German Scholarship Winner 2017

Heartiest congratulations to Mount Mercy College student Laura Murphy who was awarded a 3 week scholarship to Germany based on her exceptional performance in her Junior Cert German exam and her interview in German at the Goethe Insitut, Dublin in March.

The scholarship is awarded by The German Pedagogical Exchange Service and is funded by the German Foreign Office.

Application for such scholarships is not possible as the award is merit based. Laura’s scholarship will take her to Kiel in Northern Germany next June in a group of 12 scholarship winners. As well as participating in group activities and trips, Laura will also travel to other parts of Germany as part of her scholarship.

Well done to Laura on her outstanding achievement!

German Ambassador Honours Mount Mercy College With Visit

On the 14th October 2016, Mount Mercy College was honoured to receive a visit from the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Mr Matthias Höpfner.

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner with pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. ( l to r) Jana Reusch, German language assistant; Ellen van Walleghem, Deputy Principal; sixth year pupils Niamh Busby and Emma Sheehan, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, sixth year pupils Maeve O'Sullivan and Larisa Sabou, German teacher Ms Mary Loftus and cellist Roisin Fleming. Pic; Larry Cummins

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant), Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (Vice Principal),  Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan and to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) & 2nd year cellist Roisin Fleming.  Picture Credit: Irish Examiner                                                

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The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant) , Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan & to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) and 2nd year student Roisin with cello.

Picture credit: Irish Examiner

1st Year class pictured with teacher Ms Loftus say ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’.                                 Picture credit: Irish Examiner

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. Pic; Larry Cummins

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

 Ambassador Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork.

The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner visiting Mount Mercy College, Cork. Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to the school. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to Mount Mercy College. 
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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The German Ambassador with Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (left) and German Teacher Ms Loftus  (right)

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1st year students welcome The German Ambassador

1st year students :  ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’

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The German Ambassador arrived at 10am and was welcomed by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem, teacher Ms Loftus, the Head Girl Isabel Coburn and Deputy Head Girl Arisha Muhammed. 1st year students of German welcomed the German Ambassador with the words ‘Willkommen Herr Botschafter’ (Welcome Mr Ambassador) and proudly displayed these words in their sign to deliver a group welcome on behalf of all students of German in MMC.

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group welcomed The German Ambassador

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Past pupils of German returned to MMC to enjoy Ambassador Höpfner’s visit. L-R: Sarah Clifford (Deputy Head Girl 2012-2013), Mary O Driscoll (LC 2014), Jessica Schweizer (LC 2014), Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan & Jennifer O Leary (all of whom completed their LC in 2016)

The Ambassador stopped to warmly appreciate the beautiful welcoming music provided by Mount Mercy’s traditional Irish music band, as he was escorted through the corridor en route to the library. He entered the library to rapturous applause provided by the Mount Mercy students of German. Ten past pupils of German were also present and joined in providing the warmest of welcomes.

Proceedings commenced with an eloquent welcome speech given by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem which highlighted the strong Mount Mercy ethos as well as the achievements and excellent reputation of the College. She highlighted the College’s excellent record in terms of modern languages and spoke about German in Mount Mercy as a popular choice, with many students having achieved very good grades and a significant proportion having chosen to pursue it in higher education. She expressed delight with the support the College has received from the German Embassy and the Goethe Institut, as this support has created new and inspiring opportunities.

Ms Loftus then spoke words of welcome and thanks to the Ambassador, in recognition of the invaluable support provided by the German Embassy for the teaching and learning of German in MMC. She highlighted how the German Embassy, working closely with the Goethe Institut Irland and the German Teachers Association of Ireland, shows us that ‘German connects’ through the provision of wonderful initiatives including:

· The ‘Deutschmobil’, which MMC has been lucky to host annually since its inception in 2013
· Wonderful scholarship opportunities which Mount Mercy students have been lucky to enjoy
· Invaluable support through the provision of the German Language Award – German Teacher of the Year Award which MMC was thrilled and honoured to receive in 2014
· Teacher scholarship opportunities, one of which Ms Loftus was delighted to receive

She highlighted the fact that the German Embassy is simply a magnificent force to be reckoned with and that MMC was most grateful to have this opportunity to thank The German Ambassador in person.

