FDTC exchange partnership nearing 20-year milestone
Florence-Darlington Technical College is nearing two decades of an exchange partnership with German technical college, Berufsbildende Schule (BBS III) in Mainz.
The International Program at FDTC launched in 2000, and each spring, German students and instructors visit FDTC and the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT), and in return, FDTC students and FDTC Marketing instructor, Steven Weingartner travel to Europe to visit BBS III in Mainz.
Weingartner, who leads the program, said he was proud to take FDTC students to study at the college in Europe and that a lot of planning goes into the exchange.
“We’ve done video conferences with BBS III that allows us to have a program so our students can travel,” Weingartner said. “Next year will be our 20th year!”
During this year’s trip, Weingartner and Department of Business and Computer Technologies students, Janet Gardner and Matthew Langston met instructors and students at BBS III and attended classes. The Germans also hosted the Americans and gave them a glimpse into their lives.
Gardner, who is a Darlington resident said, “I never thought I would have such an opportunity! I’ve really never been anywhere. I made friends that hopefully will be part of life for years to come.”
When their college work was completed, they took trips to the nearby cities of Frankfurt, Koblenz and Oppenheim. Their hosts also took them to a professional soccer game and treated them to a sightseeing tour of Strasbourg, France.
Langston who is a resident of Florence also enjoyed the trip calling it ‘an amazing opportunity’. He said, “When I heard the school was offering an exchange, I was definitely excited for it! This was my first time going to another country and my first time on a plane.”