It is 4:15 am, we are already awake for 1.5 hours and we fought our way out of the warm bedsheets to the cold parking lot of the school. To make it clear, we are none of these overexcited teachers, who want to be first at the copy machine! We are Bavarian exchange teachers, who collect a group of exchange students from the Munich airport!
Today is the day! After an 8 hour lasting direct flight our guests arrive at MUC airport. But it still takes some time till we can welcome them. After the arrival the Indians have to show their visa, passports and their invitation letter to Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium. After that they hopefully will be allowed to enter Europe. The procedure continues whith baggage collect, German customs, last visits of the restrooms and first calls of the Indian parents. Depending on the time and day of the week it can take some hours till a group of young travelers finally arrives at the airport’s lobby. That’s one of many reasons why only two German teachers are waiting to greet the guests from Noida. And who knows, how long they still have to wait?
But as we get closer to Straubing the students talk more and more. Even the participating teachers ask happily about the school, weather and family issues and …
The conversation stops abruptly as the bus enters the parking lot of the Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium. Nobody is on their seats any more. Noses are pressed against the windows. The parents and the German students are standing at the corner. Some even wear the traditional Bavarian costumes and wave banners and flags. You hear the warm noise of welcome cheers!
The exchange 2017 has started!