Updated 16 July 2020
Q: Why Freiburg?
- Freiburg and the surrounding area are beautiful and interesting - there is a weath of possibilities for visiting school groups
- it is our twin town (and welcomes people from Guildford)
- Freiburg schools are keen to have contact with Guildford schools
- music groups such as choirs and orchestras, and sports teams are also welcome; concerts and matches can be arranged with Freiburg groups.
Alternatives to an exchange – but still with personal contact
Many of the secondary schools in Freiburg are keen to develop contacts with Guildford schools but understand why the traditional exchange visit of years past is no longer a viable option for many. An independent visit to the Freiburg area by Guildford schools can include contact with German students and give insights into German life.
Freiburg teachers are happy to hear from Guildford teachers who are interested in linking up in all or any of these ways:
- via email and Skype, or through writing letters and postcards
- on joint projects in any subject area
- as part of a visit to Germany.
Getting to Freiburg – getting around in Freiburg
The nearest international airport is Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. There are, among other operators, several flights a day operated by EasyJet from London Gatwick and there are regular bus and coach transfer services from the airport to Freiburg central station. Group fares are available. For more information on these transfers, visit:
- the Freiburger Reisedienst website, at: https://www.freiburger-reisedienst.de/?lang=en ;
or at: https://www.freiburger-reisedienst.de/FreiburgerReisedienst/fahrplan.php?lang=en ;
- the Flixbus website, at: www.flixbus.com
Freiburg is well connected to the German and international intercity rail services and is the hub for extensive local rail and bus routes.
For groups travelling by coach there is extensive coach parking close to the city centre.
There is an excellent public transport system and reduced fares for school students are available. Visit https://welcome.vag-freiburg.de for full information.
Staying in Freiburg
Freiburg has one of the best and most modern youth hostels in Germany. The hostel is a large, modern building with a full range of facilities and services. All rooms have en-suite facilities and there are extensive, secure grounds for young people to relax in. Groups can also make use of some of the larger meeting rooms in the hostel. It is located in a quiet, semi-rural location on the edge of the city, but is close to a swimming pool (das Strandbad) and a mini-golf course and other open spaces along the banks of the Dreisam for leisure activities.
The hostel is close to the Römerhof tram stop on Line 1, which links directly to the city centre and the central railway/bus station. There are, of course, many hotels in Freiburg and other private hostels, but for a school group the hostel offers the combination of clean secure rooms, group areas and plenty of space for energetic teenagers. Visit https://freiburg.jugendherberge.de (Jugendherberge Freiburg International).
Opportunities for Guildford schools in Freiburg
The City of Freiburg welcomes school groups from its partner cities, and will organise and fund:
- A guided walk in Freiburg city centre. This has a great deal to offer visitors of all ages. The stories told by the guide would capture the imagination of young people, and a combination of historical information and explanation of why things are as they are (the Bächle, the market standards and rude gargoyles on the Münster) strike a good balance. A tour which culminates on the Münsterplatz would enable a visiting group to sample the delights of the market, not least the local speciality, the lange Rote.
- A guided walk of the environmentally progressive area of Rieselfeld. Rieselfeld is the newer of the two modern areas of Freiburg which have been developed with environmental and social issues at the forefront of planning. It is readily accessed by tram from the city centre.
The rationale for the layout and design of the area, integration with natural features and the concepts behind housing, public transport and facilities made for a fascinating and thought-provoking tour. It would provide an excellent stimulus for school groups studying geography, politics and sociology, amongst others. Rieselfeld could be a fascinating case-study and the basis for a project to design a new neighbourhood; it is also accessible as a topic in modern languages for Key Stage 3 students.
- A formal welcome by the mayor (or other official) including refreshments.
Local visits in the Freiburg area
- Schauinslandbahn (cable car to the top of the Schauinsland, Freiburg’s local mountain) is a spectacular trip. From the city centre access is via tram and a connecting bus service. There are highly reduced rates for school groups (€7.00 per student for a return trip compared to €12.50 for an individual adult). There are good facilities at both the valley station and at the top of the mountain. From the mountain station there are clear walks marked to, amongst others, the summit of the mountain and the silver mines (another possible activity, subject to admission charges).
- Waldhaus is an outdoor activity centre on the edge of the city which is easily accessible by tram. This could provide a range of courses and activities, possibly subsidised by the city, which would make a good basis for interaction between Guildford and Freiburg school students. Website at http://www.waldhaus-freiburg.de/
- Titisee in the Black Forest. This pretty town and picturesque lake are accessible by public transport from the centre of Freiburg and offer, amongst other attractions, boat trips on the lake and a large swimming pool complex (Erlebnisbad Badeparadies Schwarzwald). https://www.erlebnisbad-spassbad.de
- Europapark theme park at Rust is also accessible from Freiburg, most easily by coach but also by public transport, and may, if included in a visit to Germany, encourage young people to participate.
Work experience in Freiburg
It is currently difficult to arrange work experience for Sixth Form students in Freiburg or elsewhere in Germany: for some pointers, see our work experience page.