For a long time I didn‘t know what IFC stands for. Of course I knew the project and what it is about but a German fifth grader probably wouldn‘t even understand the word fellowship.
Let me tell you what the abbreviation IFC means.
We all know it means International Fellowship Classes. But what do these three important words really mean?
INTERNATIONAL: We are talking about a German school, right? What could be international about that? Well, let‘s just kick out 15 German tenth graders from two classes and replace them with students from somewhere else. But from where? Let‘s just say from literally anywhere. All from the same country? No, that would be boring, we need diversity! Most of them come from different countries. So we have two classes with about forty Germans and about 15, what could we call them? Internationals!
FELLOWSHIP: We have a group of people. But how do we make a fellowship out of them? We could send them to Berlin for a week, of course with teachers (otherwise they would make too much trouble). One week, only four bedrooms, four kitchen teams and many visits of great places in Berlin. That should bring the students together. Okay but how can we maintain this relationship? Once in a while they could go on a short but nice day trip to for example Ludwigsburg or the opera. Of course the students also meet privately in their free time. What else could 15 to 17 year olds do all day? That question leads me to the next and last word.
CLASSES: It is still school. Not just trips to nice places. And of course, in tenth grade you need to work a lot for school. That‘s especially essential for the Germans who will enter the “Kursstufe” in the following year. And many of the internationals will encounter something similar when they are back at home. But speaking from experience, the team spirit in the international classes is stronger than in the previous classes. And all of my previous classes have been great but it is even better in the IFC. So the work is definitely worth it.
If you think about applying for the IFC, most or even all of us can tell you: Do it! It‘s gonna be a great year! You would regret it if you missed this great opportunity.