Past pupil and former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin then delivered a lovely speech detailing her experience of German during her six years in Mount Mercy and sharing her experience of the German tour to Munich and the Bavarian countryside which took place in October 2015, during her Leaving Cert year. Alison was a member of the first group ever to raise the Mount Mercy flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 metres. She also played a special role as she was responsible for carrying the flag to the peak.

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Alison Devlin, Former Deputy Head Girl

Scholarship winners Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby spoke warmly of their experiences during their scholarship periods in Germany. These scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students nationally based on Junior Cert results in German and interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut, Dublin. The girls thanked the Ambassador and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD, Pedagogical Exchange Service) for these scholarships, which have left a lasting positive impact on them, both in terms of German language acquisition and life experience. As Larisa said, from seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Angela Merkel in the Reichstag, to visiting Zugspitze, ‘there’s nothing we haven’t seen’.

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L-R: Niamh Busby and Larisa Sabou

German poems were then performed by all German class groups from 1st year to 6th year. The German Ambassador enjoyed the Mount Mercy rendition of all of the poems which showcased poets from different eras and styles, including Goethe, the world famous German poet laureate.

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1st year German class perform their poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ by Oskar Stock in both German and English

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The 1st year poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ (Good Wishes), by Oskar Stock, was written shortly after World War II and the theme of ‘more peace and friendship, instead of hatred, strife and dispute’ is as relevant today as it was in 1946. This wonderful 1st year class gave a rousing performance of the poem, firstly in German and then in English.

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2nd Year German class perform their poem ‘Auf dem Land’ by Ernst Jandl

The 2nd year poem ‘Auf dem Land’ (In the Countryside), by Ernst Jandl, is an amusing and challenging performance poem where students work with careful repetition of syllables in each word to mimic the sounds made by the animals being described. This was no mean feat and the Mount Mercy students rose to the challenge and performed it wonderfully.

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3rd Year German class perform their Autumnal poem ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), Poet unknown

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3rd year students gave a lovely rendition of ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), a fitting choice of poem by an unknown poet, to mark the season in which the Ambassador chose to visit MMC. After the poem was performed in German by the class, 3rd year student Sophie Crosbie gave us a charming rendition in English.

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5th Year German students perform their poem ‘Wanderer’s Nachtlied II’ by Goethe, considered by many to be the most beautiful lyrical poem in the German language. Siún Long O Connor holds a poster showing the famous 1787 painting of Goethe by the German artist Tischbein entitled ‘Goethe in the Roman Campagna’

5th year students performed a beautiful version of Goethe’s poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied II’ (The Wanderer’s Nightsong). This special poem evokes a still and quiet mood as it depicts the wanderer’s thoughts whilst surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is considered by many to be the most perfect lyrical poem in the German language. Following this, 5th year student Katie O Connor performed a lovely version of the poem in English.

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Combined group of Transition Year and Leaving Cert students perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ poem for Ambassador Höpfner

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Transition Year students Aleks Janowich and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform a poem in German along with their class. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Transition Year students Aleks Janowicz and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy‘ poem in German along with their class.
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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Transition Year and Leaving Cert students combined to recite the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ (German in Mount Mercy) poem. This poem conveys the spirit of German in Mount Mercy and these students did a fantastic job of conveying that particular spirit through their enthusiastic and fun approach in the performance.

At this point a special presentation of Cork Crystal was made to the Ambassador, to mark the occasion of his visit to Mount Mercy College. This vase carries the special ‘Winged Starlight’ design by Master Craftsman George Duggan. No two pieces are ever the same. This quintessential piece of Cork Crystal was specially engraved to mark the occasion of The German Ambassador’s visit to Mount Mercy College.

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Presentation of Cork Crystal vase with Winged Starlight design to The German Ambassador

Ambassador Höpfner made a presentation of a beautiful book entitled ‘Deutschland’ to Mount Mercy to be housed in our school library.

