The Germans are coming: GAPP program to happen this fall

Applications are due this Friday, May 24th


Previous GAPP German students chat with SHS students. Photo by Mr. Matthew Sobrinski

Alanna Christman, Staff Writer

The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) is coming back to SHS this fall — and this is the final week to submit an application.

For those who don’t know, GAPP is a program where German students come to Stroudsburg for two-three weeks to learn about America and its culture. Twelve SHS students volunteer to house these students and have the opportunity to go to Germany as well.

Each SHS student involved plays an important role in both introducing American culture and helping the German students feel at home. Both Mr. Matthew Sobrinski and Ms. Janice Lee are the SHS GAPP coordinators.

Much is taken into consideration when partnering the German students up with SHS classmates.

“They take the German applications and the American applications and they try to match them up as evenly as possible,” said Sobrinski. “The key is to find two people who are compatible.”

For the past years, this process has certainly worked. Former participants have made lasting friendships with their German partners, as well as with others in the program.

“My exchange student Justyna was very fun to meet and become close with,” said junior Vasilia Briegel, a past participant in GAPP. “I loved to learn about her life in Germany, and it was a wonderful experience to share her first visit to the United States.”

The students become so close not only by living in the same house for an extended period of time, but by enjoying the many delightful experiences set up for them.

“We’ve had a couple of different game nights at people’s houses,” said Sobrinski. “We’ve had many guests in, such as the PA state representative…”

Sobrinski also mentioned taking the students on a waterfall tour in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, as well as to the top of the gap. There are many exciting activities to look forward to when participating in this program.

Not only does GAPP provide exciting activities for the students, but it also introduces them to students with a different perspective.

“I’ve been inspired to run this program because I believe it provides students with a unique cultural experience,” said Sobrinski.

Briegel also found this opportunity rewarding.

“It was such a great opportunity to learn about life in Germany and to watch them learn about life here,” said Vasilia. “I loved it, and I cannot even express how awesome a program it is!”

Want to take part in this brilliant cultural experience? Go to C207 for a form and hand it in by Friday, May 24.

Please, hand in the forms as soon as possible because space is limited.

For more information on this opportunity and its success in previous years, see these links:

Pocono Record article on GAPP

News Clip of GAPP

GAPP Students share insight on Stroudsburg

German exchange students create buzz at Stroudsburg HS

Blog of German GAPP students

The information and application:

GAPP Application Form

GAPP Introduction Letter