WanderbUS Wanders to Alexandria

German Students Visit Washington DC, Meet Titans

Regina Allen and Abigail St. Jean

The WanderbUS has started its tour across the continental U.S., visiting 51 schools in 48 states and its first stop is T.C.

Different events and exhibits that revolve around the business and industry, politics, education, culture, and science of Germany are hosted in the WanderbUS. It is designed to emphasize the importance of transatlantic relation, as a part of the Deutschlandjahr USA, the Year of German-American Friendship. 

German Teacher Charlotte Johnson initiated the event. “I know some people at the Goethe Institute and they reached out to us because we are so close to Washington DC,” said Johnson, “I thought it would be a really good opportunity for our students to see why learning German is important and how they can use German in not only in their school life, but also in their careers later in life. I thought it would be a neat thing to do for kids outside of the classroom.”

The bus is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe Institute, and it is supported by Berufsverband Deutscher Internisten (BDI). According to the Goethe Institute’s website said that the Wanderbus is designed to “boost your German, win good prizes, and experience Germany.” 

Students enjoyed the experience.  “It was an amazing experience. I had the time of my life. It was like a cute little museum on wheels. There was lots of German history and information. It was just really interesting and I feel like a learned so much. I am a big fan of the WanderbUS,”  said Sophomore Michaela Mannel.

Sophomore Will Bavin said, “I think it was a good experience to have German culture brought to us. It was nice to see the opportunities that Germany had and other countries that were there… I’ve been to Germany and I can say that the stuff was very reminiscent of what I saw there. It was a good learning experience.”

  “It was really fun and I got to talk with German people, which is always interesting. I got to talk with this one lady who had come over from Germany with the bus and we talked about college options, including Germany and going abroad,” said junior Julie Cizek. The bus is more suited for introductory German speakers or those with intermediate levels of the language. “It incorporated a lot of information that I already have done, like apps from the Goethe Institute, they had them on iPads and I already have some of them downloaded, so I was like ‘Okay cool for some of the kids that hadn’t experienced that,’” Cizek said. 

German teachers Charlotte Johnson and Adam Levine agree that the bus was a wonderful experience and would be welcomed back. “Ideally, I would probably wait a couple of years, so we get some more kids who have not seen it,” said Levine. “It is an experience that you really need to do once and you learn a lot and you see all the things they can do with German… [Johnson and I] were discussing that it could actually be fun for us to bring it down to the middle schools, as a promo for German.”