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Ambassador Höpfner presented a beautiful book about Germany as a gift to Mount Mercy College

The German Ambassador then rose to address the students. He spoke eloquently about his life growing up in Germany, his early career path in law and the German Diplomatic Service, his family and how he had worked in the German Embassy in Indonesia and later as Deputy Head of Mission in the Germany Embassy in Tripoli in Libya. He later went on to serve as German Ambassador in Ottawa, Canada and Sofia, Bulgaria prior to coming to serve as the German Ambassador to Ireland in 2014.

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After his speech, Ambassador Höpfner went on to further give very generously of his time in providing thoughtful answers during the student question and answer session following his speech. He provided wonderful answers to a diverse range of questions from students in all year groups.

Samples of questions asked included the following:
What does your job involve?
Did you always want to be Ambassador?
What’s the best thing about your job?
If you could name one place to visit in Germany, what would it be?
What is your favourite German historical monument and why?
What do you think Ireland can learn from Germany?
How do you think Brexit will affect the EU?’
Of the many famous dignitaries you have met, who impressed you the most?
What do you think are the strengths of both nations (Ireland and Germany)?
Do you think Ireland and Germany work well in partnership together, in business, technology or simply in friendship?
Are you enjoying your visit to Cork?

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5th Year student Fiona O Sullivan stands to ask The German Ambassador her question: Is Goethe still considered to be relevant in modern day Germany?

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1st Year student Kate O Riordan stands to ask Ambassador Höpfner her question: “What can Ireland learn from Germany?”

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Leaving Cert student Larisa Sabou stands to ask her question

Students certainly provided the Ambassador with a challenging task in answering many questions and he answered all with great aplomb and generosity.

‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ followed this Q & A session . All present enjoyed the delicious Kipferl German cookies baked by the Mount Mercy Home Economics Department and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Evelyn Coughlan, Home Economics teacher.

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Ambassador Höpfner and Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem enjoy ‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ whilst chatting with MMC past pupils of German

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Alison and Jana enjoy the delicious traditional German ‘Kipferl’ cookies

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Past pupils of German chat with Ambassador Höpfner whilst enjoying Kipferl: L-R – Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary

A beautiful Bach instrumental piece was expertly performed on cello by 2nd year student Roisin.

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The Ambassador further gave of his time to shake many hands and to speak with individual students.

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Niamh Busby, PAD scholarship winner

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Larisa Sabou. Larisa’s 4 week scholarship placed her amongst the top 5 scholarship winners nationwide in 2015

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Ann Keohane, 2nd year student & member of MMC Student Council

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Alex Jancowicz, TY student, speaks in German telling the Ambassador it is an honour to meet him: ‘Es ist mir eine große Ehre Sie zu treffen’

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Ambassador Höpfner together with Ms Van Walleghem (right) , Ms Loftus (left) and all present in the room, stood to listen to the beautiful rendition of the European Anthem, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ , played by Mr Whelan on piano and 2nd year student Roisin Fleming on cello.

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Ambassador Höpfner greatly admired the 2nd year student’s ability on the cello and told us his father had been a music teacher and had played cello in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Ambassador Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch to his left and Ms Loftus to his right

Many photos were taken and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Vanessa Gardiner, Art Department, for her lovely photography. Finally, the time to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ came. All rose to stand and respectfully listen to a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European Anthem, expertly played on piano by Mr Vincent Whelan, Music Teacher and student Roisin on cello. A special word of thanks must be given to Mr Whelan and the Music Department for the choreography of all music throughout the Ambassador’s visit, which helped to add to the great sense of celebration on this special day. A standing ovation was given to the Ambassador as he took his final leave of the students. He was most impressed with our Mount Mercy students of German and expressed this in his final moments at the school. This brought to an end a most special and memorable visit.

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L-R back row: Jana Reusch, Ms Loftus, Past pupils attending the Ambassador’s visit: Mary O Driscoll, Aisling O Donovan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary, Sarah Clifford, Front row L-R: Jessica Schweizer, Alison Devlin and Clara Bennett.

