Lifelong friendships emerged when students traveled to Augsburg, Germany as part of the Dayton Sister Cities Youth Exchange. Groups from CJ have traveled to Augsburg and visited Jakob-Fugger Gymnasium on odd-numbered years, while students from Jakob-Fugger have come to CJ and Dayton on even-numbered years.
"I was interested in going on this trip because of my older brothers' experiences with the entire exchange," Emsley Spees '18 shared. "Getting to meet my brothers' host students and learning about the program at a young age, I have always been interested in doing it myself once I was able to."
The CJ group, led by Tony Ricciuto '74, stayed with host families of teenagers who attend Jakob-Fugger. While each family had their own schedules, the students and their hosts, as a larger group, traveled to Jakob-Fugger and local landmarks during the trip.
"Being able to see and learn about the different culture was extremely interesting," said Justin Arestides '19. "The most fun and interesting part for me was probably going to the town of Landsburg. The city was very beautiful and nice. The church in Landsburg was also wonderful to see."
Spees added, "Taking a day trip to Austria was for sure my favorite part! We got to swim all day, see the Alps, and at night we went to a restaurant high up in a mountain and had the most beautiful view of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland! I also just enjoyed getting to spend time with the German students because they have truly become very close friends."
"Knowing that I was part the exchange makes me feel pretty good," Arestides noted. "I loved this trip and I am excited to host a German student next summer. This trip will probably be one of the highlights of my high school experience."
Spees agreed, "It feels good to take part in something like this and spread the values and culture of CJ and the United States all the way across the ocean! I'm so grateful to have been able to take part in this exchange because I have been able to make the most incredible bonds with people I would never even know existed if I hadn't made this trip. I have created lifelong friendships with so many new people, and I can't wait to see them again!"
Pictures (including the one above) from the students' travels, taken by chaperone Perry McLeod, can be found here.
Posted July 10, 2017