GAPP students depart Thursday


GAPP students Jens Krükel and Garrett Miskoe ham it up during German 5 class.

German students who have been visiting Concord High School for the last few weeks return home to Wegberg Thursday, but it won’t be long before they see their Concord High School friends again.

CHS participants in the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) will join them in Germany in late June.

The German students arrived March 26 to experience a few weeks of life in New England. They have been taking classes at CHS and enjoying community activities in and around Concord, including big group dinners and field trips to Boston.

Concord High has welcomed students from the Maximilian Kolbe Gymnasium (high school) since 1981 but had to delay the traditional fall exchange due to COVID. 

The GAPP program has been going on for over 50 years, according to the program’s website.

Students shared reasons for signing up for GAPP. Nearly everyone mentioned making new friends.

“I want to experience American life as close to authentic as possible and maybe find new life long friends!” said Lisa Marie Landwehr of Wegberg.

“Learning to be more self-reliant,” said Lara Peters, another German GAPPer.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of German culture,” said CHS senior Peyton Trento.

Fellow CHS senior Garrett Miskoe said that in addition to improving his German, he’s looking forward to “seeing old German architecture like castles and cathedrals” and “eating good German food.”

Visiting students get assigned to host families. Paired students follow each other’s regular schedules to get a taste of life in a different country.

German students have been giving presentations to classes throughout Concord High on such topics as German music, sports, food and drink, celebrations and holidays to give CHS students an idea of differences in lifestyle.

There are 48 participants overall: 24 from Germany and 24 from Concord High.

In order to qualify, students must be at least sixteen years old by June 2022 and in good standing, academically and in the community. CHS students also must have successfully completed at least three years of German by June 2022.

While being a part of the GAPP program is a fun experience, it comes with a price tag, as students have to pay for costs of travel, insurance, transportation and fun outings.

Students who have worked to arrange a trip to Germany are excited about what they’ll get to experience there.

“I am definitely looking forward to the GAPP trip to Berlin!” said CHS senior Katie Martel.

German participants include Benjamin Stevens, Maya Denda, Julius Faller, Smilia Kanneberg, Lenya Rademacher, Lisa Bouzid, Nele Guettler, Janis Backhaus, Lara Peters, John Jentges, Marius Krontal, Nele Mühle, Lisa Marie Landwehr, Finn Thönnissen, Leevi Jansen, Jens Krükel, Ida Kuchenbecker, Anne Terporten, Benja Mäntz, Anton Wolters, Hannes Bertrams, Linus Kyrieleis, Noa Eckers and Sarah Vöcking.

CHS participants include Finn Brown, Maggie Cooper, Nate Doherty, Emma Doko, Amber Ferrier, Hannah Golden, Elizabeth Gorham, Matt Hooper, Sarah Hunton, Simon Laidlaw, Christopher Lainey, Taylor Lamb, Katie Martel, Ben Masur, Read Merrill, Garrett Miskoe, Katie Muller, Greta Norton, Cassiue Pfitzenmayer, Reece Reedenauer, Will Richards, Jacob Ryder, Peyton Trento and Rhyden Wheldon.

Visiting in person has allowed paired students to get to know many more things about each other.

Maya Denda said her host, Maggie Cooper, is “obsessed with doing the ‘Sarah Paulson Crying face’ gesture all the time.”

“We are the same person in different fonts.” Cooper said of Denda.

Lisa Marie Landwehr called Katie Martel “the biggest fan of Taylor Swift I have ever known.”

“Lisa loves bread and she hates dogs,” Martel revealed.

Jens Krükel called his host, Garrett Misko, “a technical and physik boss, next Lewis Hamilton and next Christian Pulisic.” Miskoe described Krutel as follows: “He is super tall, a farmer boy, and he really likes Starburst.”

“I learned Cassie is in good standings with a lot of people,” said Benja Mantz of her host, Cassie Pfitzenmayer.

“I learned Benja has a great sense of humor and is very funny,” said Pfitzenmayer.