibians return from their German exchange student experience
The German Ambassador, HE Christian Schlaga (standing centre left in the back row) last week welcomed back to Namibia the nineteen students who spent their summer vacation in Germany as exchange students.
During their overseas stay, the young ambassadors attended the schools of their respective German hosts. Each Namibian student stayed with a designated German family for the duration of the exchange period. This hospitality is reciprocated in June, when the children of the German host families become the guests of the Namibian families whose children participated in the exchange programme.
The exchange programme is funded in part by the German Embassy in Windhoek. The other partners are the German School Societies in Namibia and the organisation called German Cultural Relations Abroad. The exchange period lasts between 10 and 12 weeks.
Assuming the role of ambassadors for Namibia, the exchange students contribute significantly to overcoming mutual prejudices while building German Namibian friendships. The latest group returned from Germany in mid-January, all starry eyed over the immense depth of German culture, and their new-found confidence in speaking German daily.
Ambassador Schlaga was impressed by the language ability of the Namibian learners, saying “This exchange programme, extending over several weeks, is one of the best opportunities for the young people to delve into the German language while experiencing daily life in Germany.”
The additional German language skills enable many of the learners to complete one of the official language certificates like the DSD examinations and it can prepare them for studying in Germany.
DHPS learner, Mbeu Kaumonika echoed the group’s sentiment when he said “I learnt such a lot about Germany and its people. My host family was very interested in culture so I even got to see the opera ‘The Magic Flute’ by Mozart – this was a definite highlight.”