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Braunschweig Student Exchange
Each year the Society, in coordination and cooperation with the city of Braunschweig, Germany, sponsors an exchange program for high school students. Preference is given to students of members. Omaha students live with German families while there, and German students are hosted by American families in the metropolitan area. This is a recipicating arrangement that lasts 3 weeks in each location where the German student lives with their host American family and then the American student is hosted by a German family.
The American students begin meeting in January to learn more and to determine the number of students for the program. The German students typically come to Omaha during March or April depending on their school calendar and the American students go to Braunschweig in June at the end of the school year.
Die Gesellschaft führt jedes Jahr mit der Stadt Braunschweig einen Schüleraustausch durch; Söhne und Töchter vom Mitgliedern werden bei der Auswahl mit Vorzug behandelt. Während ihres Aufenthalts in Braunschweig bzw. Omaha leben die Schüler bei Gastfamilien.
Please contact the following people below for more information.
Director: Carol Stoltenberg (402-392-0446)
Chairman: Doris Hollrah (402-330-0733)
Group Comments from 2014
My time in Germany was filled with laughter and tears. My host families were so accommodating. They gave me everything I needed and more. The highlights of my trip were the three days spent in Berlin with the Russian group. It was historical, but it was also filled with an emotion of complete happiness even though the past in Germany was so devastating. The German people have made Berlin a place that tourists want to go to and not only for the history. For example, during the World Cup when Germany won against Portugal, the whole city of Berlin came alive.
Another great memory from Germany is the people I met. Everyone tried to speak English (even if they couldn’t). The people I had the pleasure of meeting were so helpful and kind. I plan to stay in contact with them all.
Most importantly, Carol Stoltenberg, our group leader, was so amazing. She knew all the history, even the myths about Braunschweig. This trip could not have gone any better than it did and I owe it all to Carol. Germany is the place to go if you want to live a life that is environmentally friendly, loving, and super accommodating.
The aspect of this exchange that makes it so great is staying with a host family.
For me this was the best part of the entire trip. I stayed with the most amazing family that welcomed me with open arms. They always let me make them different foods, and they let me do chores to feel like a member of the family. After three weeks of dance parties in the kitchen, reading in the garden, and watching the World Cup games with neighbors, I came to love Braunschweig.
I love the house I stayed in, the neighbors, the neighborhood, the food, the garden, and most of all, I love my host family. I have since my first day in Germany and they will always hold a special place in my heart.
Saying good-by to them was no less emotional than saying good-by to a parent or sibling. They gave me so much in such a short amount of time, and I will never be able to repay them for that. They gave me so many memories that will stay with me forever. They made me feel loved and cared for and never treated me like a stranger. My host family showed me the culture, the language, and the lifestyle in Germany in a fun, exciting way. Whether it was strawberry picking, family dinner, or going to Quedlinburg, I was constantly having the time of my life. In turn they also let me share a part of myself with them. They were eager about to hear how “we do things in Blair, Nebraska” or “in the Camargo household.”
Overall, the love I have for my host family is unparalleled and beyond words.
Germany was the first place that I’d ever traveled to and I can honestly say this trip was an experience that I will never forget. I learned many new facts. I tried different types of food. I toured other cities close by, met cool people, visited unique shops, and even got lost on a tram by myself. Most importantly, I had a wonderful time while doing it all. Though all of the activities were fun, I have a favorite one. I enjoyed seeing handicapped people getting the chance to enjoy what they are good at and to make an income by doing it. I was in the sewing section and I was struggling with it very much and they were doing things way better than I was. I realized that even though they are handicapped, they are still able to do many things and that brings joy to me. All in all, this trip was amazing and I will definitely go again in the future.
I think one of the coolest experiences about being in Germany was speaking the language and living with a host family. It’s a completely different feeling when you’re totally immersed in their lifestyle, rather than going back to a hotel every night. I feel like I really, truly and honestly bonded with my host family, and after only a few days, I felt at home. It’s just so incredible that they allowed me to be a part of their family for the three weeks I was there. It was also completely different being able to communicate with them in their language. That brought us closer, I think. And it was awesome being able to test out my own language skills.
