Written by Lucas 10C2


In the second week of the Easter holidays 18 students from Year 9 and 10 took part in the first leg of the long running German language exchange to Stuttgart with the Hegel Gymnasium.

During the week, we spent the days together as a group and had the opportunity to explore the city and learn about its history. After a very early flight on Monday morning, we arrived in Stuttgart and met our exchange partners at school, and then went bowling together to break the ice and get to know each other. We had a very busy Tuesday, which saw us visit the first of two car museums, learning about the history of Porsche. Everyone enjoyed seeing the cars and having a go on the racing simulators. That afternoon we also went up the TV tower, the first of its kind, built in 1956, and standing at 217m, the 10th tallest building in the world. Despite the freezing conditions that day, the view of the city and beyond was fabulous. On Wednesday, we learnt yet more about the local history, with a tour of the town hall and the central square and discovered that the cities name comes from a shortening of the German Stutengarten, meaning mare garden. 


Thursday saw a visit to a nearby university town, Tübingen, which was both incredibly scenic and historic, having been founded in 1477 by Duke Eberhard of Württemberg, making it one of the oldest universities in Europe. In the afternoon, we visited the nearby Ritter Sport chocolate factory, and created our own flavours in an enjoyable workshop. Finally, on Friday we had a tour of the Landtag, the parliament building for the German state Baden-Württemberg of which Stuttgart is the capital, which provided an interesting insight into the German political system. In addition to this we explored the second car museum, the Mercedes Museum, with cars ranging from motorised carriages to the latest generation of race cars, still being used in F1 today. To round off the day, we spent the afternoon under the baking sun in a hotly contested football tournament with our German counterparts, seeing several miraculous goals.


For me, the most enjoyable part of the trip was the time we were able to spend in the evenings and on the weekend with our exchange partners, fully immersing ourselves in German culture and practising our language skills. Everyone took part in different activities, ranging from visiting traditional German beer gardens to history museums, but the most popular options included Tripsdrill theme park and witnessing the beauty of the nearby Alps. In addition to this, we had time to relax with our partners, enjoy the generally very good weather and further get to know the city, including the main shopping street, Königstraße.

Overall, the trip was an incredibly enjoyable opportunity to widen our horizons, experience new cultures and food whilst also developing our German competence and deepening our understanding of German history. A huge thank you to Ms. Brock for accompanying and looking after us, and Frau von Truchsess for organising the trip from everyone who took part. We are now looking forward to our partners’ visit to London in two months.