• 52°

German students visit Salisbury High and the state

Student writers

Will Fowler

Roshen Amin

By Roshen Amin and Will Fowler

Salisbury High School

In the spring, Adair Doran, a well-loved teacher, proposed an idea to students of Salisbury High School about an exchange program with students from Sylt, Germany, a small island in the northwestern part of the country.

Open to everyone, students from all grades attended the first interest meeting in her classroom, eager to learn about the students coming, to choose hosting arrangements and to plan exciting activities. In total, the group consisted of 17 students from Salisbury High and 16 students from Sylt, conversing over the phone throughout the summer before they even arrived.

The students from Sylt, along with two teachers, Gonde Detlefsen and Dirk Hilpert, visited our nation’s capital in mid-September, sharing with us their incredible experiences as they took a train to Salisbury. They arrived Sept. 20, welcomed by the signs, cheers and chatters of an exuberant group of Americans.

“It was awesome. Everyone was holding posters as we looked for who we were going to live with for the next 10 days,” said Roshen Amin, a student at Salisbury High.

To show them around North Carolina, the Salisbury students took them to the Biltmore Estate and the NASCAR Hall of Fame and on the Downtown Salisbury Ghost Walk.

On Monday and Friday, the Sylt students were able to get a glimpse of the historic Salisbury High building and could not stop raving about the differences between school in America and Germany. They tasted barbecue and Cheerwine at Hendrix Barbecue and took a hay ride at the Lazy 5 Ranch.

Outside the originally planned activities, the group of Salisbury students took it upon themselves to plan exciting activities on evenings and days off. On the first Saturday, the students got to know each other while taking a dip in Lake Norman, kick-starting their heartfelt bonds.

On Wednesday, an e-learning day for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools district, the group organized a trip to Hanging Rock State Park. In smaller groups, the exchange students experienced the Rowan County Fair, shopped at the busy Concord Mills Mall, bowled at Woodleaf Lanes for hours and more.

Perhaps the most fun nights were spent wandering the cluttered aisles of Walmart.

“We had heard about it so much, and it was exciting to finally be inside one,” said Konrad Fahnert of Sylt.

All the students, German and American alike, made countless memories over the course of the 10 short days the exchange students were here.

“I never could have imagined the amount of pure joy held in that week. Each and every one of the exchange students had something so awesome and unique about them, which made it literally impossible to not become friends,” says Salisbury High junior Will Fowler.

He was not the only host with such powerful emotion about the experience.

“The German exchange students really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” said Lillie Rusher, also a junior. “It shocked me how easy it was to become best friends, and even family with them, and made it even harder for me to say goodbye.”

The group of 17 host students from Salisbury plan to stay with the Germans in Sylt in May and will experience their school and community for a week, as well as visit the capital of Germany. The cost of the plane fare to Germany alone is prohibitive, and the students are hosting many fundraisers throughout the year to help cover some of the costs.

For more information on the experience, feel free to ask any of the students who participated or call Doran at Salisbury High School. The hope is that this exchange will become a yearly event and open to more people as time progresses.

Comments

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

High School

High school football: Hornets pour it on in second half to claim state championship game

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines