The Germans are Coming … to PRHS

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Get your lederhosen out and start grilling the bratwursts PR, for it’s almost time for the German exchange students to come to the land of the free!

Beginning on the first day back from spring break, April 1st, ten students from Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany will be attending PR and getting a taste of American life under the German-American Partnership Program (GAPP).

GAPP is an student exchange between Germany and America during which each student gets paired up with another student from the other country. The Germans will come to the U.S. and stay with their partner all the while attending the high school of their partner before reciprocating the favor in June. Living in an everyday household setting provides a cultural experience that could not be had by simply staying in a hotel room at that same place.

The German students will be here for two school weeks and get to choose their own classes for the majority of it, but it’s about more than just school! Upon their arrival and before their departure, parties will be thrown in their honor. They will get to experience all kinds of activities unique to our area, including a Cubs baseball game, the sights and attractions of Chicago, several all-American meals, and whatever else their partners have set out for them.

Paloma Gasparov, who is participating in the exchange, says, “I think this will be a really fun and enjoyable experience for everybody involved. Hopefully this will be able to clear up some common misconceptions about both German and American culture and provide some insight into how we are more similar than we think.”

Look out for Patrick, Jule, Veronica, Chiara, Annika, Anna, Michael, Maria, Amos, Lorenzo, and Julia around the school soon! Don’t be afraid to go up and talk to them; these students have been studying English for a long time!

Ask questions like how life in Germany compares to the US, what activities they like to partake in, or anything of the sort. If you are taking a German class, now would be a good time to hone your skills with a fluent speaker.

If you don’t know any Deutsch, here might be some good words and phrases if you want to converse: ‘Guten Tag!’ – Good Day!, ‘Wie heisst du?’ – What is your name?, ‘Wo alt bist du?’ – How old are you?, ‘Auf wiedersehen!’ – Goodbye!.

And remember that these are no run-of-the-mill students. Another GAPP member, Angelina Gasparov, said, “Every single German partner going on this exchange that I learned about is exemplary in some way, from being on the National Rugby Team to being a robotics genius.”

Please help our German friends experience a safe and friendly environment, and don’t miss the unique opportunity to converse with people face-to-face that live halfway around the world and have such a unique perspectives.

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