After learning about history of Munich and experiencing the Bavarian cultural festivities, the focus of today's excursion was on Germany as the third nation in the world in automotive production. BMW is one of the leading global car manufacturers and Munich is the "Stammhaus" of the production, where it all started. The plant is the only car production plant in the world that is situated in the middle of a city. The problem of space led to even more efficient production methods. We went on a 2-hour private tour of the plant but we were not allowed to take pictures. More information here.
The focus of our exploration today were the foothills of the Alpes and Bavarian monarchy. We took a hike through a gorge up to Neuschwanstein Castle, toured the castle and finished the day with a luge run, a very popular attraction in South Germany.
This day focused on the National Socialist past of Munich where the so-called "movement" started. Dachau Concentration Camp was the model for all other concentration camps in Europe. It is now a memorial site with a permanent exhibition and some reconstructed rooms. The students received in-depth knowledge into the methods and the purpose of the actions in the camp and towards the public. For more information, please consult the memorial site's website.
Back in the city, we visited the university where the young students Sophie and Hans Scholl and others fought against the Nazi-Regime in the resistance movement "The White Rose". We studied documents about the White Rose in the memorial center inside the main building of the university where Sophie and Hans Scholl were arrested after distributing the last flyer. More information here.
The day ended with a stroll through the English Garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Surfers can be seen at the Eisbach.
After a meet-and-greet with the director of our partner school, we visited Lenbachhaus, an art museum which displays the largest selection of the Munich Expressionism artist group Der Blaue Reiter. The students had studied these artists and their paintings in German class. A picknick in the garden of the museum, an Italian-style Villa, concluded this visit. Off we went to the much anticipated Octoberfest to meet with our partners and enjoy the festive atmosphere and folklore.
After attending a few classes in school, we continued the day with a tour of the city center and lunch in the famous Hofbräuhaus.
On their last day, our guests enjoyed views from the Willis Tower Skydeck and were invited to the office of the Chicago Mayor with a private tour and photo op in the press office! Special! This was a successful exchange and the students, teachers and host parents are happy!
After day at the Field Museum of Natural History, the students from Munich explored the River Walk and the Magnificent Mile. All partners met for traditional deep dish Pizza, Chicago style, at Gino's East.
Information about the Pawnee Lodge
All students and partners traveled to the South Side of Chicago to the Museum of Science and Industry and the historic University of Chicago Campus.
In this video Helmut Jahn explains the Mansueto Library on the University of Chicago campus.
We thank our administrative team for a fantastic welcome to our guests!
The group spent their first day in the city starting with a tour at the Art Institute.
The day was windy and cold but our joy made up for it. These are the moments that make the teachers' work all worth while!
In anticipation of the visit of our exchange partners the students in 9th and 10th grade made a banner to greet them at their arrival.
After lots of historical and cultural learning experiences, the students had a look into the modern world of Germany's auto manufacturing industry. We toured the BMW manufacturing plant in the city of Munich. (Photos of this tour were not allowed.) Our students received a detailed and hands-on demonstration of the process of car production by robots, digital processes and manpower. The BMW location also had the current models on display which the students got to "drive".
In the evening, all families gathered for a dinner at a traditional restaurant. After the teachers put all their time and energy into planning this exchange, it was the students' turn to entertain the listeners with various talent show presentations. We are looking forward to seeing our partners again in March 2018! Pfürti!
An amazing performance by one of our very own!
A French song everyone knows!
One of the highlights of the cultural experience in Germany is Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Bavaria close to the Austrian border. The students spent their day with their partners and teachers in the Alpes. First, we toured the castle inside. Then, we hiked to the back of the castle where a very narrow bridge over a ravine offers a spectacular view of the castle. The day was completed with fun at a luge run.
The teachers are having fun, too!
LFC students singing German songs they learned in class over the years!
Today, the students visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site for an in-depth tour. We returned to the city to learn about the White Rose, a group of university students who fought in the resistance. The group picture was taken at the Feldherrnhalle, a military monument in the monarchy where Hitler attempted to overturn the government in 1923. After a day full of learning and history, we spent the end of the day in the Englischer Garten where surfers use the surf of the Eisbach to practice.
Links to the historical sites:
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
Die Weiße Rose
After a breakfast at school and meeting the principal of our partner school, we headed to Königsplatz, a historical site with museums but also tainted by the Nazi-past. Then we visited the Lenbachhaus, a museum for the Munich artist group "Der Blaue Reiter". Lastly, our partners joined us for fun at the Octoberfest. Gaudi!
Another glorious day in sunny Munich with the city filled with visitors and locals in Lederhosen and Dirndl, the traditional garb of Bavaria. At no other time in the year can one see so much folklore and joy. Our students learned about the history of Munich and its historic landmarks, explored the 210-year-old "Viktualienmarkt" with specialties from the region, and ate lunch at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus with live music eating Bratwurst and Sauerkraut like the locals! Grüß Gott!
Today, we left for Munich "excited and a bit nervous" (quote from a student :) and arrived with happy faces matching the beautiful sunshine in the city. We were greeted by our partners and their families in Oberhaching.
Another successful exchange concluded today. Auf Wiedersehen - Au Revoir - Farewell!
All partners and the teachers spent the day in the historic neighborhood of Hyde Park. This area south of the city was the location of the World Columbian Exposition in 1893. Today, the Museum of Science and Industry remains as one of two buildings in Chicago remembering the exposition. Other sights we visited were the Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the University of Chicago Campus with the Booth Business School and the Oriental Institute, the Mansueto Library, built by German-born Helmut Jahn and constructed entirely by German engineers with glass and metal structures from Germany. This state-of-the-art library houses its collections five stories deep underground. Lastly, we visited the sight of the first artificial self-sustained nuclear chain-reaction which lead to the development of the atomic bomb in WWII. It is commemorated by a statue on campus.
During the week, the exchange students explored the city with their teachers.
The visitors spent all day in class with their partners but also met students in other grade levels who study German at the LFC for conversations and games. During our lunch party, our principal Eric Veteau, the secondary director Vincent Aimé and other administrators greeted our guests warmly. Everyone received a complementary LFC-T-Shirt from the Dean of students, Mme Saint-Omer.
Our exchange students from Munich arrived to an anxiously waiting group of LFC students and parents.