FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides you with answers to the most frequently asked questions in regard to the GAPP exchange. If you have any questions which are not answered here or need further clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us: gapp@newyork.goethe.org

We are happy to help!

The partnerships are formed on the schools’ initiatives. Today, most schools find their partners on the website  www.partnerschulnetz.de, which was founded by the German Auswärtige Amt within the framework of the initiative “Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH).  This forum enables German and foreign schools world-wide to establish international partnerships. You may create your school's profile on the site and get in contact with German schools looking for a partner school in the USA.

The American high school ideally offers German language classes, but this is not a requirement. In case the German program has been discontinued, or in case German classes are planned to be introduced in the future, schools may apply for a grant if they incorporate a jointly planned teaching project into their exchange visits.

In the event that a search on the above platform is unsuccessful, American schools may contact our office.

To start a GAPP exchange at a school and to make it a part of the regular school program, it is vital to have the administrative approval from all necessary bodies.
Once a partnership between an American and a German school is formed and exchanges in accordance with GAPP Guidelines are intended, the participating schools are eligible to be listed with GAPP. Both schools need to file an application with their respective GAPP office. American schools are welcome to apply to GAPP at the Goethe-Institut New York using the Application to GAPP for New School Partnership/Change of Partner
Their German counterparts need to file a corresponding form with the Pädagogicher Austauschdienst (PAD), Bonn, using "Antrag auf Uebernahme einer Schulpartnerschaft".

Once both our offices have processed and exchanged information, the school partnership will be listed and becomes eligible to apply for financial support for their exchange trips.
School partnerships in GAPP are meant to be long-term (our oldest partnerships have been in place for more than 40 years!), however, sometimes things don't work out or situations in schools change.

If a change is necessary, please remember to let your partner school know about your plans.

To look for a new partner you can use the platform on website www.partnerschulnetz.de, where you can set up a profile for your school and look through profiles of schools in Germany.
An annual questionnaire is no longer applicable. Going forward schools file the grant application when traveling to Germany. The online Grant Application 2020 will be accessible on our website in October 2019.
The online GAPP Grant Application Kit 2020 will be available on our website in October 2019.

 
GAPP's mission is to support schools to make valuable international exchange experiences for all.

Aside from the framework for school partnerships, GAPP does offer the opportunity to apply for financial support for group exchanges funded by the German Foreign Ministry and the US State Department (Airfare subsidy for teachers, subsidy for the group per student). There are also scholarship opportunities for individual students in the US funded by generous donations of private individuals, companies or other institutions.

The needs and requirements of GAPP schools and groups vary vastly. Therefore, GAPP does not organize any trips and coordinators and schools are responsible to organize their own trips to best fit the needs of their students and schools.

This flexibility allows groups to keep costs as low as possible for their particular group and to include students who otherwise may not be able to participate in international experiences.

The main focus of GAPP exchanges is on the academic exchange with home stay, therefore costs for a traditional GAPP exchange consist of the roundtrip to Germany, ground transportation to the partner community, funds for local excursions and pocket money.
 
GAPP is funded by the German Foreign Office and is the only short-term exchange program that receives an assistance award from the US Department of State. In addition, it is supported by funds from the Board of Directors of GAPP, Inc. and private donors. The American side of the program is financed exclusively by German tax revenue and GAPP is responsible for the distribution of available funds. Grants are awarded after the deadline for the season has passed based on criteria listed in our GAPP Guidelines (revised August 2019). Please check your grant application package for more details on requirements..


Teacher Grants

Up to two accompanying teachers receive air fare subsidies from funds of the German Foreign Ministry, calculated as a flat rate depending on the average regional fare. Groups of more than 10 students are eligible for 2 teacher grants. 

Group Grants

Groups receive airfare subsidies depending on their region of departure.

 GAPP Financial Support according to US state of origin/Flight zone GAPP Rates are subject to change.
 
Unfortunately, funds are limited and we may not be able to approve all applications, although we work hard to make funds available for as many groups as we can.

If you are traveling later in the year and are afraid you might not have all required information in time, please contact us at gapp@goethe.de.
Students Participants List:

The students participants list needs to be turned in online.

It will not only help us in cases of emergency but also allows us to generate the student's certificates of participation. For this reason we need the Excel format as provided. Please make sure all student and school names are spelt as they should appear on the certificates. 

Should you not have uploaded the participation list within the online grant application, please send it as an e-mail attachment.

Schedule:

The schedule of your trip will help us check if you are within the guidelines of at least 14 days (incl. travel days) and of which at least 5 days are spent in school or with school related activities.

Fare quote/invoice:

Please upload a copy of either your fare quote or your invoice stating:
  • the number of travelers,
  • the flight itinerary,
  • the airline,
  • the (estimated) price.
American and German GAPP partner schools also choose a common, or related, topic for each of their exchanges. These topics provide an educational and thematic framework for the exchange visits. To fulfill GAPP guidelines, groups incorporate activities that are connected to the chosen topic into their exchange trips.

