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Bridging the GAPP

German visitors and Roncalli students reflect on their unique and exciting experience

CULTURE%3A+German+students+participate+in+many+enjoyable+in-class+activities+during+the+first+week.+Roncalli+students+went+on+to+host+the+guests+for+another+week+until+their+departure+on+Saturday%2C+October+6th.+
CULTURE: German students participate in many enjoyable in-class activities during the first week. Roncalli students went on to host the guests for another week until their departure on Saturday, October 6th.

CULTURE: German students participate in many enjoyable in-class activities during the first week. Roncalli students went on to host the guests for another week until their departure on Saturday, October 6th.

Photo by Grace Armbruster

Photo by Grace Armbruster

CULTURE: German students participate in many enjoyable in-class activities during the first week. Roncalli students went on to host the guests for another week until their departure on Saturday, October 6th.

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Students from Rudolf-Hildebrand School in Leipzig, Germany arrived at Roncalli on Monday, September 24th to join us for Spirit Week. Through the German American Partnership Program (GAPP), 11 students visited the United States to discover what the schools and places here are like.

These students were paired with our very own Roncalli students who are currently taking a German class.

“It has been a great experience,” junior Noah Schafer said. “Everyone in the group has developed a close friendship with one another. Most of us don’t want them to leave.”

Both American students and German students have developed a close bond that shows teamwork and responsibility.

“This will have a lifelong impact on the [German exchange] students,” Beate Schenderlein, one of the teachers from Germany said. ”They are learning to adapt to new environments, become mature, and represent their country.”

After two weeks of time in the United States, the German students departed on Saturday, October 6th. This is not the last time the students will get together, however. This summer, Roncalli students will be visiting Germany through the GAPP program. Students like Schafer will be staying with the host families of their exchange student for three weeks.

“I am excited that I will see each of these people again. These are some of the greatest experiences I have encountered in my life.” Schafer said.

Roncalli students will learn many things about Germany and its culture.

“We want to show Roncalli students how we live and how we spend our time.” Jacqueline Redlich, another teacher from Germany said.

“My hope for the [Roncalli] students,” Roncalli German teacher Mathew Hurrle said. “is that they get a renewed interest in discovering different cultures and learning new languages.”

The GAPP program will continue again every two years. The next time they will be here will be in the Fall of 2020. This is surely a friendship that will last a very long time.

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