I’m finding this little writing assignment more difficult than I thought it would be originally. Not because I have nothing to write, but because I could talk about the memories of these past three weeks forever.
This trip was certainly one of diverse experiences. I made many new friends, saw numerous breath-taking sights, and took some time to ponder a few life lessons.
Each of the personalities in our group, German and American, contributed something special to our vibe. I had such a blast getting to know everyone involved and hope that these friendships go on beyond Eppley Airfield.
My phone memory is now jam packed with pictures of castles, the Berlin Wall, the sea, and so many more views that I cannot wait to share with my family at home.
Though the people and places I’ve seen on this trip have given me memories to last a lifetime, there is something that I hope impacts my life even more. It is the moments seeped full of the difficult questions: thoughts of WWII, the Holocaust, and the question “why?” It is the pain that filled my whole being at the images of those in the Bergen-Belsen camp, the sadness that still looms in many historical sights. These are the things I hold onto most tightly, the things now shaping my character and building my compassion. I’ve found that no matter how many times you ask why such heartbreakingly repulsive events ever took place, the answers still may never come. All you can do is to look at the mistakes of others and of the past, make sure they never become your own, and live every moment you get to fulfillment, with love for your friend and forgiveness for your enemy.
The highlight of my trip was just how at home my family made me feel in Braunschweig. It really felt like a second home living there.
This exchange was one of the best experiences of my life! Not only do you get to experience a new culture and country, but you have the opportunity to belong to a second family and make new friends! The food, the shopping, the daily field trips ... those are all great, but nothing compares to spending time with people who come to mean so much to you in such a short time! Honestly, I love this program so much that I’ve done it twice and want to figure out how to get back again.
This trip to Germany was an amazing experience and I hope to do it again in the future. The program was great. I have learned a lot about the history of Braunschweig. I think the best thing of all was the family I stayed with. They were so nice and I feel that they are my second family. I made many relationships with the Russians who also were in Braunschweig. Artem spoke very little English, but that didn’t matter. He is a great friend and I hope to stay in touch with him. I will miss everyone that I have met in Braunschweig. Benedikt was almost like the brother that I never had. Same for Artem. I think of all the places we visited, I liked Braunschweig the best because it isn’t a busy city and it’s not too big or small. It reminds me so much of Omaha. I am glad to go back home and hope to visit Braunschweig again.
Staying in Germany for three weeks was so much fun and a very nice experience. I have met so many friendly people during my stay. The parts of the trip that I enjoyed the most are when we went to Berlin and also when we went to Hamburg. All the activities that we took part in were very interesting. Some days after the program ended, I got to get together with some of German and American exchange students for parties or barbecues. The Russian exchange students were also in Braunschweig during our stay and they were also very friendly. The family that I stayed with was very caring and nice. There were some things that I witnessed in Germany that were different from the United States, for example, opening the windows instead of having air conditioning, having a very large breakfast, getting around town by bike, tram, or bus, and the laundry that’s dried outside. I got used to all these aspects though. Someday, I would really like to come back to Braunschweig and visit friends. I think this exchange has been a great opportunity for me and the best thing I’ve ever done!
I had a great time in Germany. It was very interesting to learn and live in another culture for three weeks. I think the trip is a great deal for anyone. You get out of it as much as you put in. I wanted to learn about German culture and history so I tried to pay special attention when the group went to important historical places. Our group leaders also did a great job explaining everything. Also the exchange did a good job of pairing me with a German student I could really connect with. Now Gustav and I talk every day and are best friends. I also had a great time being with and bonding with the other Americans in the group. I enjoyed learning about German schooling when I went to school with Gustav. It was also a good time doing things I can’t do in Omaha like using public transportation, visiting teen clubs, walking everywhere, going to a public viewing of a soccer game, eating Dönner (Turkish food), and seeing world heritage sites. It was just a great time over all.