Aside from the general topic, we encourage the groups to carry out student centered project work. Projects provide valuable, hands-on learning experiences and encourage American and German students to work together in an educational setting. Our partner organization in Germany, the PAD, even offers additional funding opportunities for German and US groups working on such projects; applications for these funds need to be sent to the PAD via the German GAPP coordinator.

If you need inspiration, a list of this years topics and projects can be found in the download section below.
Group Insurance:

GAPP groups have to have insurance for students and teachers (liability, health & accident) when traveling. Personal liability, health, and accident insurance are mandatory. The GAPP coordinator is responsible to get the group insurance, GAPP does not provide personal liability, health, or accident insurance.

Free Optional Professional Liability & Accident Insurance:

However, GAPP provides professional liability and accident insurance for up to two accompanying teachers per group. We can offer this free liability insurance even to groups that do not receive funding in a given year. So it is always worthwhile to hand in your grant application.

You may enroll through the online Grant Application 2020 for coverage through a policy of the Goethe-Institut Munich. With your grant checks you will receive a confirmation of your enrollment, basic information about coverage and information how to contact the insurance broker Klemmer International Versicherungsmakler GmbH in case of an emergency.

Please note: The Professional Liability and Accident Insurance does not include Personal Liability and Health Insurance for the teacher and does not provide travel insurance coverage for your student group.

You are free to use any insurance company that best fits your need. Many GAPP teachers choose to use German insurance companies due to lower rates and their familiarity with the German healthcare system.

For more information on insurances, please contact us at gapp@newyork.goethe.org
GAPP's mission is to support schools to make valuable international exchange experiences for all. The needs and requirements of GAPP schools and groups vary vastly. Therefore, GAPP does not organize any trips and coordinators and schools are responsible to organize their own trips to best fit the needs of their students and schools.

This flexibility allows groups to keep costs as low as possible for their particular group. The main focus of GAPP exchanges is on the academic exchange with home stay, therefore costs for a traditional GAPP exchange consist of the roundtrip to Germany, ground transportation to the partner community, funds for local excursions and pocket money.

Nonetheless, we partner with two airlines, which offer special group fares for GAPP groups. For details on each airlines offers, go to the Group Exchanges site and click on the airline logos.

Of course, you are free to book with any airline that best fits your needs.

  Logo: Lufthansa
Logo: IcelandAir
U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens do not need to apply for a visa to enter Germany for a GAPP group exchange trip. Upon entering Germany they will be issued a stamp in their passport allowing them to stay within the Schengen Area, which includes Germany, for up to 90 days.

U.S. Residents but Foreign Citizens (“green card holders”)

U.S. residents with foreign passports may not be able to enter Germany and the Schengen Area without a visa. Please consult the Visa Regulations Overview of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for detailed information.
If the foreign citizen is a legal U.S. resident and their citizenship requires a visa, they may be eligible to be issued a visa by a German consulate or the embassy in the United States. Please ask the German mission responsible for your state for further information. You can find an overview of German consular jurisdictions in the U.S. here.
If one of the travelling students has to obtain a visa, you may refer to the “Schengen Visa – Tourist” factsheet and checklist provided by the German MOFA.
Please note that minors applying for a Schengen visa have to meet certain other requirements in order to obtain a visa. Refer to this MOFA fact sheet for a complete list.

Traveler Safety

Please make sure to enroll in the Smart Traveler Safety Program (STEP) from the State Department. It is a free service that conveys your travel information to the U.S. mission closest to your destination. This is a key resource to help the U.S. Diplomatic Missions in Germany reach out to you in case of an emergency.
Make sure to have a look at the Traveler’s Checklist provided by the State Department for a short summary of the most important points and useful further links.
As GAPP coordinators you all know the amazing growth in personality and maturity your students attain through an exchange. Sometimes there are students you wish you could take along but who cannot afford a trip to Europe.

GAPP, Inc. offers individual scholarships to students in need. The funds are generously provided by private individuals but also larger institutions. In 2019 we received generous support from the Max-Kade Foundation, the Joachim-Herz-Stiftung and the American Friends of Bucerius, all of them pledged support for 2020.
 
For individual scholarships, please contact Molly Rowland (molly.rowland@goethe.de) and ask for details.

If you want to contribute to the GAPP Scholarship Fund, there are various ways to contribute:
via direct donation per check or PayPal or
through Amazon Smile or
PayPal Giving Fund.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at gapp@newyork.goethe.org

As a (future) GAPP-teacher, you also have the possibility to exchange concerns, thoughts or ideas in our GAPP Teacher Forum on facebook.com. If you are interested in joining, please let us know and we will admit you to the group.