20 students from Jakob-Fugger-Gymnasium in Augsburg, Germany are spending a week with CJ students as part of an ongoing exchange program between the two schools. The exchange began decades ago as Augsburg and Dayton have been Sister Cities since 1964.
"The relationship with the City of Augsburg and Dayton is the longest and one of the strongest ones we have," said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley during a reception for the students on Tuesday, May 10.
Tony Ricciuto '74 and Jakob-Fugger teacher Wolfgang Burkhart have been working with each other and the Dayton Sister City Committee for several years to grow and enhance the exchange program. Several students who have previously been a part of the exchange have capitalized on their experiences.
"There were three students of mine who visited Dayton in 2014," Burkhart shared. "The next year they graduated and came back to Dayton for a visit."
"We had two students who received scholarships and studied in Germany," Ricciuto added. "Last school year, Grace Klosterman '15, spent her senior year of high school studying in Germany."
As part of the exchange, Jakob-Fugger students stay with CJ students and get an understanding of not only the Dayton-area but what a typical school day is like at CJ. The same goes for CJ students when they visit Augsburg.
"Jakob-Fugger is on a modified year-round schedule so they are on a break right now," Ricciuto explained. "When CJ goes there, Jakob-Fugger is in session. I think it's important to the students to see what each other's school looks like, not just the city."
Students from Jakob-Fugger are staying with CJ students during their visit, and when CJ students have visited previously, they have stayed with Jakob-Fugger students. Several Augsburg and Dayton students have been able to experience both sides of the exchange.
"I went to Augsburg last summer and now being a host, you get to see the other side of the story," Chloe Crabb '18 said.
Cameron Abshire '17, who also visited Augsburg last summer, said, "My sister hosted previously and I thought it would be fun. I also look forward to meeting new people."
For Emsley Spees '18, taking part in the Jakob-Fugger exchange has also been a family tradition.
"I've always wanted to go to Germany because my brothers have gone," Spees shared. "I'm hoping to go to Augsburg next summer and I thought it would be good to know more about the city now by hosting.
"My brothers hosted previously too," continued Spees. "I remember making different handshakes with the Augsburg students and just having a lot of fun. It seemed like a great way to make new friends and since they're from another country, I can learn a lot of new things."
Jakob-Fugger junior Chiara Niedermair had never traveled to Dayton prior to the exchange.
"It's really great and different from Germany," Niedermair noted. "I really like it. I wanted to discover something new and improve my English."
Burkhart's wife, Ulrike, was also visiting Dayton for the first time.
"I was a headmaster in Germany and you can tell it's a very relaxed atmosphere at CJ," Ulrike reflected. "You come into the school and you can feel how it is."
"While distance and language may separate us, what we're discovering through the Jakob-Fugger students visiting Chaminade Julienne and Chaminade Julienne students visiting Jakob-Fugger is that a common interest in relationships and a common interest in learning is bringing us together over time," noted President Dan Meixner '84 during Tuesday's reception.
During their time in Dayton, Jakob-Fugger students also visited the Wright Bicycle Shop, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum, Woodland Cemetery, Carillon Park, and planned to take a trip to Columbus to visit the Ohio Statehouse.
Posted May 12, 2016