Thirty-nine students and five teachers visited the Rhineland in Germany and took full advantage of what Year 8 student Cameron Grattage student dubbed, ‘’An amazing opportunity.”
The trip incorporated lots of visits to many beautiful and entertaining tourist attractions such as the Phantasialand theme park, Cologne city centre and even an overnight stop in the beautiful French coastal resort of Le Touquet – all of which afforded the Eaton Bank students the opportunity to practise and refine their language skills.
It was whilst in Germany that the Eaton Bank students and teachers were given the chance to spend an evening at a recently-opened home for refugees, in the scenic town of Boppard situated on the banks of the Rhine. Eaton Bank teacher and trip leader Alex Kusznir commented: “The trip enabled our students to accept an invitation to share a meal and spend a wonderful evening at leisure with nearly ninety newly-arrived refugees, mostly from Syria.”
Georg Vetter, a local councillor and recent Mayoral candidate in Boppard who arranged the get-together said: “We Rhinelanders have a reputation for being sociable, warm and friendly, but I was overwhelmed by how the Eaton Bank Academy students and our guests from other parts of the world hit it off. I’ve never known an atmosphere quite like it. Some of the students from Congleton even took the trouble to return the next day to exchange gifts with the refugees. Friendships have clearly been forged.”
Year 8 student Cameron remembers, “They prepared lots of their traditional food for us, and we in turn cooked European-style food for them. Georg Vetter even showed some of us how to cook German pretzels. I loved it!”
Fellow student, James Hinchliffe enthused, “The refugee children especially, were just awesome! We were shown, using a map on the wall, the route they all took to get to Germany. They told us it was all made by boat and on foot”.
Councillor Vetter concluded, “Talking with the students from Eaton Bank, it’s obvious that the people from Syria made a big impression on them. In future, when asked for their views on the issue of refugees fleeing to Europe, they’ll be able to give a more informed opinion. They can speak from personal experience about their visit, and about some of the new friends they’ve made.”