I am very grateful to be here today to give a short testimony why I think student exchange is an experience of a lifetime.
We are looking forward to a long and lasting friendship which is based on values, ideas and visions, which unite us.
To us it is very important to learn from each other. Learning from each other is also something friends do.
Out of personal experience as an exchange student in the US, I can state that we can learn from you: the people of your country are overwhelmingly friendly and open-hearted as far as my experience is concerned. Your people have the gift of welcoming, connecting and communicating with each other. I was very astonished by all the sports activities the schools had all over the country, for example . I myself played on a rugby team and I was so glad to become part of a wonderful team. To put it into a nutshell: I was taught the true meaning of team spirit and something that I would call „emotional intelligence“! Emotional intelligence means that somebody is very sensitive to the other persons values, his or her different culture and one is able to maintain a solid friendship over a long period of time. That is exactly what we wish our school exchange. A friendship that goes beyond learning from each other’s ways of how to become a good student or just being great at sports together. What I want to focus at, is a friendship that will build personal bridges between exchange students, so that we can broaden our horizon which will eventually lead to gaining more self-confidence and self-reliance.
I would like to finish with a quote wise Saint Augustine ones said: The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Let’s visit each other and share the treasure of our culture and customs. Let’s visit each other and and become friends deeply rooted in the dream of learning beyond the textbooks.