In conclusion, Mount Mercy German Department wishes to express most sincere thanks to the German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner and his team at the German Embassy in Dublin for choosing to honour us with this very special visit. We also deeply appreciate the generous amount of time the Ambassador made available for our students, spending over an hour and a half with them. A special word of thanks must go to Mr Peter Adams, First Secretary and Nelly Reske, P.A. to the Ambassador, who work very hard behind the scenes to coordinate events like this. It was a great honour to receive the German Ambassador at our College and we are most grateful for the opportunity. As well as being the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Höpfner has now set a new record – first ambassador ever to visit Mount Mercy College!

Sincere thanks also must be given to our School Principal Pádraigín Uí Riordáin and Vice Principal Ellen Van Walleghem who greatly supported this special occasion. A special word of thanks must go to our office administrators Vivienne O Shea, Susan Archbold and Debbie Brennan and to Joe Larkin, our caretaker, and Barbara Smolenska, for their great help and support at all times throughout the organisation of this event. A huge thank you to the Home Economics, Music and Art Departments for their invaluable assistance in this event as each department’s participation helped to ensure the event was a great success. Sincere thanks to Ms Mary O Sullivan, Transition Year Coordinator, who kindly organised  the creation of beautiful posters for the event by talented TY students. Last but certainly not least, congratulations to all the Mount Mercy students of German, who really participated wonderfully in this event and with great finesse. The Ambassador came to Mount Mercy specifically to see these students and they certainly did not disappoint. Well done to all our students of German! Our Mount Mercy students of German epitomise the sentiment expressed in the final lines of our ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy Poem’…..

Wir besteigen den höchsten Berg Deutschlands
In Schnee und Sonnenschein
Und dort hissen wir die Mount Mercy Fahne
(Das hat Niemand vor uns getan),
………denn es ist wichtig ein Ziel zu erreichen

We climb the highest mountain in Germany
In snow and sunshine
And there we raise the Mount Mercy flag
(Nobody did that before us)
Because it is important to reach a goal

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Mount Mercy welcomes German Language Assistant

Mount Mercy German Department is delighted to welcome Jana Reusch from Kiel in Northern Germany who joins us as German Language Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year. Céad míle Fáilte Jana! Herzlich Willkommen in Irland!

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

Wir sind froh Jana im Mount Mercy zu haben und wir wünschen ihr alles Gute für die Zeit im Mount Mercy Team!

MMC German Tour October 2015

Making history! First Mount Mercy students to ever raise the Mount Mercy College Flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, 19th October 2015

Making history! First Mount Mercy group to ever raise the Mount Mercy College Flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, 19th October 2015

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On Saturday 17th October 2015, a group of senior MMC students of German together with their teacher, Ms Loftus, and accompanied by Ms Coughlan, flew from Cork Airport for an adventure in Munich and the Bavarian countryside.

Pictured L-R back row: Ms Loftus(Teacher), Aisling O Donovan, Emma Sheehan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Fiona O Sullivan, Kornelia Bukowska, Alison Devlin (Deputy Head girl), Front row L-R: Clara Bennett and Olivia Savage

Pictured L-R back row: Ms Loftus(Teacher), Aisling O Donovan, Emma Sheehan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Fiona O Sullivan, Kornelia Bukowska, Alison Devlin (Deputy Head girl), Front row L-R: Clara Bennett and Olivia Savage

Upon arrival in Munich International Airport, the group proceeded to their accommodation at Haus International in Munich which was constructed originally for Olympic athletes participating in the 1972 Olympics. This warm and comfortable hostel provided a solid base where the group received daily breakfast and hearty evening meals for the next few days.DSCF1071

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On day 1, the group set off on foot and used public transport to get to the Saturday evening ice skating disco in the Olympic Park. This proved to be an evening of great excitement and fun. Navigating the city’s excellent transport system was an adventure in itself and superseded only by the outstanding experience of skating on such a world class rink. Special effects, changing lighting and music make this a real disco experience! Before long, our novice MMC skaters were skating like professionals and enjoying the fun with each other and some new found friends on the rink.
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Day 2 commenced with a hop-on/hop-off bus sightseeing tour of Munich which provided an excellent chance to view many famous sights and get a bird’s eye view of the City. This was followed by a visit to the Marienplatz in the centre of Munich where the group got to see the famous Townhall Glockenspiel dance which is performed at certain times each day.

