Visitors From Afar

German GAPP students.
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German GAPP students
© The Stinger
The air was cold and brisk Thursday night at the front of Cam High as twenty GAPP students eagerly waited for the cars carrying their partners to arrive. Cheers rebounded in the quiet night as the first Germans, exhausted and delirious from the twelve hour flight, stepped out of their cars from LAX.

The Germans met with their predetermined partners excitedly, having already gotten to know each other some months before the encounter through Skype and Facebook, and drove home to show the tired exchange students to their much-needed bed.

This is nothing new, however. GAPP, or the German American Partnership Program, has happened every year at Cam High for the past five years. First, around twenty Cam High juniors who have been enrolled in German since freshman year are selected to participate around the beginning of the school year. Then the students are paired up with a German from the town of Detmold who might seem compatible. After that, the German comes to Camarillo to live with their partners for a little over three weeks.

While here, the Americans and Germans participate in such activities as whale watching, an overnight stay at Disneyland, and this year, attending a King’s game. After that, the Germans must say “aufwiedersehen” until June, when the Americans take the twelve hour plane ride to Germany for another three and a half weeks. There, the Americans stay with their partners and attend school with them, also visiting historical museums, going to a climbing park, and the pinnacle of the trip, a two-night stay in Berlin. But GAPP isn’t all about the activities.

“My favorite part of the trip was getting to know the Germans,” said senior and GAPP 2010 participant Emily Galloway. “It’s really interesting to see how their view of the world differs from ours.”

This year, Cam High teachers Anna Tritschler, Scott Martin, and Heidi Graves will be chauffeuring the American students while in Germany.

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