Stoughton High School let go of a small piece of Germany on Saturday, as 20 exchange students said their farewells at the entrance of the school.

A crowd of roughly 60 people, waiting for a yellow bus to arrive and take students to the airport, are connected by the biennial Greven, the German exchange program.

Over the summer, 20 SHS students stayed with various host families in Germany. Two and a half weeks ago, the same students that went abroad embraced their German partners in their hometown.

Program students and educators held a goodbye party Friday, Oct. 25, where students shared their favorite memories.

MaryGrace Floeter, a German teacher at River Bluff Middle School and co-leader of the exchange program said the German students remember the football games, carving pumpkins and apple picking.

“A lot of students said, ‘thank you for showing us Culvers,’” Floeter said with a laugh.

Through teary eyes and long hugs, students and families promised to stay in touch, stating the exchange “went too fast.” Permanent and open invitations were given: “You can come back anytime” and “let us know when you get home safely.”

The next exchange is set for 2021.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.