Last month, three teachers traveled more than miles 4,000 miles from their hometown in Hamburg, Germany, to get acquainted with students and teachers from Sullivan High School, 6631 N. Bosworth Ave.
The long-distance meet and greet is part of the Sister Cities School Project— a unique opportunity for students from all over the globe to get to know one another, and understand each other’s culture and lifestyle through face-to-face contact and exchange.
Teachers Stephan Gerigk, Julia Saucke, and Anke Stolle visited the United States for the first time in October to facilitate a student exchange program with Sullivan. Last June, two Sullivan faculty members, Joan Castro and Michael Beck, traveled to Hamburg to visit the Gymnasium Altona, a high school and elementary school in Germany. Both schools are in the early stages of the exchange program.
During their weeklong trip, Gerigk, Saucke, and Stolle visited classrooms, enjoyed a performance by Sullivan's steel drum band, accompanied students to Dankhaus, a German cultural institution, and met Sullivan community members.
Preparing for the exchange
Now that both schools have visited each other, the next phase of the program involves setting up the actual student exchange program. In the spring of 2010, 15-20 students from Altona will travel to Chicago and attend Sullivan High School.
Each student will live with a host family and get to learn what life is like for an American high school student. Then in the fall of 2010, 15-20 Sullivan students will travel to Germany, live with a host family, and view life from the perspective of a German high school student. Once each group returns home, they will then share their experiences with teachers and classmates.
Sullivan Principal, Dr. Joseph Atria, said the exchange program will be an invaluable learning experience for all the students involved.
Brittany, a student participating in next year’s exchange trip to Germany, agrees. The Sullivan junior is interested in learning more about European culture and is eager to take what she hopes will be many travels to Europe.
Learn more about Sullivan High School.
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