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The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

Photo Credits:
OYSP, The Place to Be
April 25, 2024

Gute Reise

Acad students on Germany trip
Photo credits: Reese Jarrard
Acad students on Germany trip Photo credits: Reese Jarrard

Over Spring Break, numerous high school Athens Academy students flew to Germany on their exchange to the ESG school in Gutersloh, Germany. Students stayed with the host families of the German students that visited Athens Academy in the fall. Led by Mr. Hovater, the group explored various German towns and became acquainted with the culture. 


The first portion of the trip from February 29th to March 4th, the group stayed in Gutersloh with their host families. To become immersed in the community, students shadowed at the ESG school, just as ESG students did so at Athens Academy. 


Hadley is a junior that hosted an exchange student from the ESG school and shares, “I’m so excited to see the friends that we made.” 


After engaging with the Gutersloh community, the Athens Academy group departed on a train to Berlin. 


Charle Sanderlin, also an eleventh grader who hosted a student expresses, “I’m just so ecstatic for Berlin.”


In Berlin, students toured the American embassy, where American diplomatic actions in Germany are overseen. Next, they visited the Holocaust memorial and Brandenburg Tor, translated “Peace Gate,” which used to divide East and West Germany. Wrapping up their afternoon in Berlin, they walked the unter der linden, a street running east to west alongside the stunning Berlin palace. The following full day in Berlin, the group visited the Bundestag, a German federal building in the shape of a dome before returning to Gutersloh. 


Emilee Stortz, a junior going on the Germany trip, says, “I am honestly just so excited to go to Gutersloh because I love cute little European towns.” 


In addition to the town of Gütersloh, the group was able to take a train to Münster, where they visited the city center and further experienced German culture. Their final trip will be to Rietburg, where they toured the city and concluded with a dinner shared with their host families. 

Mr. Hovater, organizer of the Gütersloh exchange, explains that “this will be the first time our students have traveled to Gütersloh…Really, what I’m looking forward to the most is the homestay, which I think is the most valuable part of the trip for students and teachers alike…The ESG families are so gracious and hospitable.” 


The exchange trip to Germany allows students to connect with a new culture by visiting German towns and staying with host families. In addition to the trip to Germany, Athens Academy students have the opportunity to visit both Quebec and the Galapagos, where they too will have the chance to learn and connect with diverse communities. 


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About the Contributor
Nina Rutledge
Nina Rutledge, News Section Editor
My name is Nina Rutledge, and this is my first year editing for the Spartan Review News section as a Junior. I was a staff writer for the Circle Voice at my old school, where I wrote articles for sports, opinions, and news. I play soccer, run cross country, and enjoy hiking and volunteering for ESP outside of school.

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