25 February 2020

The annual exchange visit to Bielefeld was another great experience for Abingdon and St Helen’s students. This year’s new itinerary, which was focused around giving the students enough experience of German family and school life while providing a wide range of stimulating excursions, received a definite thumbs-up from the boys. Highlights included a visit to the football museum in Dortmund, a visit to Dr Oetker Welt with pizza and pudding galore, a teambuilding morning at the impressive Ahorn Sportpark in Paderborn and a visit to the computer museum in which the AI Nadine seemed to take a shine to Mr Revill.

The morning of bouldering near Bielefeld was mentioned as the best activity of all by many of the boys. We were fortunate to have the German and English partners together for the bouldering and the team spirit, support and encouragement between boys and girls, English and German partners, young and old was wonderful to witness. After a clear safety introduction, everybody could climb at their leisure choosing the level suitable to their ability while being supported by trained staff and one another. Our traditional football tournament saw a German-German final this year with some excellent football from both sides throughout the tournament.

When it was time to say goodbye, some were shedding tears and were already making plans for a revisit – always a sign of a successful exchange.

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