Press Release

German Students Arrive in Atlanta for Halle Exchange Program with Atlanta Technical College

This past Saturday, 12 students and four faculty members from Felix-Fechenbach Berufskolleg in Detmold, Germany, arrived in Atlanta to participate in The Halle Exchange program with Atlanta Technical College (ATC). Through this program, young people from both cultural backgrounds experience and evaluate the different systems of technical education.

During the two-week exchange, which will run from February 2-14, the young German students will live with their ATC counterparts, many of whom they met when the American delegation visited Detmold last October. The Halle Exchange is a complete cultural immersion experience. Participants live in their exchange partner’s home and take classes at the host institution.

A key component of The Halle Exchange is workforce development. Students engage in internship experiences in the program areas of mechanical engineering, carpentry, culinary arts, visual communications, medicine, childcare, cosmetology and electronics. While in Detmold, Atlanta Tech students worked for German corporations including AFV-Medien, Welle Möbel GmbH, Vital Hotel, Stiftung, S.O.S. Ausbildungstätte, Restaurant Lallmann, Klinikum, Phoenix Contact Ausbildung und Studium, Massong, and Digital Park. In Atlanta, the students from Felix-Fechenbach have interned with The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Sara Lee Corporation, Merritt Specialties and Construction, Habitat for Humanity, MARTA, Dunbar Sheltering Arms Child Development Center, Butter Sweet Bakery, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and the Loews Hotel Atlanta, Prattigan Tech Group and Saddle Creek Logistics Services.

When they are not studying in the classroom or working at an internship, exchange students visit key sites of commerce and culture. In October, the American delegation and their German hosts visited the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Castle of Detmold and the Pergamon Museum. In addition they had the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Detmold, the Prince and Princess of Lippe and leaders of German business and industry.

While in Atlanta, the German delegation and their counterparts will meet with Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia and Martina Stegmeier, President and CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc. The will also visit the King Center, the Atlanta University Center and the State Capitol Building.

One hallmark of The Halle Exchange is that it constantly evolves to increase the breadth and impact of the exchange experience. To more closely examine U.S. governmental operations, trade and culture, this year’s Halle delegation will travel to Washington, D.C. to visit, the White House, U.S. Capitol, The King Memorial and Smithsonian Museums. Lessons learned during the visit will be used to develop an inter-continental project on the similarities between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and German activist Felix Fechenbach.

The Halle Exchange, which celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year, is funded by The Halle Foundation, the Atlanta Technical College Foundation and corporate contributions.