Pictured at Marienplatz in the heart of Munich in front of the 'Rathaus Glockenspiel'

Pictured at Marienplatz in the heart of Munich in front of the ‘Rathaus Glockenspiel’          L- R: Ms Loftus, Clara Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Alison Devlin, Emma Sheehan, Niamh Busby, Lea Bennett, Kornelia Bukowska, Olivia Savage.

The group enjoyed their first experience of the sights and sounds of Central Munich before visiting the famous landmark church the Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Cathedral), with its famed “onion towers” where Sunday morning mass was celebrated. The group lit candles in this beautiful church which was restored after World War II. This visit was followed by a trip to the famed Hofbrauhaus restaurant in downtown Munich where the group sampled traditional Bavarian fare for a delicious lunch and marvelled at locals dressed in customary Bavarian costume of Lederhosen and Dirndl. In the afternoon, ice cream was enjoyed in a nearby trendy ice-cream parlour boasting amazing flavours ranging from traditional to experimental. These must be tasted to be believed!

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After the refreshment of lunch and ice-cream, the group set off to the Deutsches Museum which is one of the largest science and technology museums of its kind worldwide.

Visiting exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum

Visiting exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum

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The museum contained outstanding displays on several floors. A warm evening meal and relaxed evening followed as the group prepared for their special journey on day 3.

The third day commenced with a very early start as the group set off by bus to visit the world famous 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle which is located near Füssen in Southwest Bavaria and near to the Austrian border. Beautiful views of Germany’s largest state Bavaria were enjoyed as the bus journey of approximately 2 hours from Munich deep into the heart of the Bavarian countryside provided ample opportunity to enjoy the landscape throughout the region. Excitement gathered as the alps came into view and the group was thrilled to experience snowfall upon arrival at the fairy tale castle.

Arrival at Neuschwanstein Castle

Arrival at Neuschwanstein Castle

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This was followed by a lovely tour of the special castle which is full of weird and wonderful decor and pervaded by a sense of mystery as it was never completed due to King Ludwig II’s untimely death in mysterious circumstances in 1886. The Disney Cinderella castle was inspired in part by Neuschwanstein.

Beginning our tour of Famous Neuschwanstein Castle

Beginning our tour of Famous Neuschwanstein Castle

Surrounding countryside at Neuschwanstein

Surrounding countryside at Neuschwanstein

 

The group then set off by coach to travel to Zugspitze which is the highest mountain in Germany.

Views on ascent to summit of Zugspitze

Views on ascent to summit of Zugspitze

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This was an outstanding experience and represented the pinnacle of the tour for many in more ways than one!The group ascended to the summit of the mountain on a special cogwheel train followed by the glacier cable car. The mountain is 2962 metres high and ears popped on the journey upwards to the peak.

Almost at the peak of Zugspitze

Almost at the peak of Zugspitze!

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it was a very special feeling to be surrounded by a combination of snow and sunshine as we raised the Mount Mercy flag on the summit of Zugspitze.

At the summit

At the summit

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This was the first time the MMC flag has ever been raised on Zugspitze and was a fitting tribute by our pioneering group to mark both the 50th anniversary year of MMC and our trip to Germany. A celebratory atmosphere was enjoyed throughout this expedition to the mountain peak. Our group then returned to Munich and enjoyed a hearty evening meal at the hostel following an exceptional and unforgettable day.

The final day of our stay arrived and the group set off by coach to Dachau Memorial Site. A very moving experience, visiting Dachau leaves a lasting impact and we were led by an excellent tour guide. The aim of survivors of Dachau concentration camp was to ensure that, by opening it to the public and informing the world of atrocities committed there, that such events would never be allowed to happen again. Sadly, this had not been the case as concentration camps have also arisen elsewhere in the world. Visiting the site of such tragedy makes us think deeply and question ourselves as human beings, however easy answers are not found in relation to this very sad topic.The group returned to Munich deeply affected by this experience.

