Our main focus is finding an excellent match for each student based on age, interests and hobbies. That takes precedence over keeping your students together in one German community. We normally have around 350 German participants each year, which provide an enormous “Auswahl” and greatly improves our chances of finding a compatible partner for each American student! We will be using this same “person to person” matching process for our NEW Virtual Friendship Connection “branch” of our program!
By focusing on finding very compatible partners, your students will benefit in the following ways:
1. Be more dependent on and integrate more willingly into their host family and the German culture
2. Speak and learn more German than if they were constantly with their American classmates.
3. See this trip more as a learning experience and an adventure into a foreign culture rather than as a class trip with their American friends from home.
4. Our strong focus on finding compatible partners greatly contributes to our success in creating lasting friendships
We do require that all “Full” participants have completed at least two years of German before their return visit.
Although there is no German language requirement for hosting a German exchange student in the spring, we do require that all “Full” participants have completed at least two years of German before their return visit, which better assures the academic integrity of the program. (Some exceptions can be made, please call us regarding special cases.)
Many teachers involved in GAPP and other exchange programs still use The Friendship Connection in the “off years,” if their own German trips are planned every two years and one or several of their graduating seniors could otherwise not participate.
German teachers do not need to accompany their students to Germany
German teachers are certainly encouraged to travel with the group if they have the time. This year the teachers will pay only $550 for airfare, minus $50 per “Full” participant; for example, a teacher with 11 students would pay $0 for his/her plane ticket! Since we only need one accompanying teacher from each airport, we can only extend this offer to the first German teacher from each airport who sends in his/her“Begleitlehrer Application form” along with a deposit of $150 which will indicate his/her willingness to accompany the group both to and from Germany.
If another teacher from the same airport signs up later, he/she would still be able to fly with the group, but for the actual cost of the “group rate” ticket, minus $50 per “full” participant from his/her high school. (We might still be able to offer the discounted $550 ticket to a teacher who signed up late if he/she were willing to fly out of a different US airport where we did not yet have a chaperon.) Unfortunately, we can no longer provide spouses and family members with our “student group rated tickets,” however, we can provide the German teacher with the flight information and his/her family members can purchase their own ticket on the same flights. Aside from “shepherding” the students to and from Germany, the accompanying German teachers have no responsibilities to the program once they arrive in Frankfurt! For teachers who wish to stay with a German family, we can help arrange home stays for a week or two.