German Students Visit BASH


GAPP students are greeted by their host students when they arrived at the airport a few weeks ago.

Students from Germany are visiting BASH, hosted by a dozen students who have volunteered to take them to class, hang out with them, and provide housing.
The German students have been in Boyertown since October 19 and will leave Saturday. The visit is part of the German American Partnership Program, which Boyertown has been a part of for several years. The GAPP supports school partnerships and exchanges between high schools in the United States and secondary schools in Germany.

In addition to going to school every day, the students take in local sites. They also have been spending some time in Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Washington D.C.

“There are a lot of great parts in this exchange but there was a wonderful time in New York!” said Melina Specht, who is visiting from Starnberg, which is near Munich, Germany.

While in NYC, they visited Times Square, the Empire State Building and the 9-11 Memorial. The students also have been to Lancaster and to downtown Philadelphia.

A total of fifteen students have come over. Spanish and German Teacher Mr. Chad Donovan was recruiting students since the beginning of the year to be volunteers to partner with the students to host them and show them around. Students in German teacher Mrs. Caitlin Rothenberger’s class also volunteered to host students.

Sophomore Isabell Seip, who is hosting Melina, is one of them.

“I just thought it’d be a fun experience,” she said.

Her parents did, too, especially her mom, who took German in college for four years.

“My mom and dad thought it’d be something cool to try.”

On October 19th, Isabell met Melina in person when all the sponsor students went on a bus together to Philadelphia airport after school to pick up the GAPP students.

Isabell brought her back to her home, where she is sharing her room with her.

“I’m an only child,” she said, “so it’s cool to have someone stay for a while.”

Melina said one of the biggest differences she has learned about between America and Germany is the school system.

“It is completely different!” she said.

Louise Herdt, who is from Munich and staying with Hannah Supplee’s family, agrees. She said in German schools, no classes have mixed grades, clubs happen outside of school, and they don’t have busses.

“We use public transportation,” she said.

Both Melina and Louise also said everything is much bigger in the U.S.

“The school, the houses, the malls, stoves and properties,” Louise said. “Maybe it’s because there is so much more space here.” 

A similarity between American and German teenagers is what they like to do for fun, both girls said.

I feel like we have the same interests…music, movies, games,” Louise said.