Hosting a GAPP (German American Partnership Program) Student
The most common question is regarding communication. All German students have been taught English since second grade are fluent. They WANT to speak English and be immersed in our environment. That is why they are here.
All the students are from the Christophoruschule – a college preparatory high school that in the USA would be equivalent to a more exclusive private high school.
The Germans will arrive on the evening of September 17th. They will depart for NYC the morning of October 6th. So they are here for two weeks and five days.
The German student effectively become a “child” in your home for the time they’re here. They would shadow your son/daughter, joining them in their school classes. They can even participate in sports practices (particularly in Soccer). They cannot compete in games, however. One girl even practiced with the band while she was here two years ago. They do not have to be exclusive to your child. If they have other interests, so long as we can account for them during the day, they can visit other classes.
For rooming: They can sleep in a room with other children of the same gender. Most students do not “need” their own room. Having their own space is preferable. A minimum requirement is a comfortable bed in a clean room.
Most German students pack a lunch to school, so they are very used to bag lunches. You would be expected to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for them as you would any family member. You are NOT expected to change your diet or routine to accommodate them. I actually discourage you from changing. We have worked out a way to purchase lunch in the cafeteria for them, if that were a direction in which you’d like to go.
The German group goes on several field trips. They visit Boston, take a whale watch, and go to Hampton Beach (usually more than once) – They do this as their own group – our students do not join them. The host family’s responsibility is to get them to the train/bus station – usually downtown Haverhill. We try to connect families so carpooling works out for the drop off. The Germans pay their own way on these excursions.
There will be one evening, where all the families are invited – and encouraged to attend – a “Grillfest.” That’s what the Germans call a cookout. The event is usually a midweek evening – generally from 5 or 6 pm to 9 or 10, depending on the nature of how well the party is going. Families are encouraged to bring food. The event provides interaction time for all the exchange students and their hosts to get to know one another.
There will be two home football games. Germans are fascinated with “American” football. They’ll probably want to go to one or both of these games on September 27th or October 4th.
The weekends are your time with them. The idea is that your family and the German would make contact before the exchange and share interests by e-mail. Once you know their interests, you can plan a weekend with them. Some families have said this was the best part, because it gives the host family a reason to have some time together touring the German around – something that might not happen otherwise.
Their chaperones – Matthias Pisch and his female counterpart (still undetermined), also stay with host families. They rent a car and have their own ability to get around.
I can be reached at my school e-mail Email. If you would like me to contact you by phone, please e-mail me a phone number to which I can call.
Steven Rugoletti – TRHS GAPP Coordinator