The Laramie High School German class is taking part in the German American Partnership Program.

The GAPP program is an exchange student program for students both in America and Germany to see how the other’s school life is like and to experience the other culture in a first hand environment.

“Basically, it’s a program that promotes both learning each of the languages,” Laramie High School German teacher Nickolas DeFrank said, “and promotes cultural understanding.”

The LHS and other high schools across the nation take part in the GAPP program. One school will have a sister school in the other country that students take a month long trip to witness the other’s culture.

“Essentially, high schools in the U.S. team up with high schools in Germany and they develop and facilitate exchange programs between student bodies,” DeFrank said.

Every other year, 20 German students from Germany fly over to the United States to see our school. They fly over around the end of August.

Families here that house these German students are called host families. They are the guardians for these children as they visit America.

Then after the school, generally during the month of June, students from America fly over to Germany for the exact same reasons.

 The American students visit the St. Bonaventura Gymnasium, a college prep school, which is similar to America’s high school.

 “Next June, I will be taking around 20 students from this high school to their high school in Germany. We will be staying there for about a month,” DeFrank said.

Students visiting Germany still have to attend school but only for the first two weeks. Then after those first two weeks, they go to a different city to take tours and learn more about the cultural aspect of Germany.

“We spend two weeks in Dillingen, just living with the families, doing whatever they’d have the students do. Also attending schools,” DeFrank said, “then the last week, our students spend in Berlin, doing tours and seeing the city.”

The GAPP program is a national program that multiple high schools in America take a part of. The reason why our school takes part in this program is because of the previous German teacher at LHS, Dave Miller, who started the program here. Though retired now, Miller was apart of the program for 26 years.

This year, the American GAPP students will be leaving around the sixth of June. They will spend around a month in Germany, and then they will try to return sometime in early July. The organizers of this program like to have the American students back in America before the Fourth of July.

“We leave around between June fourth or the sixth this year and we will be staying all the way up until right before the fourth of July,” DeFrank said.

To help students learn more about how a teenager’s life is like in the opposite country, host families are asked to do what they normally do as if there was no exchange student living with them.

“Parents are encouraged to take their exchange students wherever they would go,” DeFrank said.