Laramie High School hosted multiple German exchange students during a short-term enrichment program for both German and American high schoolers.

LHS hosted 21 students and 2 teachers for the weeks of Aug. 29 through Sept. 13 as they participated in the German American Partnership Program (GAPP), allowing for a cultural enrichment opportunity for both the Exchange students and students at LHS.

The students were able to explore the LHS campus, as well as participate in classroom activities during their brief visit. They were allowed access to classes projects in order to experience a typical day at LHS.

The Exchange students were hosted by LHS students in and outside of school. During their introduction into the school, the students were guided by an LHS student, and were hosted during their time, by students involved in the German language programs at LHS.

The program allowed for a full cultural enrichment for all students involved, and the exchange students picked up on many differences in the priorities of education.

“There are so many things we don’t have in Germany. That was my first impression; ‘Why is everything so relaxed?’” Bernhard said, a German high school senior involved in the exchange program.

The students also participated in activities outside of the high school, touring Laramie and exploring local historic monuments of Wyoming.

“We already went to the Ivinson Mansion…and the Wyoming state Museum,” Bernhard said.

The GAPP program is an exchange program where students from both American and German Secondary high schools are exchanged throughout a school year. At LHS students are swapped through the school every second year.

The GAPP program is free for all students during the short-term exchanges, allowing any high school student in Germany or America the opportunity to experience different cultures.

The requirements for a short-term exchange through the GAPP program are that the students must travel for a minimum of 14 days, and 5 days must contain school or school-related activities.

The travel groups for the exchange typically include 10-20 United States or German students. All students present must be involved in a German language class if they belong to the U.S. or an English class if they are German citizens.

The program aims at creating relationships among both German and U.S. students.

The GAPP short-term program is funded through the U.S. department of State as well as private donations, in order to push for more student learning and cultural enrichment for students of both countries.

The GAPP program also supports long-term exchange students for both Germany and the U.S.

The long-term program lasts for a semester or up to a year in which the program is responsible for contacting the partner school and setting up host families for the student, but they are not responsible for the financial assistance of the students.