Yet another 25th exchange anniversary was celebrated during this year's visit of the Kassel Wilhelmsgymnasium at Brownsburg HS, IN. The schools' annual exchange has outlasted five American presidents and sent more than 500 students from both sides of the ocean on an adventure of a lifetime: "Their experience changed them for the better and [...] the bonds formed with their exchange students have lasted for many years." Back in 1992, Sean Griffin was the initiator of the program and the first of more than 20 German and American teachers to coordinate the exchanges. Have look at the full article for more fun statistics and history of this remarkable exchange.
This year's German delegation at Melrose HS, MA, was invited to the State House by State Representative Paul Brodeur. They had the unique opportunity to learn about Massachusetts politics on a tour of the House and on the House floor. “I was happy to host the German exchange students and their administrators at the State House," Rep. Brodeur said after the visit. The German delegation will stay at Melrose HS for three weeks.
We are pleased to pass on the news that GAPP coordinator Kathy Fegely from Antietam Valley HS, where she teaches German, has been awarded the Teachers are Heroes Award for Sept 2017. Kathy studied German at various locations, including Stuttgart, Vienna, and New York. She has been teaching at AVHS for 30 years and initiated the GAPP exchange at her school in 1987. "Students need to use their language skills with native German speakers by participating in exchange programs, meeting local native speakers, meeting German authors, and using online formats to communicate with peers in Germany [...]. Learning German should become a lifelong activity with all the wonderful benefits a new culture and new friends offer," she says. Learn more about her life and her remarkable work from WFMZ's award article. The award comes with a $200 cheque usable towards classroom supplies. GAPP compliments Kathy on the award and applauds her exceptional commitment to teaching and our program!
2017 sees more notable anniversaries as Theodore Roosevelt HS, Kent, OH, and Eugen-Bolz-Gymnasium, Rottenburg, celebrate the 20th year of their exchange program. Their exchanges have brought forth some truly remarkable stories, ranging from long-lasting friendships to unique careers and even a marriage. "It really was the starting point for the next 10 years of my life, which sounds extreme, but is very true," says Jessica Miller, a tenth-year Alumna of the schools' program. Delve into this outstanding exchange and read about how GAPP has changed lives in kent and Rottenburg here.
19 students from Oldenburg have gone on their exchange trip to Minnesota. Besides new school subjects such as Child and Family, which had been new to them, they are learning about the American Way of Life and have the opportunity to present their home country to their hosts, who will be leaving for their return visit to Germany next summer.
GAPP alumna and Senior Vice President, Chief Audit Executive for Walmart, Brandi Sanders Joplin has been inducted to the Mountain Home Education Foundation Hall of Honor last Thursday, October 12th, 2017. Her GAPP exchange trip to Germany in the late Eighties also took her to Berlin. She had been an active and dedicated student at Mountain Home HS, AR, and the strong work ethics and morals she has kept ever since have enabled her to established a destinguished career. GAPP is proud to have her as an alumna and hopes that she will inspire others to follow her lead. Learn more about Brandi Sanders Joplin in this Baxter Bulletin article.
17 German students form Ingolstadt have started their exchange visit to Springfield, IL, last Thursday, October 12th. This fourth exchange between their schools will let them explore Springfield and its vicinity as well as Chicago and St. Louis under this year's topic "Urban Development" until November 2nd. They will attend lessons at Springfield HS on ten days of the exchange. You can find their whole schedule in the official announcement by the Springfield Public Schools.
"The hardest part -- which Mrs. Seeber didn't fill us in (on) -- is how sad today would be," is how Deb Orlofsky, a GAPP parent from Plattsburgh High School, reflects on the farewell scene at their school's parking lot. As many other families, the Orlofskys have hosted a German exchange student under the GAPP program in Plattsburgh, NY, for several weeks. Their last moments in Plattsburgh were attended by an NBC 5 team, whose report on the program and the emotional farewell can be found here.
Recent Wilmot Union High School graduates from Wilmot, WI, who went on a GAPP exchange to Germany in the Summer, are featured in an article by My Kenosha County. The exchange trip was a roaring success on all levels: “Lifelong friendships have formed between the German and American partners,” says GAPP coordinator Denise Bauer. On the long run, the students are confident that they have made a valuable experience, too: “Some businesses today look for employees that have traveled and interacted with other cultures,” Daniel Folos, a participating student, says.
Students from Güstrow are on an exchange visit to Yakima, WA, until Oct 17th. The supervising teacher, who accompanies the students on their adventure, had been to Yakima 20 years ago herself as an exchange teacher. Through GAPP, she was able to pass her exchange experience on to her own students. Niclas Schroeder, 15, is thrilled with the experience: "It is cool here. [...] All things in America are bigger," he says. Learn more about his exchange experience in the video report and article by NBC Rigth Now.
“I thought it would be really boring to watch a football game,” is what Christopher Steinlecht, 18, expected from his first attendance at a school football match in the U.S.. But in fact, cheerleaders, a school sports team, and a marching band turned out to be a both unusual and entertaining sight to see at a school event for the German exchange students at Quaker Valley High School, who have been visiting Pennsylvania for the past weeks and conclude their visit on Oct 8th. But that, of course, were not the only new experiences for the German visitors.
For seven years now, teachers and students from O'Gorman Catholic High School in Sioux Falls, SD, and the Wilhelm-von-Oranien-Schule have been visiting each other under the German American Partnership Program. The German delegation arrived for their three-weeks visits last week. Excitement about the exchange is still great among students from both countries: "You end up with new friends across the ocean," says Molly Lacasse from Sioux Falls, and Brian from Germany is enthusiastic, too: "Almost everyone in Germany wants to go to America once," he says. Learn more about the exchange of the two schools and the news report on it on the KDLT News homepage.
