by Christina Jones
Although German courses are no longer offered, WHS held a German Student Exchange program. This year, Guidance Counselor Mr. Ryan McGarrigan was in charge of the exchange, along with Foreign Exchange Club Co-Presidents Brittany Gould and Allie Schwetje.
Eight students from Idstein, Germany arrived on Oct. 3 and stayed until Oct. 17. Host families were found by sending out a general email, according to McGarrigan.
“There are three of us who did not graduate last year and really wanted to do the exchange again. We got in touch with Mr. McGarrigan, who came to Germany with us in February, and started [the club] to continue the exchange,” said Gould.
The German students were accompanied to Westfield by their teacher Ms. Anna Henning. Said Henning: “We, students and teachers alike, are so very grateful for having had the chance to spend time at Westfield High School. This intercultural experience is highly valuable for us, as the opportunity to immerse ourselves in American culture makes our students grow both academically and personally.”
According to Schwetje, the program incorporated visits to destinations such as New York, Princeton, Menlo Park Mall and the News 12 television station. The students also went to Fright Fest at Six Flags.
“It has been a really great experience for all of us, especially with the activities that were scheduled for the students. The weekends were great as well because we got the opportunity to show them around and have a chance to meet our friends,” said Schwetje.
The Foreign Exchange Club hopes to continue the German Exchange. Said McGarrigan: “I’m not sure about next year. Things are still up in the air.”
Said Henning, “We are looking forward to welcoming the American students in our country and to a future cooperation between Westfield and Idstein.”