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An intense smell of beer is in the air. Impressed, billy and ina stand in front of a rough filter. "This is a noisy vat. This is where the solid parts of the mash, the 'treber', are separated from the liquid ones, the 'wurze'", explains brewer robert smith – but not in german, but in english, because he comes from england, more precisely from wallenfels' twin town of bingham near nottingham.
The murmur heard in the kaiserhof brewery that morning is also in english: words like "interesting" and "diamond" or "cool. The young participants in the brewery tour are exchange students from the KZG and caister high school in the district of kronach as part of the german-english school exchange program. The visit of the kaiserhof firefighters is part of an extensive program put together by the responsible teachers from the KZG, senior lecturer elke walthes and student advisor peggy kober.
"I like it very much in kronach", says 13-year-old billy pywell and adds: "i like the way kronach is divided into different levels – the upper and lower town – and i like the old buildings very much. I also like all the snow. In my home country, there is only a little snowfall sometimes, but it doesn't stick around." billy attends caister high school in the 5000-population town of caister-on-sea. The seaside resort in the county of norfolk in england is located directly on the coast, about five kilometers north of great yarmouth. The people of kronach are extremely hospitable, he said, and he received a very friendly welcome at school and got on very well with his host family. "I'm staying with phil wietasch in burggrub. We get along well. The communication, mainly in english, works very well", he revealed. He is already looking forward to phil's visit in the summer of 2013.
Billy takes part in the exchange program to learn more about germany and the people here and to improve his language skills. "The program that the school has put together is very varied. We went tobogganing, bowling and to the christmas market in mitwitz, for example. Today's tour was also interesting", he praises.
Ina has also already done a lot with her host family. Together they went ice skating, swimming, to the christmas market in kronach and shopping. She lives with anna-lena froba in buchbach. The reasons for their participation are similar to those of phil. She is also here for the first time. "Kronach is very different from my home. It's almost like two worlds – just in terms of the landscape. The food is different, the people dress differently. But it's great here and everyone is very nice", the 14-year-old is happy. She is sure that her knowledge of german has improved as a result of her stay here. She enjoyed the brewery tour because the brewer explained everything very well.
Robert Smith speaks perfect english for a simple reason. He is an englishman himself. "I have been to the county of kronach every two years with our music club as part of the town twinning of bingham and wallenfels. I did an internship at the kaiserhof brewery in 2004. I wanted to become a brewer and stay in the district of kronach. I emigrated to germany in 2006. I made friends right away, I enjoy my work a lot and I feel very comfortable here", says the 24-year-old.
The return visit of the kronach high school students to caister high school is planned for summer 2013. Then 18 seventh-graders from KZG will travel to england, including phil wietasch and anna-lena froba.
The two teachers in charge, elke waltes and peggy kober, are very pleased about the partnership. Since there are not many schools in england with german as a foreign language, they have been trying for a long time to find a corresponding partnership. Now in its second year, the project is running well and smoothly. That is why they want to continue. Since only six participants from caister high school registered this year, three students from lynn grove high school were included for the first time. This is in the town of gorleston, near great yarmouth in norfolk and pays around 1100 schoolchildren between the ages of eleven and 16.
The teachers thanked the sponsors for their support. Kronach creativ sponsored "kronach-leuchtet-kalender" as a guest gift. The car dealership vetter made its minibus available free of charge to take the children to the train station with their packs. In addition, the city of kronach took over the costs for the workshop in the frankische galerie as a funeral gift. Of course, the two teachers will also be there in the summer of 2013 – if the word gets out: the students from kronach are coming to england.