The GAPP exchange between Stroudsburg High School, PA, and the Friedrich-Magnus-Schwerd Gymnaisum in Speyer made it into the news of PAhomepage. In the video report a German student shares her first impression of American life and an American student remarks that she never dreamed of having a friend from another country. As the German GAPP coordinator Sebastian Beckmann remarks, there is a lot of enthusiam among the students about American high school life and sports that are associated with the school.
The Plattsburgh High School, NY, has celebrated 30 years of friendship across borders with the arrival of the German students and advisors from KGS Rastede in Rastede, Germany. The program's 30th year is a nice time to reflect on the hundreds of students involved in the exchange over the past years. Having said that, its is notable that both accompanying teachers from Rastede are GAPP alumni themselves. They know the program since its early beginnings and are still in touch with their individual exchange partners.
The Plattsburgh High School in the North country of New York State celebrates 30 years of GAPP-exchange with their partnerschool, the Kooperative Gesamtschule in Rastede, Northern Germany. Since 1987 more than 250 American and German students have participated in the program. To celebrate their longstanding international friendship, the PHS invites all past participants to the welcome reception of the 2017 GAPP-students, featuring dinner and entertainment.
Since 1988 the Ithaca High School (IHS) has taken part in GAPP-exchanges together with their partner school, the Otto-Hahne Gymnasium (OHG) in Tuttlingen, Southern Germany. The IHS students went on organized group-wide city trips but also individual excursions planned by their host families. In two local companies, a brewery and a manufacture, the American students were taught the history and cultural importance of "German-quality" products.
For the third time, Hudson High School students went on a GAPP-exchange to visit their partners at the Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium in Hösbach where they enjoyed several classes on German culture and history. In their leisure time, the HS students visited famous German cities such as Frankfurt or Würzburg. The article gives the impression that building new, long-distance friendships is one of the core experiences of every GAPP-exchange.
The GAPP-coordinator of the Pendleton Heights High School organized for her students to go on a 2-weeks exchange and attend the Münsingen Gymnasium in Germany. Claxton reports in this article on the itinerary of the short-term exchange and emphasises that the number of Pendleton HS students participating in the GAPP-exchange has increased significantly over the past years.
This spring, the German-students of the New Mildford High School attended the Leibniz Gymnasium in Östringen where they practiced their German skills and truly "lived the life of a German studuent". The Austrian-born GAPP-coordinator Michael Crotta took the students not only on a trip to the Bavarian capital Munich, but also introduced them to the Austrian city Salzburg.
Through the German American Partnership Program, Owatonna High School students spent 3 weeks in Göppingen, Germany. This article is based on an interview with GAPP-alumni and German-student Jacob Dub, illustrating his enthusiasm about the exchange. Dub speaks of the landscapes and historical sites he has visited in the Bayern-Munich area. He also states that once his exchange partner from the Hohenstaufen-Gymnasium comes over, he is is willing to "showcase Owatonna's school spirit through the prism of OHS sports".
It has become a tradition that the exchange students from Enumclaw High School, WA, are welcomed at the City Hall of the German town Eggenfelden by the mayor Wolfgang Grubwinkler. Together with their GAPP-exchange partners from the Karl-von-Closen Gymnasium the American students got an introduction to the city and its history - a perfect start for the students to immerse themselves into German culture and language for the duration of the GAPP-exchange.
The Byron-Nelson-Highschool Students from Texas visited again their German exchange partners from the Max-Reger-Gymnasium in Amberg for three weeks. During a joint visit to the City Hall the German students got to help their partners with German-English translations, though many of the American students already speak good German. Amberg's major Martin J. Preuß wished all of them to find "friends for a life-time" during their GAPP-exchange.
Marina Moore, a student of Arrowhead Park High School in New Mexico presents a very personal impression of her GAPP-exchange. She takes the reader along and describes her experiences at the Albert-Schweitzer school in Nienburg/Weser, Germany. It turns out that she is sharing her travel bug with her German host dad, who himself participated in a GAPP-exchange in 1987!
This exchange has been saved by the highly committed GAPP-coordinator Dana Weickum, who herself does not speak German. The exchange between Philomath High School in Oregon and the Süder-Elbe school in Hamburg had been on break since 2012-13 and wouldn't have been revived without Dana's initiative.
As in previous years, 2017 Brockway Junior-Senior High School welcomed an exchange group from Grotefeld-Gymnasium in Hann Münden, Germany. As a lot of the exchange students had siblings visiting in earlier years, it was very easy for them to feel welcome and just like home in Brockaway.
Snapchat and WhatsApp make it much easier these days for the exchange students from Parkway South High School, St. Louis and the Hegel-Gymnasium in Stuttgart, to stay in contact after the exchange program. The following article will show you that a GAPP exchange can be an inspiration for the further career paths and you will also find out what the American exchange students think about the German food.
The exchange between Hazen High School in Renton, WA, and Wolfgang-Bochert Gymnasium in Langenzen, Germany, is proof that there is so much more behind a GAPP exchange than the simple fact of visiting a different country. The exchanges happen annually since the year 2000 and led to a close-knit partnership between the two communities.
Read about an exchange connecting four schools with each other: Cleveland annd Walker Valley HS in Tennessee with Kurfürst Max-Gymnasium and Maria-Ward-Realschule in Burghausen, Germany. “It’s just different and you get more of an appreciation for how your society works and theirs, because you can compare the differences and see the good in both.”