A German Odyssey

Auckland House School is a name to reckon with in the list of illustrious educational institutions in Shimla. Established in 1866, it is one of the oldest institutions in Shimla. With its roots firmly grounded in more than a century old tradition, the School is progressive in its outlook and offers unique opportunities to its students to mould them into successful individuals.

One such opportunity is a unique student exchange programme. It initiated with the Principal, Mrs. Sunita John’s visit to Geissen in 2002 but came to fruition only in 2006 when three girls from Auckland House School visited Leibigschule in the month of September. The following year, two German students, Meike and Johanna visited Auckland House and became a part of the “Aucky” family.

In continuation of the cultural exchange programme this year, Auckland House sent three XII Formers, namely, Swati C. John, Tanvi Ohri and Sameera Chauhan to Leibigschule, Germany. The girls landed there on the morning of 20th October with much excitement and a little apprehension in their hearts. They were escorted to the school by Mrs. Jutta Becher to the school where they met the Principal, Dr. Seherliess and their host families

Apart from attending regular school in Germany, the students thoroughly enjoyed the social and cultural life there. They learnt new subjects like Politics, Music and Religion and enriched their knowledge about German Literature by witnessing the dramatic representation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, and paying visits to Germany’s literary legends Goethe and Schiller’s hometown, Weimar. “The lack of a school uniform and a regular school assembly were the first things that struck us when we started attending school”, says Swati John, the Head Girl of Auckland House School. The girls actively participated in group discussions and enjoyed leisure activities like ice skating and sight seeing.

Germany is well known for its scenic beauty and the girls visited popular tourist destinations like Laubeck, Scheffinberg, Lich, Wetzlar and Frankfurt during their stay in Germany. According toSwati John, “The boating tour on the river Rhine was one of the most memorable experiences of my life”. They also celebrated Diwali, which is known as “Lichterfest” in Germany, with the Indian community settled there.

As young ambassadors of their country and the school, the girls presented a slide show to the German students. The students were quite amazed to know about the diversity in India and the modern technological methods like the Smart Class Programme utilized by Auckland House to impart updated education to its students. Many of them showed a keen interest in visiting India and becoming a part of this culturally affluent country. The Auckyites presented a fusion of Classical, Punjabi and Rajasthani dance forms on the last day of their stay, which was greatly praised by both teachers and students of Leibigschule and covered by the press of Germany.

The School has also initiated an exchange programme with St. Mary’s School, Johannesberg, South Africa this year when the present Principal, Mrs. Meg Fargher visited Auckland House with her mother in law, who is incidentally an old student of this school. Kate Stevens , who visited Auckland House from the 19th of October to the 6th of November proved to be an excellent ambassador for her school.

“Exchange programmes encourage a feeling of respect and camaraderie not only among the students of participating institutions, but also among respective countries which is very essential in a world fragmented by petty conflicts. It gives a good opportunity to the students to get a feel of a different culture and also to exhibit their own”, says Mrs. Sunita John, Principal, Auckland House School. This cultural exchange programme is a pioneering step in the field of education and a landmark in the history of the School.

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5 Comments

  1. says: HARKIRAT CHAUDHRY NEE KHALSA

    I am an old student of the school and passed out as the last batch of Senior cambridge in 1968 with few subjects introduced in the new ISC system.I have been in touch with a few students whom we meet regularly. It was good to read about the school.
    Can a newsletter be started to keep in touch and encourage more ex students to respond.

    By the way I am known as AUCKY and it is also my business name. Because of the name I have come to know of a number of ex students. I am based in delhi and would welcome news about the school.

    Regards

    Aucky

    1. says: Balwinder Takhar

      Hello Harkirat,
      I too am an old Auckyite–graduated one year after you. What a great school and I am proud of having studied there. I am now living in Toronto, Canada but have very fond memories of my schoolgirl days.
      I would love to know of other girls who graduated around that time and of course, to hear back from you. It may be the beginning of a new friendship!

      Take care.

      Balwinder Takhar (Balwinder Dilbagh Singh)

  2. says: Pratima sidhu

    Hai i was a student of A.H.S. I feel very privileged. I really miss my school. Regards, Pratima Sidhu

  3. says: Sonal Banta

    hi,
    i am also an ex-Aucky and always miss my life at Auckland. I joined in 1980.would like to join any of my old batchmates.

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