Visiting Siberia - Waldorf students from Essen attended partner school in Irkutsk

Visiting Siberia - Waldorf students from Essen attended partner school in Irkutsk

Thirteen students from the Essen Walddorf School recently spent two eventful weeks with their teachers as guests of their partner school in Irkutsk, Siberia. They lived with Russian families, got to know the local culture and saw various sights in the area.

The aim of the trip was to get to know the life of Russian youths of the same age and to document it with a film. "Such an action can make a contribution to mutual understanding, especially in times of political tensions," emphasizes the accompanying Russian teacher Susann Mißbach. “The now almost finished short film documents the intensive experience of the Essen students in almost professional quality. In addition to scenes from city life and impressive landscape shots, it also contains several interviews with Russian students, in which they speak openly about their everyday life, their wishes, but also about the political situation in Russia. ”

The eventful journey initially took the group by plane from Düsseldorf via Moscow to Novosibirsk. From there, the pupils and teachers traveled about 1,500 kilometers on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Irkutsk, where they were warmly welcomed by the hosts. With around 600,000 inhabitants, Irkutsk is larger than Essen.

After getting to know each other for the first time, the Essen students were able to gain insights into everyday Russian life. They took classes and school events, explored the city center together and visited many sights.

A highlight of the trip was the four-day stay at Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater reservoir on earth, 70 kilometers away. Hiking, climbing and - after visiting the Siberian sauna "Banja" - even swimming in the ice-cold lake water were on the program. In the second week there were other exciting activities in Irkutsk that brought the local Waldorf students closer to local traditions. After a tearful farewell, we returned to Germany after two eventful weeks by plane via Moscow. The group was supported by the German-Russian Youth Exchange Foundation.

“Thanks to their knowledge of Russian, our students were able to gather first-hand information about everyday life in Russia. Such experiences can hardly be had otherwise, ”says Sabina Farmanova, the second Russian teacher in the mixed-age group. "In the Essen Waldorf School, all pupils learn Russian and English from the first class, and Latin and Spanish can also be chosen later." Further information: www.waldorfschuleessen.de

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