CULLMAN, Ala. – This past August, Saint Bernard Prep families opened their homes to host two German students for the 2019-20 academic year. Just recently, five more students from Germany came to visit the campus for a couple of weeks to explore the possibility of spending their senior year at St. Bernard for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 academic year.
The short-term program was designed to give younger German students an opportunity to “get their feet wet” during a 12-day homestay/school shadowing program. Visitors got to know the teachers, make friends with many students and learn about the American home life and culture.
Host families were asked to treat their visiting student as a member of the family, including them in all family activities, even assigning chores as they do for their own children.
The German teens came to the United States through the Christian Youth Exchange, Inc., a longtime partner in education of St. Bernard. Since 1996 more than 30 students have attended St. Bernard for their senior year under the auspices of CYE.
Having these German students on campus for the school year is so beneficial to them but also to the St. Bernard student body, the faculty and the entire community. Having them attend St. Bernard is only possible because of the generosity and hospitality of the wonderful St. Bernard families who open up their homes and their hearts for these students.
Fr. Joel Martin, President at St. Bernard Preparatory School said, “It’s a wonderful thing to offer these students the opportunity to experience our American – and Southern – life. And for us to get a taste of Germany!”