Two-week exchange program wraps up

Germans leave as Americans prepare to travel in June


Photo submitted

At the multicultural assembly on Oct. 15, German teacher Mr. Josh Payne-Elliott introduces teachers and students from Germany’s Otto Hahn Gymnasium.

Emma Kress, Reporter

After almost two weeks attending classes and seeing the metro Indianapolis sites, the German exchange students have left the campus. 

German teacher Mr. Joshua Payne-Elliott wrote in an email, “The first part of this year’s exchange went extremely well from my perspective. In two short weeks, students made some very strong international friendships. I’m looking forward to the second part of the exchange, which will take place next June when Cathedral students visit their exchange partners in Germany. I’m especially excited about celebrating our school’s 10-year friendship with our partner school next June.”

Payne-Elliott provided further details. He said, “Our exchange program with the Otto Hahn Gymnasium in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany began in June 2009 with our first trip to Germany. The exchange is part of the German American Partnership Program, also known as GAPP, which is facilitated by the United States Department of State and the German Foreign Ministry.”

“Since its original inception in 1972 at the Goethe-Institut Boston, GAPP has developed into the largest and most successful bilateral student exchange program in the United States with any other country. With 765 active school partnerships, GAPP remains the strongest youth exchange link between American and German secondary school students. More than 300,000 students have participated in GAPP since its beginning,” he said.

Payne-Elliott shared a memorable experience from this year’s exchange. “I really appreciated the opportunity to recognize and honor our exchange students at the multicultural assembly,” he said.