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German Exchange Students visit Kilkeel High School

As part of a student exchange between Kilkeel High School and a German school, Mellendorf Gymnasium, the school hosted eleven junior, one senior student and two teachers from the Hannover region for a week in June. The trip had been in the planning stages since 2019 but could finally take place for the first time this year. It was funded by a grant from UK-German Connection and made for an unforgettable youth encounter. The itinerary was divided up between anti-bullying workshops focusing on conflict resolution strategies, and visits to various local beauty spots. The exchange group went on excursions to the Ulster Folk Park, the Giant’s Causeway, and the Titanic Museum in Belfast. A further highlight was “bouldering” at the Bloody Bridge near Newcastle: dressed in wetsuit, equipped with life jacket and helmet, the students climbed and swam upstream from the coast towards the Mourne Mountains guided by experienced coasteering guides from Lurgaboy Adventure. This sporting challenge was particularly exciting for the students, as the group had to demonstrate not only skill and fitness, but also team spirit. The German students were matched with a KHS student whose family kindly hosted the visitor for the week, including the weekend when host families planned their own activities. After a week of workshops and visits it was finally time to say goodbye, but it will not be long before the group meets again. The return trip to Germany is scheduled for the coming September when the KHS students will make their way to the Hannover region to continue the workshops, visit local attractions and experience life in a German family.