get connected – International Student Exchange Program for Children of Schwarz Group Employees
“We want to support the personal and intercultural development of our employees’ children and give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and gain a unique experience,” says Tina from the Social Commitment unit, speaking about get connected.
In cooperation with the exchange organization AFS, she is responsible for the three-week international exchange program which took place for the first time this year. The program is aimed at Schwarz Group employees’ children aged between 14 and 17 years.
Tina, what are the aims of the exchange program?
As well as supporting their personal and intercultural development, the program aims to give the young people an insight into their parents’ employer and give them the opportunity to get to know the Schwarz Group for themselves as a potential training provider and employer. In addition, it’s important to us to support our employees with the planning of vacation periods and provision of childcare.
We also want to enable all families to provide a trip abroad for their children, so the participation fee is staggered based on income.
What exactly happens during the program?
The international young people spend the first few days at a camp organized by AFS, where they can get to know each other better and prepare for their stay with a guest family. This helps them to get to know their tandem partners and they go on to spend a week with the corresponding guest family.
A second camp then takes place to prepare the German young people for their stay in the host country. The international young people also share their experiences at this camp. After that, the young people travel together to the relevant host country, where they spend another week together. The program is rounded off with another camp where the German young people can share their experiences.
What added value does the program offer our employees and their children?
The young people get to experience a different culture, improve their English skills or perhaps even learn the basics of a new language. They have the opportunity to network on a national and international level. New friendships are forged that may last a lifetime. As well as the valuable experiences that the young people gain during day-to-day life in Germany with their tandem partner and abroad in a different culture, the exchange is also an unforgettable experience for the host family.
Fun fact: During the exchange program, the young people had the opportunity to complete various challenges relating to sustainability. For each challenge successfully completed, we donated the sponsorship of a tree.
After the success of this year, planning for the next exchange program is already underway! Want to take part? Then join us and benefit from our employee offers!