Huntington School in York maintains a popular exchange with schools in both Dijon and Münster. Pupils from Years 8, 9 and 10 and their teachers went to Münster in March 2023 – read about it below, from the viewpoint of one of the travellers, Amelia.
The Münster-York exchange was an amazing experience that I loved being a part of. I made lots of lovely new friends both English and German and had a great partner called Klara. I still speak to them all and we made memories to last a lifetime. We did so many things in Germany that were all very fun and exciting.
At the weekend we went into Münster, to SEND – the festival which was on at the time – and swimming and bowling, and we met up in a group to watch a film. As a school group we explored Münster centre, had a reception at the town hall with the deputy mayor, and went to the Allwetterzoo.
A particular highlight of the trip was the joint visit to the Rock and Pop Museum in Gronau with our German partners. We went in the video karaoke room, dressed up and performed our favourite songs which was especially fun. The coach travel for this trip was funded by the mayor of Münster from the ‘Partnerstadt’ town partnership fund.
It was a very action-packed week. I had lots of time to spend with Klara and her lovely family who did their best to care for me in every way. I absolutely loved going to Münster and would not hesitate to go back if I had the chance!
Amelia, Year 10, Huntington School
photos © Huntington School
On 13 February 2023, York welcomed 10 student teachers of English from the University of Münster. In their first week, students attended workshops and modules at the Department of Education. In their second week, students visited local secondary schools.
University staff said:
“It was a huge pleasure to have the German students in my New Directions lecture the other day! They all asked questions, were amazingly articulate and enthusiastic and were very curious about the field of research. I would happily take them on for a whole term…!”
“The students from Muenster were a pleasure to have in my Intelligence module. They were engaged and curious, and they took quickly to the topic and participated enthusiastically in the discussion.”
School teachers said:
“WWU students joined in with German Year 11 (exam class) to help with a carousel of speaking activities. It’s great to have a couple of extra native speakers!”
“Our students thought they were lovely. Happy to do this again!”
“Glad we have been able to support this experience. The German visitors were keen to find out details about teaching and learning and asked pertinent questions.”
“It has been really successful! WWU students were amazed by the culture of learning in an English school.”
Based on this highly successful experience, one Headteacher stated, “Our school would very much like to be involved in providing future international experiences.”
Another school is keen to develop this to the next stage: “It would be good for our staff to have the opportunity to see it in reverse, too. Please let us know how we can help to make this happen.”
On 30 October the Department of Education at the University of York will send York PGCE students to Münster. They will equally experience a week of University teaching and a week of school placement.
YMPSE 2023 is the first of many years of this mutually enriching exchange programme. A great start!
What is YMPSE?
This bilateral exchange between the University of York and Westfälische Wilhelms University Münster was set up by Dr Ursula Lanvers and Mirjam Buehler-Willey (Department of Education, York) and Professor Jungwirth from the Department for professional teacher training, Münster.
The programme contributes to the Department of Education’s strategic goals of diversification, developing our international perspective, and strengthening collaboration with international HEI partners.
In September 2022, York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir travelled by ferry and train to Münster to reunite with their partner choir of 50 years, MarQant – the Münster Chor.
The programme included an official reception in the Peace Hall at the Town Hall, visits to local sights, a Saturday concert by the joint choirs, and a Sunday gala night: all with a great deal of singing, besides much food, drink and warm friendship. It sounds like a very special occasion for all involved.
To find out more, you can download a lively diary account on the YPMVC website:
And the MarQant choir’s website also has summaries and photos:
Way back in 1993, on 10th October, a special concert took place in the cathedral in Münster: Münster Philharmonic Choir, Münster Cathedral Choir and York Musical Society combined to sing Dvorak’s Requiem.
The performance, which was described at the time as a gesture of reconciliation, took place exactly 50 years after Allied forces had bombed the city, causing the deaths of over 700 people who had sheltered in the cathedral. The bombing of English cities by the German forces was also commemorated. A most moving performance, preceded and followed by the tolling of the cathedral bell, was given to a packed cathedral and relayed to a huge crowd in the surrounding square.
Since that occasion, the friendship between YMS and MPC has continued and grown, with memorable concerts by the combined choirs in both cities. A concert in the Jovel Hall, Münster, in June 2018, marked 25 years of partnership.
