German / American Partnership Program


What:  Alcoa High School German classes partner with the Regine-Hildebrant-Gesamtschule in Birkenwerder (near Berlin) on a bi-lateral visit to each others school and homes.  EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T STUDIED GERMAN, YOU CAN HOST A STUDENT HERE IN 2019 AND TRAVEL TO GERMANY IN 2020.


When:  RHG students visit AHS in September 2019; AHS visits Berlin in May 2020.


Who:  Although one of the goals of the program is to foster the study of the German language, AHS wants to offer the opportunity up to as many students as possible.  Priority will be given to those who have/are/will study German or have participated in the program as a host.


How: Because this is a two-way exchange, the two schools will send delegations to visit the other school and stay in the homes of the hosts.  Ideally, the same students will travel to the school in Germany and serve as hosts when the international delegation visits Alcoa.  Program costs are borne by the students involved in the exchange and their families. Because the German school may have more students interested in traveling to the United States, there may be opportunities for participation as hosts who do not travel to Germany.   This is one way to be involved in the exchange that would be less expensive because this person may not choose to travel to Germany. There are several organizations that support GAPP financially and their contributions offset some of the costs for the participants.


Timeline for the exchange:

  • Feb 2019 – RHG students have been selected to visit AHS: eleven 10th graders, six 11th graders and three 12th graders (and Max) – 14 girls/6 boys
  • Spring 2019 – Information Evening at AHS; MONDAY MAY 8 5:30 RM 2114; Host families are sought at AHS
  • 09/16/19 – 09/30/19 RHG students visit  AHS
  • Fall 2019 – Info Evening at AHS to travel to Berlin; applications until Sep 2019
  • May 2020 – (end of May) AHS students travel to RHG for two-week visit
  • Intercultural exchange with variable thematic topics
  • long-term relationship possible for German-American cooperation
  • collaborative work on global themes
  • increased intercultural knowledge, consciousness, awareness



  • Accommodation with guest family (1 per family)
  • Integration with the host family (meal times, practices, homework)
  • Host family treats the young German as a family member and pays for food, electricity and any activity the family may decide to conduct that is not part of the program for all the visitors; when Alcoa visits Berlin, the same treatment will be awarded the AHS student



  • Even if your child has homework or practice, the German student will be able to be a part of that activity.  Dinner time can be just like it is for your family. No need to do anything different or special. The RHG students want to live like Americans while they are here.
  • The visit is planned for our 100th Anniversary Homecoming, so it should be a fun, activity-filled period.  
  • We will be planning welcome/departure events and any ideas or assistance would be appreciated.
  • The German students will come to the US with travel insurance as well as health insurance.  They will also have spending money for their own souvenirs.
  • While here, the German group will study topics inside the theme  Stories of Migration. They will explore aspects of Appalachian culture, African American history   and culture, Cherokee Indian culture, Hispanic culture.  In Berlin we will learn about Turkish, Arab, Polish culture (immigrants and refugees)
  • Depending on the airfare to Berlin in May 2020 (which we can’t know until July 2019), my hope is that the visit will be approximately $1600.  


Your interest:

Please contact me Ken Brown at for further information or to sign up as a host for GAPP September 2019. Alternately, fill out this google form (also added onto your German Google Classroom page):



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