German student thanks local hosts


A German student has spoken of her enjoyment after spending a fortnight in Newtownabbey as part of a work placement programme.

Hannah Rienacker (16) spent two weeks in Ballyclare, teaching German to children in the area.

The teenager from Bochum, a city approximately half an hour from Dortmund, worked at Ballyclare Primary School in the mornings, before helping at the town’s after school club, located off Main Street.

She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in Newtownabbey. The people have been very friendly. I’ve been to Northern Ireland around 10 times before, but this is the first time I have taught German to local children. I’ve enjoyed my time here a lot and will definitely be coming back.”

Hannah arrived on January 5 and departed on January 22. During her time in Ballyclare, she stayed with Cllr Vera McWilliam and her husband Ray. The McWilliam family are long-time friends of the Rienacker family, through Vera and Ray’s involvement in an initiative began in the 1950s by Rev Harold Allen, former Minister of Ballyclare Presbyterian Church.

Vera said: “It was a pleasure to have Hannah staying with us. We have known her family for many years and it is great to see Hannah travelling to Northern Ireland, just as her father did in his youth. Although she is only 16, she coped with being away from home extremely well. We look forward to seeing her again in the future.”