Waldsee Celebrations: Abiball
Published: February 4, 2020
Our four-week high school villagers work incredibly hard during their time at Waldsee, either earning class credit or being a Lehrling (apprentice). To celebrate the end of their four weeks at Waldsee, it’s time to have a graduation celebration! In the German school system, you won’t find ceremonies with caps and gowns, but a dance. At the end of the session, it’s time for Abiball!
The German education system is structured differently than the American system. After finishing at a Grundschule (elementary school), German students can opt to enter a Realschule or a Hauptschule in order to learn specific trades or industries, or a Gymnasium if they plan on attending university. Gymnasium typically starts in the fifth or sixth grade, In many schools, students will focus on one or two subjects (often like a college major in the United States), and take exams in those subjects at the end of their time at Gymnasium in order to receive their Abitur (diploma). Their system is more similar to the British A-Levels than to the American diploma.
There’s no better way to celebrate long, challenging exam sessions like a party! Pictures from an Abiball tend to look a lot like pictures from American high school proms. Everyone dresses up, including parents and teachers, for a night of fun and dancing. At Waldsee, high school credit villagers and apprentices get to have a dance party in the Gasthof or Cafe Einbeck after the other villagers have gone to bed at the end of session, joined by both their credit teachers and house counselors. It’s a fun way for us to acknowledge our high school villagers’ achievements, from completing their portfolios to other projects across Waldsee.
Activities like Abiball are all part of our “Grand Simulation” experience at Waldsee, immersing villagers in all kinds of aspects of the German-speaking world. Our immersion experience goes far beyond language, introducing them to important cultural moments, traditions, and more.
Get ready to dance and learn more German in Summer 2020! We can’t wait to see you, whether it’s your first time at Waldsee or coming back after decades for our Alumni Weekend, July 17-19.
Have you spent nearly a decade or more at Waldsee over the last 60 years? We would love to hear from you for a future blog post! Please fill out this form here if you are interested.
Additionally, we are collecting and digitizing photos from alumni in honor of our 60th anniversary this summer. If you have any photos you would like to share (particularly from the 80s and 90s), please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.