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News > General News > 'Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine'

'Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine'

A Level language students discover the diverse city of Berlin
26 Oct 2022
Written by Claire Bunting
General News
Visiting the Brandenburg Gate
Visiting the Brandenburg Gate

Ms Kirsch accompanied  German A level students including girls from Strathearn School and Bloomfield School to Berlin last week. It was a packed itinerary designed to give students both a language and cultural immersion of Berlin.

The group's first stop on arrival was for lunch at Gesundbrunnen Station, next door to their hotel, where they had to immediately put their conversational German to the test!  Luckily, everyone passed and recevied their currywurst platter.  Afterwards, the group met up with a local guide for a walking tour from Alexanderplatz along the famous boulevard Unter den Linden in the former East Berlin.  The weather was great 23C, so it felt like summer! The tour routeincluded the red city hall of Berlin, the magnificent television tower and the new Humboldt Forum, where students learned this impressive palace had only opened six weeks ago. The tour ended at the renowned Brandenburg Gate.

The following day, a visit was organized to the Wall memorial in Bernauer Straße and then to the infamous Checkpoint Charlie. Students were able to enter former ghost stations and learned about the divided city.  This was follwed by a vist to the former Stasi Prison Berlin Hohenschönhausen. Solely conducted in German, pupils were absolutely surprised and pleased by how much they could comprehend. After dinner, the group received an evening tour of the Reichstag and learned about the German government and the historical significance of the building.

On the third day of their trip, students were thrilled to visit The Olympic Stadion. From there they headed to Ku’Damm, and the famous memorial church Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche in the old centre of West Berlin before travel via the famous Bus line 200 back to the Television Tower to see the city from 203m high. The VR experience included was enjoyed by all and afterwards, students engaged a quiz around Alexanderplatz to find out more about this historic landmark. 

The trip ended with another packed day. The group visited Madame Tussauds to learn about famous German and international politicians, scientists, sportsmen, actors and musicians. This was of curricular importance as students could find inspiration for their discussion topic which will be part of the A level exam. We then vistied the poignant Holocaust Memorial dedicated to the 6 million Jewish people who lost their lives during WWII. The day ended with a city boat trip along the river Spree, to see the government buildings and Berlin from a completely different perspective.

Overall, it has been a brilliant trip as there were plenty of opportunities for the students to see famous landmarks and sights,  to speak the language, listen to various dialects, gain a lot of cultural knowledge and experiences and learn so many life lessons too, for example, how to travel via public transport in a big city, how to order food and where to buy cheaply.

As David Bowie said once: “Berlin, the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.” and we can only agree. We end with some final thoughts from students Robert, Y14 (Yates's) and Emma, Strathearn School:

 

 

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