Sister City Youth Exchange – Cincinnati, Ohio, and Munich, Germany

On Monday, July 15, 2019 a group of students from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Munich, Germany, visited the Amerikahaus to engage in cultural exchange and discover more about Munich’s rich history.


The outing was part of an exchange program through the Sister City Association; for the past 30 years, the cities of Munich and Cincinnati have been linked together as sister cities, enjoying several decades of mutual support and reciprocal exchange activities. 


After the German students visited Cincinnati early this summer, the American group of high-schoolers came to Munich to spend two weeks with their German host partners. Their time was spent participating in workshops, excursions in the city, and trips around Bavaria, providing the students with the opportunity to experience life in Germany first-hand. They joined us at Amerikahaus to learn more about the Amerikahaus’ history and the prominent role it has played in Munich (and in Germany in general) since its founding after World War II.  


The day began with a short presentation detailing the creation of the various Amerikahäuser throughout Germany, their significance as “re-education centers”, and the evolution of what Amerikahaus has become today. The group then got up and moving to take a walk to Königsplatz and the surrounding area, bringing the information they had just seen on the presentation-projector to life. 


Once they were back from their walking tour, or Spaziergang as they call it here, they divided into teams for a U.S.-Germany quiz, putting their historical, political, and pop culture knowledge of both countries to the test. With a special prize basket on the line for the winning team (filled with German and American sweets) the students got into the competitive spirit and were in it to win it!


After taking advantage of the sunny weather and enjoying a relaxing lunch outside, the group gathered together for a discussion with Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer from the U.S. Consulate. He met with the students to discuss the German-American friendship and also impressed the group with his stories about his work in the Foreign Service. He stayed to answer the students’ questions about his impressions of life in Germany and his experiences as a government employee


We’d like to thank the City of Munich for inviting us to get involved with the exchange program and wish the whole group, Germans and Americans alike, all the best and hope they continue to build their own personal German-American friendships.


Interested in perhaps taking part in this exchange in the future? Visit the Munich City Website for more information on participation requirements and the application process. 


(Photo: ©Georg Reichel/U.S. Consulate General Munich)