FOLEY – About a dozen south Baldwin teens will make their way to Hennef, Germany this spring as part of a student exchange program with Foley’s sister city.

Foley officials recently welcomed representatives from Hennef as part of a program to promote exchanges between the two cities. In May, Mayor Ralph Hellmich, his wife, Jo, and other Foley representatives went to Hennef as part of the program.

Jo Hellmich said the program is a chance for two similar communities to better understand each other.

“The purpose of our program is to develop an educational and cultural exchange with our sister city. Ralph and I had the opportunity to visit Hennef last May and it’s a beautiful community, very welcoming and, in many ways, very much like our own beautiful city of Foley,” she said. “We are very excited that 12 of our high school students will be visiting Hennef in May to promote that educational and cultural exchange.”

She said in recent months, Foley and Hennef representatives and educators have met over the Internet to discuss the program.

“We’ve had Zoom meeting with educators in Hennef and we enjoy a lively exchange with each other exchanging ideas and ways to develop our relationships between our cities,” she said.

Dominique Muller-Grote, Hennef city communications director, and his wife, Stephanie, visited Foley, touring downtown attractions such as the Holmes Medical Museum, Foley Depot and other sites.

“My wife and I have spent the last few days getting to know your wonderful country and the wonderful people here, expanding our knowledge of the world, especially of your life here in Foley.. We have made new and good friends and whatever may come, that will remain,” Muller-Grote said at a sister cities reception in Foley.

Among the audience members were some of the Foley students who plan to visit Hennef in May. He said Hennef officials are also working to organize a visit to Foley by German students in October 2024.

“The visits of the students from Foley is another important step that I hope that Hennef schools will also succeed in finding enough parents who would like to send their children on a return visit here to Foley,” Muller-Grote said.