BookBridge Student Exchange with the Arvaikheer Learning Centre in Mongolia

BookBridge has been a longstanding initiative at our school, fostering global connections and cultural exchange. One of its highlights is the student exchange with the Arvaikheer Learning Centre in Mongolia, where students from the FIS spent ten days in Mongolia, and Mongolian students spent ten days here in Erlangen. The exchange students stayed with host families, providing a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, habits, and daily routines, and to understand the challenges and values of the community on a deep level.

For some of the Mongolian students, the trip to Erlangen was their first-ever overseas trip. Beyond the numerous engagements at the FIS, the team from Mongolia had the opportunity to explore the region with their host families, spend time at the Nürnberg Volksfest, and even watch a national league basketball match. A notable highlight was their visit to Erlangen’s FAU University, where our alumna Jazmine Plischke provided an enlightening tour of the technical science section. At Siemens, the Mongolian students had the unique chance to operate an MRI machine, while their visit to the Staedtler factory offered an insight into the production of pencil lead, from start to finish, culminating in a trip to the factory shop. Former mayor Dr. Balleis and Dr. Lask guided them through the Röthelheim area of Erlangen, explaining its development and significance to the city.

Students at the school regularly enjoy school trips, though Mongolia is not a typical destination. Members of the FIS BookBridge team had the incredible opportunity to experience Mongolian everyday life firsthand. Visits to the palace of Genghis Khan, the horse monument in Arvaihkheer, and the traditional anklebone games were cultural highlights. Mongolia is home to one of the last remaining nomadic cultures in the world, and a visit would not be complete without a trip to a typical herder family. This included cuddles with newborn goats and lunch at a nomadic restaurant. The team also took in the vast landscape and remote rolling steppe of Central Asia on their journey from Ulaanbataar to Arvaikheer and back. Their trip culminated with the “Festival of Hope” and BookBridge Summit.

A big Thank you goes to all host families, as well as the many people that made all the visits and trips possible. We hugely appreciate the effort you made!

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