April 9, 2021 – Washington, D.C. – Throughout this year, we at TOP have been awestruck by the resilience, strength, and passion we have witnessed from educators as they have worked tirelessly to ensure their students receive the best education while staying connected to the world. Many educators have worked with us to invite guest speakers to virtually join their classes, conduct virtual exchanges, and even facilitate “soft skills” workshops for their students. You all are heroes and we applaud you!
Though it has been a year of uncertainty for all of us, we are hopeful for the future. We long to embrace loved ones who live oceans apart, and some of us, who cannot wait to encounter new customs and cultures again, are experiencing Fernweh like never before. The return to in-person exchange remains our most important goal.
As with last year, we evaluated our options for in-person summer 2021 study tours. We carefully monitored developments in the United States and Germany, and spoke with partners to determine whether we can facilitate in-person study tours that maintain the quality, health, safety, and well-being of not only our participants but also that of our partners, hosts, and colleagues alike. We must underscore that exchange is a two-way street. While many American educators may be vaccinated and feeling “ready to go”, the situation remains quite different globally and even in the European Union.
It is with much sadness that we have decided out of an abundance of caution to cancel our in-person summer 2021 study tours. Meanwhile, we are busy meeting with TOP Alumni, gathering their input, and generating exciting ideas for more virtual study tours. Please stay tuned to our social media channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) @topteachgermany and to www.goethe.de/top for the latest virtual study tour developments.
On behalf of our public and private partners - the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Goethe-Institut, Deutsche Bank, and the Siemens Corporation - we wish all of you and your families the best of health. We look forward to the day when we can safely bring you to Germany again.