Upon return to Munich City Centre, the group enjoyed lunch and a few hours shopping around Marienplatz and Central Munich. Trips to famous German department stores and the famed Viktuallien Market were greatly enjoyed. Shopping in Munich is an experience in itself and offers a wonderful range of quality products for every pocket from postcards, souvenirs and trinkets to high end shopping. There was a lovely atmosphere in autumnal Munich and the start of winter was evident in Christmassy trinkets available in the market and in stores. After a fun-filled afternoon, the group returned to collect luggage in the hostel before setting off for the final part of our journey – returning to Munich International Airport.

MMC Group pictured at Munich International Airport for return flight to Cork.

MMC Group pictured at Munich International Airport for return flight to Cork. Teachers Ms Loftus on far left and Ms Coughlan on far right.

A pleasant flight home to Cork ensued. Our group returned home happy and filled with wonderful memories of a special stay. The trip proved to be an exceptional experience and provided for many students both an introduction to Germany and an excellent chance for immersion in the German language and culture. The MMC team spirit, sense of fun, involvement and excellence were clearly evident throughout and the group left a wonderful impression on everyone encountered throughout the trip thanks to their exceptional behaviour. Well done and sincere thanks to all who participated.

In conclusion, and to give you a bite-size flavour of the trip, you will find below a list of keywords and phrases used by students who went on tour to describe their highlights of the trip.

Leaving Cert students of German Alison, Julie, Kornelia, Aisling, Lea and Clara created the following list of highlights using their personal memories, impressions and experiences:
” SKATING – conga line, skate off, walk to ice skating rink, meeting Ms Loftus’ friend (and each receiving gift of German Xmas decoration from her), falling on the ice, making new ice skating friends. HOP-ON HOP-OFF – overview of city, seeing all important sights, Michael Jackson shrine, walking man statue, cylinder ads, architecture. HOFBRAUHAUS – food & traditional dress. ICE CREAM PARLOUR – Euros and Times. DEUTSCHES MUSEUM – ship models, measuring weight in Newtons, hot air balloons, measuring our strength. NEUSCHWANSTEIN – snow on arrival , taking picture of Korean man, classical Memes paintings, meeting Irish Americans. ZUGSPITZE – train up mountain, view, snow, new American friends, MMC flag being raised at the peak, cable car back down. DACHAU – educational, important to learn from the past, black cloud. SHOPPING – selection of shops, souvenirs, Rathaus (Townhall), Marienplatz , cathedral, people stopping to watch the figures in Rathaus Glockenspiel dance, photo shoot of wedding couple. FUNNY MOMENTS – running through U-Bahn, pizza machine, disco, munching food together in the rooms, Lea buying glass cleaners in every shop, Julie’s love of Pretzels, night we stayed up til 3am, scary stories, public transport everywhere, playing pool, playing Fussball, seeing Allianz Arena, paprika chips, german man asking about the ‘times’ i.e. the economy, Lea on ice.

Outstanding Mount Mercy Students win German Scholarships

L-R: Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, Scholarship Winners

L-R: Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, Scholarship Winners

Heartiest congratulations to Mount Mercy College Transition Year students Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby, who were respectively awarded 4 week and 3 week scholarships to Germany based on their outstanding Junior Certificate results in German and their interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut in March. Each year approximately 29 scholarships are funded by the German Foreign Office for Irish Transition Year students. These are offered by the German Pedagogical Exchange Service for language courses in Germany.

It is not possible to apply for these scholarships as selection is based on merit i.e. the students’ Junior Certificate performance in German. The best 70 students nationwide are invited by the Department of Education and Skills to an interview/language test at the Goethe Institut in Dublin. Out of this group, the top 5 students are then awarded a 4 week fully sponsored language course which takes place in Germany between June and September. This scholarship includes trips to Cologne/Bonn, Berlin and Hamburg / Munich as well as a 2-week stay with a German family, during which the Irish students go to school with their German counterparts.

Approximately 24 Irish students are selected for participation in the 3 week language courses in Germany. Expenses for accommodation, meals, trips and the language course are paid for.

Well done to Larisa and Niamh on their outstanding achievements!

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