Ochsenhausen Exchange 2014
St. Mary’s and Gymnasium Ochsenhausen have been conducting yearly student exchanges since the fall of 1995. The exchange is organized in conjunction with the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) and is partially subsidized by both the German and American governments. Each year a group of approximately 22 students from Gymnasium Ochsenhausen visits St. Mary’s in the spring, and every other year St. Mary’s students travel to southern Germany in June.
For those unfamiliar with the exchange, our sister school is a good match for St. Mary’s for many reasons. Located in southern Germany between scenic Lake Constance and the ancient city of Ulm, Gymnasium Ochsenhausen boasts a long history as a rigorous academic school. Its students come from rural communities (Ochsenhausen, with 7000 inhabitants, is the largest town in the area), and they enjoy coming to the Rogue Valley with all it has to offer in the way of natural beauty and city life. Both schools can boast of open, friendly and safe communities, and there is strong support from the students, parents, teachers and school administration for the ongoing exchanges.
In keeping with the GAPP guidelines, this exchange has as its primary goal the enhancement of our students' language skills and personal knowledge of Germany. The program strives to deepen students' commitment not only to the language, but also to greater understanding and tolerance. As this is an exchange program rather than simply a study trip, anyone wanting to participate must have completed at least one year of German (with preference given to the more advanced students) prior to going on the exchange. Additionally, all families of participating students should plan on hosting a German student for three weeks when the German exchange students visit St. Mary's this spring from April 19 to May 10.
This year, the St. Mary’s group will depart from Medford on June 9 and begin their tour by traveling to Hamburg, Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Prague, and Munich, before arriving in Ochsenhausen on June 20. There they will spend almost two weeks living with their host families and attending school. On the weekends, they will travel to nearby sights with their exchange partners. The group will depart from the Munich airport on July 3 to return to Medford.