Student Exchange with Jerusalem 2009

Apr 10, 2013 - Youth Projects - By JullianHe

In 2009, GDAB provided students from Hamburg and Jerusalem with a unique opportunity to explore and understand the culture of their respective counterparts through a student exchange program for 16 high school students accompanied by one tutor from Jerusalem and two from Hamburg. This was implemented in collaboration with secondary school Gymnasium Christianeum in Hamburg and Awqaf Department Directorate of Education in Jerusalem.

From July 1 to July 14, 2009, the Palestinian students were hosted by the German students of the Gymnasium Christaneum and their families.GDAB organized an intensive cultural and educational program for the guests and their hosts.

Following a warm welcome by the principal of Gymnasium Christaneum, guests were invited to participate and experience the daily school routine of their German counterparts. The Palestinian students jointly with their new friends from Germany explored Hamburg including the town hall, the Airbus plant as well as the Church of St. Jacobi. Furthermore, the students experienced the cities of Schwerin, Lübeck, Travemünde, and Berlin gaining a more comprehensive view of Northern Germany. Through a visit to the Reichstag and the plenary hall the students were able to gain memorable insight into the German political system.


From September 25 to October 2, 2009, the German students visited their counterparts in Jerusalem enabling them to experience the daily routine and challenges of their friends and their families. Also during the return visit, students were accommodated in families which contributed to students’ understanding and respect of the different culture.

The German guests attended school with their friends and visited a variety of cultural and religious institutions. In addition to Jerusalem, the students jointly experienced Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Hebron and Ramallah

What participants say:

“Since we spent most of the time together with our host families and especially with our host brothers and sisters, there was good opportunity to develop close contact and even friendship. I am sure this friendship will last. In my opinion, the experience of going to Israel and staying with a Palestinian family there was a very important step towards better understanding of our peoples and of the conflicts our generation will have to tackle and – hopefully – one day be able to solve. I myself have decided to visit this beautiful country again soon, and I’m looking forward to see my new friends there.”

“I am very happy that I went on this journey.   Since I was there this country and the conflict   between Jews and Palestinians interest me very much and I often think of the nice people I met and the beautiful country. I’m sure that I will go there again one day.”

“It was good that I attended so many events of the exchange program. That way we get to know each other better. Now I like the whole group and found new friends.”

“I was very impressed about the trip, because it was a good experience and a rare chance to know different cultures in other countries […]. This project taught me how to be independent, responsible and group work.”

“This trip was impressive for me, I have learned so many important things that I needed to learn in my life. Such as self confidence, making new friendships and depending on myself.”

“The travel was very nice because we can   know another country and another culture   which was very beautiful. In the end, I want   to say it’s a good idea to do that again with  another students and another country.”

“Your way of managing this programme is   excellent. You are doing hard work, this is a   wonderful issue. And this helped us to   achieve the objectives of the visit. I hope you will continue doing such as these programmes.”

Published Jan 13, 2014
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