Riga State German Grammar School

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Long-term learning mobilities for students

Long-term mobility of students to Xanten (Germany) 04.04. - 20.06.2022

Participants: Nikola Elīna Sauja (11.EU) and Aleksandra Neimane (10.VI)

The students studied at the Xanten Town Gymnasium as part of the Erasmus+ Long-Term Mobility for Pupils project. During the programme, they took all their courses in German, which contributed to the development of their German language skills, and took part in various projects and study excursions that broadened their horizons and improved their cognitive, social and communicative competences. It was definitely a new and valuable experience for both Erasmus+ mobility participants.

Nicola: "The Erasmus+ mobility experience helped me to improve my German language skills and to see the world from a different perspective, for example by learning the values of a host family, communicating with German friends and travelling. I also went on very frequent excursions to other cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Duisburg, etc.

I had very supportive teachers at school who encouraged me to improve my language skills and helped me to fit in with the class. In addition, I gained inspiration and confidence because my host family supported me and gave me valuable advice on further studies, everyday life, family relations and other areas. It was an honour to be one of 5 children in a decent German family that is involved in livestock farming."

Alexandra: "I had a specific goal in mind when I applied for the learning mobility to Germany - to speak German with native speakers, to understand them, to integrate into their daily lives, to get to know their culture and experience what it is like to live with a host family, and to talk about our country and the language. In Xanten, I lived with a family with a girl my age and went to school with her and got involved in the learning process, which contributed to the development of my German language skills. I have also taken part in various projects and study trips which have broadened my horizons and developed my social and communication skills."

Nicola and Alexandra are very appreciative of the Erasmus+ mobility: learning German, going on excursions, living with a host family, interacting with German young people, travelling, experiencing the culture - these are enduring values that motivate them even more to learn foreign languages, become more active in their social life and to work towards their goals.

See more here: Photos, Videos

Nikola Elīna Sauja (12.EU) and Aleksandra Neimane (11.VI) 04.03.2023. took part in the VIAA stand Inspiration Stop programme at the Skola 2023 exhibition, where they talked about their Erasmus+ long-term mobility experience in Xanten (Germany) and inspired other young people to take advantage of this Erasmus+ opportunity.

See more here: Link to the Erasmus+ Experience Stories section, where you can find the text and photo of the Erasmus+ Inspiration Stop.

Long-term mobility of students to Floto (Germany) 16.04. - 18.06.2023

Participants: Anete Araja (10.SA)

Anete Arya studied at the Weser Gymnasium Vlotho for 2 months and lived with a host family.

Anete: "The first weeks were not easy. At first we spoke English with my family, but then mostly German. The host family was very understanding, nice and supportive. They motivated me to speak German and listened to me if I couldn't do it as accurately and quickly. I am also very happy that I live in a family with two different cultures, so I have the opportunity to get to know not only German culture but also Japanese culture.

The school was also slightly different from Latvia. I was in a grammar school, so all the pupils took school seriously. Classes started at 7:45 and ended at 15:50. Each lesson lasted 45 minutes, there was a 5 minute break after the first lesson and 20 minutes after the second lesson where all the students had to go out, so this pattern was repeated. In my class or course there were about 70 pupils, almost every lesson there were different young people and the number varied. All the pupils were diligently preparing for the tests or 'clauses' both at school and at home. These tests usually did not even take place during the fixed hours, but in the morning. At school, teachers and students were friendly and supportive. I participated in the lessons like all the other pupils, but I did not have to write the tests. At the end of the school year, my class and I went on a field trip to Oberhausen, Germany.

As I live in the countryside (which would not look like the countryside in Latvia), I often went for walks or jogs in the woods with my family, and on weekends we went hiking, played board games or watched films. I've also been to bigger cities like Hannover, Minden, Bad Oienhausen, Bielefeld, Essen, Dortmund and Berlin, and went to the Hannover Opera with my music class.

The experience is invaluable, I definitely recommend it if you get the chance."

Long-term mobility of students to Xanten (Germany) 16.04. - 18.06.2023

Participants: Beāte Šterna (11.EU) and Līva Ungure (11.VI)  

During their mobility, both students studied at the Städtisches Gymnasium Xanten and lived with host families.

Beate: "My stay in Xanten was very fast and interesting - the trips with my host family and my friends at school made the time fly by. My family and I went on excursions around Xanten and to the nearby cities of Wesel, Winterswijk and Düsseldorf. Xanten has a great range of museums and beautiful surroundings for hiking and cycling.

The education system is very different from the Latvian school system. For example, lessons last 60 minutes with a 6-minute break. After the third lesson, pupils leave the school premises for a longer break (30 minutes) so that they can have lunch. The German Gymnasium does not have the usual 30 or 27 classmates that you meet every day, but has a total of 80 students in the 11th year group or Q1 course, who have chosen advanced courses at the beginning of the school year, so you can meet different students in each class. In the sports classes, you can also choose a specialisation that interests you. It should be noted that exams or clauses are held regularly here, and pupils struggle to achieve high results in order to go to university.

Like us, Xanten Gymnasium has special days when you can go on excursions. Here it was 16 June, when all 80 of the course split up into smaller groups and went on a field trip."

Līva: "I really appreciated the opportunity to go to Germany to study at the Gymnasium Xanten. I got used to the new situation quite quickly. I lived on a farm a little outside the city. The host family was open and willing to help me improve my German language skills. In my free time, I took part in various activities with my host family, bowling and mini-golfing, and we went to see several nearby cities - Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Wesel and Nijmegen.

The teachers and pupils are friendly and supportive. I participate in lessons like all the other students, but I don't have to write homework. At the end of the school year, my class and I will go on a field trip to Oberhausen, Germany."

Beate and Līva: "We recommend that young people take advantage of this opportunity, because living with a host family and studying abroad not only improves foreign language skills and broadens horizons, but also helps them to become more independent and take charge of their own affairs."

See more here: Photos

Long-term mobility of students to Vienna (Austria) 17 - 19.06.2023

Participants: Austra Krone (11.CV) and Alise Slaviete (11.SA)

Austra and Alice studied at the Theresian Academy in Vienna (Gymnasium der Stiftung Theresianische Akademie Wien) and lived in the school's boarding house.

Alice and Austra's school day started at 8am and lasted until 5 or 6pm, depending on extra courses, lessons and homework. Every Monday they spent 2 hours studying German in the German language courses offered by the school. The girls lived in a boarding house connected to the school, which is only for international students or those living outside Vienna. There is everything they need to live and study. There is a timetable to follow. Living in a boarding school was a new experience for both of us.

Austra: "The experience is definitely different from living with a host family, but I think that's a positive thing. I shared my room with a Hungarian and a Romanian, so I didn't only interact with Austrians."

Alice: "The first two weeks were difficult because I had to get used to a new place, language, culture, way of learning, etc., but there were helpful and understanding people around who motivated me to learn more."

In our free time, there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy the city's culture and take part in excursions organised by the school. Visits included Graz, Austria's 2nd largest city, the UN Centre in Vienna and the War History Museum, a classical music concert at the Vienna Concert Hall, Schönbrunn, the palace where Maria Theresa lived, the Vienna Technical Museum, St. The Vienna Cathedral, the Hofburg, the Prater and other sites. Vienna offered great cultural and leisure opportunities.

Alice and Austra are very happy with their studies at the Vienna Theresian Academy because they have improved their German language skills and acquired new knowledge, got to know Vienna and broadened their horizons about Austria, gained intercultural experience, developed their communication and social skills.