1000 experiences of different cultures and countries

Weinheim, August 5, 2015. Bags packed, pleasant anticipation and a little excitement. For each of the young participants, a TANNER exchange is the start of an adventure which will broaden his or her horizons. Gaining an impression of other countries and cultures around the world – the Freudenberg Group offers this opportunity to employees' children across the globe. "Distances are not so long as in the USA, the food tastes different and there are lots of exciting things to discover," says. Emily Precourt. She is the 1000th young person to go on an exchange trip with the program.

She has travelled from Gloucester (Massachusetts) in the USA to Weinheim, where she is spending two weeks with Freudenberg employee Christine Mackert and her family. She has already visited France and Lake Constance with her host family. Trips to the "Kerwe" fair in Weinheim and the castle in Mannheim are still ahead of her. "TANNER gives employees' children an opportunity to learn about other cultures and countries. It is especially important for young people whose parents would not be able to afford such a trip themselves," says Hartmuth Posner, Head of Corporate Human Resources.

For 16 years, young people have been travelling to destinations in 32 countries across the globe with TANNER. Germany, the USA and Spain are the most popular countries. "With TANNER, young people have unique experiences in another country," says Christine Mackert. Christine, who works for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, has a daughter who travelled to Mexico with the exchange program. "Now we want to give something back as a host family and to be part of the worldwide Freudenberg family that makes these experiences possible for young people." Anika Mackert can remember her visit very well: "It was the first time that I had flown alone and then I was on a new continent with another culture and language. One example: I communicated with the mother of my host family using comic pictures, a very creative approach that actually worked. Since my trip, I have become much calmer in new situations.

TANNER links families around the world

As a company at the leading edge of technology, Freudenberg was a pioneer in Germany with its youth exchange program for employees' children. Many other companies have enquired about the concept with a view to offering similar opportunities for their own employees. Many host families have already taken a young person into their homes – one US family has even had more than 10 guests. Frequently, a TANNER visit was the start of a long-term friendship. Many participants write to each other or communicate via emails and Skype, even many years after their trip. On subsequent visits, the parents have also met each other. "The youth exchange program links Freudenberg employees around the world," reports Beate Voss, TANNER Officer.

TANNER has been part of their life for the Emig family for many years. Freudenberg employee Jürgen Emig has already welcomed guests from the world of Freudenberg three times with his wife Jeanette and their two children. Their daughter Selina has travelled to Detroit with TANNER and their son Nicolas has also flown to the USA. "During my career, I myself have spent a lot of time abroad and I think that it is important for young people to broaden their horizons by meeting new people and cultures," he says. This is what Emig wishes for his own children and he is pleased to offer this opportunity to others. "Up to now, we have always enjoyed the program. Our first guest was a girl from  Pune in India. She spoke very good English and was extremely interested in everything. You must be prepared to welcome your guests and to adapt to them. Sometimes, both sides need to compromise, but that's what makes exchanges like this so exciting."

Über die Freudenberg Gruppe

Freudenberg ist ein globales Technologieunternehmen, das seine Kunden und die Gesellschaft durch wegweisende Innovationen nachhaltig stärkt. Gemeinsam mit Partnern, Kunden und der Wissenschaft entwickelt die Freudenberg Gruppe technisch führende Produkte, exzellente Lösungen und Services für mehr als 30 Marktsegmente und für Tausende von Anwendungen: Dichtungen, schwingungstechnische Komponenten, Vliesstoffe, Filter, Spezialchemie, medizintechnische sowie mechatronische Produkte, IT-Dienstleistungen und modernste Reinigungsprodukte.

Innovationskraft, starke Kundenorientierung sowie Diversity und Teamgeist sind die Eckpfeiler der Unternehmensgruppe. Der Exzellenzanspruch, Verlässlichkeit und pro-aktives, verantwortungsvolles Handeln gehören zu den gelebten Grundwerten in der mehr als 165-jährigen Unternehmensgeschichte.

Im Jahr 2014 beschäftigte die Freudenberg Gruppe mehr als 40.000 Mitarbeiter in rund 60 Ländern weltweit und erwirtschaftete einen Umsatz von mehr als 7 Milliarden Euro (inklusive quotaler Konsolidierung der 50:50 Joint Ventures).

Weitere Informationen unter www.freudenberg.com.