A group of 20 students from Kreisgymnasium Bad Krozingen, Germany, recently visited Lancaster Mennonite High School as part of an ongoing exchange between the two schools.

A strong relationship has developed during the past 14 years of exchanges. Students from both schools say that visiting for three weeks is a highlight of their high school careers, and the immersion in German helps LMH students to better understand the German language and culture. Because of these good experiences, some German students choose to spend a full year at LMH.

Along with attending classes with their new LMH friends, the German exchange group went to Washington D.C. and New York City on overnight trips as well as a day trip to Philadelphia and a tour of Amish country here in Lancaster County.

Jon Metzler, the LMH teacher who coordinates the exchange, says that the exchange provides a rich relational experience that has led to friendships between families, with some of the parents remaining in contact even more than a decade after the exchange. Families have visited the other families in Germany or the U.S., and one was even invited to the former exchange student’s wedding.

Superintendent J. Richard Thomas says, “My spouse Joyce and I have warm memories of our visit to Bad Krozingen and the exchange of ideas with administrators about best practices in education as well as their wonderful hospitality.”

The LMH exchange group will be hosted by Kreisgymnasium Bad Krozingen this summer.

International opportunities such as this enable LMH students to grow in global awareness and cultural sensitivity. As local and global students meet, both are enriched and better prepared for success in the 21st century.