On September 22nd, Professor Neubert and Ms Qiu from the University of Cologne (UC) came to visit Huamei International School (HMIS). The reason for their visit was mainly to talk about the current German Internship Program as well as to explore pathway opportunities for HMIS students to enter UC. Principals and division leaders attended the meeting.
In the beginning, the delegation from the University of Cologne as well as the division leaders took the chance to observe one of lesson of our German classes in grade 7 which was taught by Ms. Silvia Zhang. The aim of the lesson was to enable the students to introduce themselves and others. Her teaching methods allowed the students to work in groups and to present their results to others. The guests voiced a positive feedback and were surprised by the language proficiency level our students had already reached.
After the observation, Mrs. Serene Chen, Director of English and International Programs, led the delegation to the conference room to open the discussion on possible future collaborations between HMIS and UC. Before the discussion, the Principal of HMIS, Mr. Rocky Chen, expressed his warm welcome to the guests from UC, and exchanged gifts. Afterwards, we had invited a German learner from Grade 7, Michelle, to greet and chat with Professor Neubert. The girl confidently spoke German and expressed that though she has met lots of difficulties so far due to the overall academic pressure, she enjoys studying German still. She has not only thanked her parents and teachers to provide the support she needs, but also is grateful for the opportunity provided by HMIS to expose the students to intensive German language learning environment which includes various cultural exchange activities. Professor Neubert was impressed by her language ability in both German and English, and he believes the students will continue to benefit from the integrated teaching approach by HMIS.
Huamei School and the University of Cologne have been cooperating since 2015. A Student Exchange Agreement was in effect then in which UC has offered to send German teaching-interns to HMIS on regular basis. HMIS has already hosted three interns from UC. Professor Neubert said that the University of Cologne is very satisfied with the cooperation and will continue to advertise the program to its students. Serene Chen expressed HMIS’ appreciation for the excellent teaching-interns UC has sent in the past. Their professional performance by means of guiding the students, has helped our students to excel. Students and teaching-interns have grown together. The involved members of the faculties at HMIS had a very good relationship with the teaching-interns and HMIS thanks the teaching-interns for the enthusiasm and work they have put into our program and students. We are looking forward to receiving the one who is coming on October 2nd, and we believe the new intern will be a great asset to HMIS like the others before. HMIS has benefitted from the exchange and would like to continue the program.
In the meeting, both parties also explored a possible pathway for our students to enter UC in the future. At the same time, we are seeking the opportunity for students to experience university life (EUL) in Germany to better motivate them to continually learn German. Both parties will explore the possible collaboration with an EUL program at UC in the near future.
This visit was beneficial for our school and students, because we are one of the DSD program schools in the Guangdong province. Both parties exchanged ideas on how to maintain the current relationship and will put more efforts on developing the German program. Meanwhile, we hope to receive a positive feedback from UC about our pathway program as a result of Professor Neubert’s visit and the exchange of ideas with the participants from HMIS. We are looking forward to his visit next year when he will give a lecture about Educational Theory to the faculty of HMIS.