By Zach Peace, Brett Minnick & Patrick To
With the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) exchange’s American side coming to a close, SHS Press was able to interview the visiting German exchange students. They greatly enjoyed their time in America and were very excited to return home and prepare to host Salisbury students in their country in the summer of next year.
One of the first questions we asked the students was how they felt about being called “The Germans”. Since before the Germans first arrived at Salisbury they were being referred ubiquitously as the Germans. They weren’t offended; they were simply surprised.
“We’re not aliens”
The Germans didn’t think they were that different than us. Sure, they live in a different country but their everyday lives weren’t that different. Their school does have some major differences though. Their classes are only 45 minutes long and they have much less choice in selecting them. Their school also begins at 8 AM and lasts only till 1 PM.
They also thought our bathrooms were quite odd. Our hand driers are too loud and less effective than those they use back home. They also said our toilets were louder and less private than those in Germany.
The first night the Germans arrived in America they attended a Salisbury home football game. This was quite odd for them because in Germany, while school sports do exist, this sort of thing is unheard of. The real sports teams that student athletes play on are Club Teams. These are private organizations that are often associated with professional sports Franchises.
Next summer the exchange is continuing with Salisbury students traveling to Germany. The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) occurs every 2 years, meaning that any Sophomores or Freshman who did not participate in the program have not missed their chance. These students will have an opportunity to do this when it happens again.