A Dayton Sister Cities Youth Exchange tradition continued when students from Jakob-Fugger Gymnasium in Augsburg, Germany visited Dayton and stayed with CJ students for 10 days. The exchange program has gone on for more than a dozen years, with the German students coming to Dayton in even years and CJ students traveling to Germany in odd years.
“I think having someone in your house is always different and it’s always good to have new faces around,” teacher Tony Ricciuto ‘74, who is also a member of the Dayton Sister City Committee, said.
On Wednesday, May 16, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley came to CJ for a reception and to meet the exchange students.
“I’m excited to see partnerships in the region and share how important downtown is to the overall Dayton community,” Whaley said.
She also shared how Dayton’s government structure is different compared to other cities.
“It’s important that the students understand that the government is involved in all of this,” Ricciuto noted. “They’re trying to encourage the students to travel back and forth and appreciate each other’s cultures.”
Hosting a German student wasn’t new for Greta Spees’ ‘20 family, as her brothers and sister have hosted German students in the past. However, this was the first time Greta was the host student.
“Before, I wasn’t able to build a relationship with the exchange students because they were with my brothers or sister,” Spees said. “Now that I have the chance to be a friend with someone from another country and it’s a good experience.”
“It’s interesting learning about a new culture and experiencing the life of other teenagers because even though we’re in the same grade, we have different lives,” reflected sophomore Dominik Bühler, who is staying with the Spees family.
During their visit, the exchange students traveled across Ohio including visits to the National Underground Freedom Center, Ohio State Capitol, and the Fort Ancient Archaeological Park. They also visited Dayton favorites including the Dayton Art Institute, Wright Cycle Company, Carillon Park, the National Museum of the United States Air Force and went to a Dayton Dragons game. The exchange students also shadowed the CJ students for a full school day.
“I think the shadowing part was most interesting part because we got to learn something about the school system,” sophomore Fritz Lemke said. “It was a great school day and I wish we could shadow again.”
Lemke’s host student, Daniel Nauseef ‘21, said he looks forward to traveling to Augsburg and plans to stay with Lemke.
“It’s been a lot of fun having him here, he’s like another brother in a way,” Nauseef noted.
Lemke agreed, “That's how I felt.”
Before returning to Augsburg, the exchange students will visit New York City.
Posted May 16, 2018