ASMS is the only high school in Alabama with active cultural study abroad programs in Münster, Germany and Seville, Spain. Both programs offer a direct immersion exchange with the prestigious Gymnasium Paulinum in Münster and the Colegio Europa in Seville. Each fall, ASMS sends students for a term to either Germany or Spain. ASMS students are placed in the homes of the foreign students who, in turn, stay on the ASMS campus.
This year, ASMS has two students in Münster: Shelby Stafford and Evan Stephens. They are currently attending school at the oldest high-school in Germany, the Gymnasium Paulinum. After completing a project summarizing their studies, the two students can receive up to 1.5CU general credit for their time spent in Münster.
“The exchange is going fantastic and has been an absolutely amazing experience so far,” Stafford says. “It’s definitely been challenging at times, but I don’t regret going at all and I’m so glad I got this opportunity, which I know I couldn’t have gotten at many other schools, definitely not my old school.”
Currently, ASMS is hosting two students on campus from Münster: Merrit Menke and Chiara Kanngießer. Both students have expressed extreme gratitude for having the opportunity to study at ASMS for three months.
“I am glad to be able to spend three months here,” Kanngießer says. “It filled me with joy to think that I would learn about a language and its culture, but now ASMS is also a place for me where I have found friends and like-minded people.”
Both students from Germany have also expressed how unique the ASMS community is based on their interactions with faculty, staff, and students during their time on campus.
“I’ve met so many friendly adults, and I would say that ASMS has formed a community of intelligent, respectful, young people that are ready to learn, and have an amazing future in front of them” Menke says.
ASMS French and German Instructor Muriel Hoequist has been organizing the German Exchange program for 15 years and communicates with the coordinator and parents in Germany as well.
“I’m excited to be supervising exchange students number 30 and 31 from ASMS this year,” Hoquist says. “Perhaps the one advantage that stays most with students throughout their entire lives is the confidence and flexibility they gain from functioning normally in a foreign culture and language.”