Dripping Springs High German teacher Jillian Bessemer accompanied eight of her students to Dortmund, Germany, for three weeks in June and July to kick off the school’s first GAPP (German American Partnership Program) exchange. DSHS will host 13 students from the Phoenix Gymnasium School, which is located in Hörde neighborhood of Dortmund for three weeks this fall.
GAPP is a short-term exchange program, which means that instead of just traveling to tourist sites, students stay with German host families and attend classes at the partner school.
Dripping Springs High students were able to experience what the education system is like in Germany and took classes in art, Italian, religion and physics. Students also visited Heidelberg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Münster and the Haus der Geschichte Museum in Bonn.
Bessemer said students’ comprehension of German improved after they were immersed in the language.
“They were exposed to roughly the same amount of immersion that they receive in one year in the classroom,” Bessemer said. “By living in Germany, meeting students their age and participating in their regular life, my students wil be better able to adapt and thrive in new situations and cultures.”