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Good question: Why no year-long German exchange students this year?

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Students may have noticed a “GAPP” in the student body this year. That may be because EVW doesn’t have any year-long German exchange students this year.

Last year EVW had the opportunity to meet Henry and Loreen through the  GAPP program. Unfortunately this year, no German students applied to participate in the year-long GAPP program.

The GAPP program allows students from our sister school in Niedersachsen, also known as Lower Saxony, to come to EVW and experience what it’s like to be an American student. While they are here they get to form friendships, participate in school activities and classes and better their english.

In a recent interview with Frau Donna Orbeck, she revealed why EVW doesn’t have any German exchange students. Orbeck said, “The town of Niedersachsen transitioned from doing thirteen years down to twelve years of mandatory high school. The reason why I don’t think there are any exchange students this year is because I think they didn’t want to get left behind or not graduate.”

Germany has 16 states in its country.  Each state can decide how many years their students go to school.  They still had to learn the same amount just in a year less. Orbeck said, “ In 2011 all the students at our sister school protested class that day. They boycotted basically. They marched from their school, met up with other schools and ended at the train station in town.”

This protest was heard across the state and by many news outlets. This year the state decided to move back to thirteen years. The students didn’t want to get more behind if they came to America. This is because if they come to America they might have had to repeat a year over in Germany.

When asked what she will miss about not having exchange students she replied, “I will miss connecting with them. For my own language, keeping up on that. I just really miss connecting with them and getting to know them.”

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The student news site of Eden Valley-Watkins High School
Good question: Why no year-long German exchange students this year?