1st Short-term exchange in Austria
St. Paul im Lavanttal, 29.11 - 05.12.2015
The international KA219 Erasmus+ Project "Mens sana in corpore sano. Food, nutrition, eating habits, health and disease at European schools as an (inter)cultural mirror", which is supported by the European Commission, was approved in August 2015 and is now in progress. The Stiftsgymnasium St.Paul is one of only 18 Austrian schools to be granted permission to take part in the programme. Teachers of all participating schools already met in October to arrange further steps of how to implement the various projects.
From 29 November to 5 December 2015 it was a very special week for 16 students of the 7th grade. They had the pleasure to host 8 students from Poland and 8 from France respectively.
The week started on Sunday evening at the railway station in St.Paul where our students met their guests for the first time and picked them up to welcome them to their homes.
The next morning at school, all students and teachers attended the Advent celebration. After that, there was enough time for ice-breaking activities. In the afternoon, the students visited Wolfsberg, the biggest city in the valley.
On Tuesday, there was a two-hours basketball tournament supervised by two teachers of the Stiftsgymnasium, Professor Florian Rabensteiner and Professor Iris Lammer. The sports activities where followed by focusing on the different languages represented in the programme. Typical Austrian recipes were elaborated and translated.
The morning also consisted of doing research on nutrition by buying groceries at stores in St.Paul. This activity was coordinated by History teacher Professor Rosemarie Pollanz and Geography teacher Professor Bernd Locker. In the afternoon, various experiments were made during the chemical/biological unit of the programme where Professor Monika Veidl and Professor Norbert Sapper helped students achieving the required results.
After doing research in several subjects, all students gathered in the refectory and cooked delicious meals with the famous kinds of apples of our valley called "Lavanttaler Äpfel". Exhausted but happy, the students enjoyed the evening eating together and talking in a pleasant atmosphere.
One of the highlights of the week awaited the group on Wednesday in Graz.
After a very interesting guided city tour, many seized the opportunity to visit the wonderful Christmas market in front of the townhall. A jolly Christmas atmosphere emerged.
On Thursday morning the group went to Klagenfurt by train. The first destination was the Benediktinermarket were students could buy local treats. A brief and pleasantly guided city tour followed. In the afternoon, the guests had the possibility to cook together with their families.
In the first two lessons on Friday an immersion unit consisting of mathematics and physics took place under the supervision of Professor Christian Taudes and Professor Florian Rabensteiner. After two interesting experiments, all students prepared for their presentations at the final event.
Every school showed their educational establishments and researching results concerning the topic of the first student exchange “What is diet?”. The evening was concluded by an amazing film produced by Robert Grundnig (7B). Student Christian Wasner (7A) hosted the farewell celebration.
On Saturday, all exchange students departed and went back to their home countries.
Not only could those who were involved make new friends but also improve their social and language skills. Furthermore, a deeper understanding of the variety of European cultures was ensured. A special thanks has to be directed to all helpers who supported this intercultural and multilingual project. Finally, all students feel especially grateful for the outstanding organisation of Professor Giovanni Santoro and Professor Angelika Kappler.