I still remember the day Aditi asked me for her allowing her to go to a German exchange with pleading eyes.
It was her dream from the day she took German as her third language. She knew it’s her 10th and mid term after the vacations will be really hard, and I could say a “no” but with a big heart I allowed her because I knew, no marks or academic achievement can ever give her this opportunity of going on a cultural programme, living with a totally different family and being a part of their daily routine.
The opportunity to experience another culture firsthand, by living with a native family is a chance of a lifetime.
Good things and positive experiences don’t always come easy. I thanks my school Lotus Valley and their team for giving this chance to my son and will treasure forever.
This exchange program has impacted on his future in many ways like lifelong friendship, career goals, and personal goals.
(Mother of Lakshya Bhatia , class 10th vivevekanand )
The experience has been truly very inspiring and full of lifetime memories for him. The excitement of going with friends to an unknown country was itself so exciting for him as well as us!! Thanks to technology – Thomas ( his German partner ) and Uday chatted regularly before the trip so a certain comfort zone had set in. I was also in touch with Christine ( Thomas”s mom ) who was sweet and welcomed Uday with open arms.
Uday has made so many friends and learnt about the German way of life too ! From becoming independent and understanding self and growing in confidence to understanding responsiblity not only for studies but in other spheres too – we see tremendous changes in Uday after the trip.
The host family also took great care, both Thomas and Uday have become very good friends. We now look forward to having them over and reciprocate to their hospitality !!
Mona and Jai Bansal
Parents of Uday Bansal
class 10, Vivekanand
In only about one week the Indian students will be able to explore Germany. But they don’t have to do that alone. Their German partners and host parents will take care of them and will make their trip as pleasant as possible.
Aditi’s mother is completely aware of that fact and she is happy to know that her daughter will have a friend in Germany. That’s why she sent the following message to Erla, the German partner.
Aditi's mother has a special message for her daughter's partner, Erla.
There have been lot of times that my friends’ children have stayed with us but it is for the first time that we had a child from another country with different language, culture and of course taste, stay as a family member for a fortnight. The entire experience of hosting an adolescent child from a completely alien setup was an interesting and enlightening one. Our german guest child Val is disciplined, amiable frank , courteous , adjusting and inquisitive. He was interested in knowing our way of life and adventurous enough to taste variety of Indian dishes and of course logic behind doing certain things the way we do !!!
15 days passed very smoothly and it was indeed great to have him stay with us. We had our apprehensions around our ability to be a good host in accordance with the traditions of Indian culture of treating ‘guest equivalent to God’; but I am happy to say that Val is a nice person and cooperated all the way of being a wonderful guest and has indeed become part of our family for life!
Here, I sincerely compliment the stellar work done by the teachers in managing the exchange program intricacies meticulously. Partner selections were near to perfect as their interests matched and there is not a single dull moment – the theme of sports added lot of energy and action to the entire program. Continuous guidance from organising teachers in managing multi-faceted activities, programs and excursions was a big comfort for us and gave a sense of assurance around children getting holistic benefit from program and developing into a responsible and learned global citizen.
If you think the teachers are the most important people, you are wrong. The students aren’t either. But the parents of our guests and our hosts are the MVPs the Most Valuable Players in this exchange program.
They give consent to the that exchange, pay for the tickets, open their house for a foreigner and help whenever they can during the 14 day long stay in India and Germany.
That’s why today we had a potluck dinner together with the parents where we not only performed some dances to thank them, but to eat some really exquisite Indian food, which – why should it be different today – the parents themselves prepared for that very occasion.
The official program
The potluck startet with very warm welcoming words from the Indian coordinator Ms Radhika Babbar and the second Indian teacher Ms Ritu Shahar followed by the German coordinator Mr Wolfgang Poeschl and his colleague Ms Christina Wiedemann.
In a short movie clip the parents got a short summary about the trips that had been done during the stay in Germany. A dance performed by students of Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium (Niederbayerischer Ländler) and another one by the Indian participants concluded this official part.