In those 25 years, hundreds of choir members have travelled and explored each other’s cities, often being hosted at home by members of the partner choir. These visits have offered a chance to better understand another culture and language, through sharing daily life and through rehearsing and performing together.
The visits have been an eye-opener for many individuals from both countries; friendships have developed between individual choir members and families, alongside the sense of collective experience and shared history for the two choirs.
So, what comes next? It’s the turn of the Münster choir to come to York once again, and this is planned for June 2023.
More details and photos can be seen on the two choirs’ websites:
YMTA heard about a memorable York–Münster exchange that took place in summer 2016.
It was organised by Get Cycling CBS, who are based in Fulford, York. As their photos show, the participants had a great time.
"Get Cycling CBS is a charitable Community Benefit Society which provides innovative cycling events and introductory activities, bike loan programmes, training courses, guided rides and holidays."
York Green Party welcomed a delegation from Münster in May 2018.
Five visitors from Die Grünen Münster stayed with local party members; during their stay they also met members of the York Münster Twinning Association and St Nicks Environmental Centre. They visited historic buildings such as the Mansion House and Barley Hall, as well as the newly established community of businesses at Spark:York.
Councillor Dave Taylor said, “I’d been treated to such a welcoming reception when visiting Münster as Lord Mayor to plan for the 60th anniversary of the twinning of our two cities, that I wanted to show our visitors some of the best of York in return. Naturally, we also wanted to talk about environmental issues, so we took a look around the revamped Foss Barrier and discussed climate change and natural flood management measures with the Environment Agency.”
The visit ended with sharing food at a barbecue in conjunction with York for Europe and some good-humoured banter while watching the Eurovision Song Contest at St Nick’s Environment Centre.
Niklas Haarbusch, who is speaker for the Green university group in Münster and a member of the Senate of the university, thanked York Green Party “for three amazing and most interesting days in the lovely city of York”.
The two parties agreed to maintain contact and share common ideas for the future about electoral reform, housing policy, fracking, cycling, and education.
To read more about it, click here for the York Green Party's website.
Note: YMTA is neutral and is not affiliated to any political party. All groups and parties (within reason!) are welcome to contact us for help setting up a twinning link with your equivalent in Münster!
A group of seven visitors from Münster were welcomed with a bring and share evening on Friday 8th September 2017, attended by over 30 guests and members. Many thanks to Tricia and Andy for hosting the event in their home.
Hannah Dreitzel thanked Andy for the successful tour of the city of York he had given the group earlier in the day and for the evening. She presented the YMTA with a catalogue to the sculpture exhibition which we shall see when we visit Münster at the end of this month.
The food was delicious and the company interesting. Judging by the level of sound from the conversations, our German guests must have been progressing well with their spoken English.
The Civic Party from Münster visited York to mark the 60th Anniversary of our twinning with Münster. Markus Lewe, the Oberbürgermeister of Münster gave the keynote speech at the One Planet York Conference at the University of York. The Civic Party cycled from their hotel to the University as a sign of their commitment to sustainable methods of transport. The Civic Party also included Ratsfrau Marianne Koch, who members will know from the Partnershaftverein Münster, our sister twinning organisation in Münster, and Christianne Loesel, Head of European Funding Opportunities ,York and Kristiansand in the Münster City Council International team and who is always extremely helpful to us and a mine of information. They were also joined from Münster by six members of the Partnershaftverein who travelled independently from the Civic Party.
Markus Lewe, Oberbürgermeister of Münster, addressing the One Planet York Conference at the University of York. Cllr. Andrew Waller is seated.
In the front from right to left are Christiane Lösel, Cllr. Andrew Waller, Oberbürgermeister Markus Lewe, Lord Mayor Barbara Boyce and Ratsfrau Marianne Koch. In the second row are members of the York and Münster Twinning Associations.
As part of our celebration of 60 years of friendship between York and Münster we are contributing towards the creation of a digital memory book. This is for people of both cities to share their stories and connections and to preserve an archive of these experiences.
Click here to read the stories in the digital memory book and get in touch if you have any memories to share.
Read this first
This page records and celebrates twinning activities not only by YMTA but by diverse community groups in York and Münster.