Northwest Horizons

Northwest exchanges with Germany

Sophomore+Gretta+Overmyer+holds+up+a+book+about+the+country+of+Germany+with+a+smile.+She+and+22+other+Northwest+students+will+be+traveling+to+Germany+in+late+July.
Sophomore Gretta Overmyer holds up a book about the country of Germany with a smile. She and 22 other Northwest students will be traveling to Germany in late July.

Sophomore Gretta Overmyer holds up a book about the country of Germany with a smile. She and 22 other Northwest students will be traveling to Germany in late July.

Sophomore Gretta Overmyer holds up a book about the country of Germany with a smile. She and 22 other Northwest students will be traveling to Germany in late July.

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In March of this school year, you may see some new faces in the halls. This is because, for the 23rd year, Northwest will be hosting students from Germany to show them the life of an American teenager. Those Northwest students will then fly to Germany in June to experience the culture of the students they hosted.

The program began at Northwest in 1995 by the original German teacher, Gisela Hood with the German American Partnership Program (GAPP). This year, German teacher Lisa Worthington-Groce will be in charge and along side her are German teacher Oliver Ham, science teacher Jessica Tidmore and math teacher Heather Sessoms.

One of the 23 Northwest hostesses is sophomore Gretta Overmyer, who will be swapping with one of the 24 German partners, 16-year-old Svenja Grünwald from Bavaria, Germany.

“For a couple months, I was more nervous because I didn’t know her [Overmyer],” Grünwald said. “But after we started to write [each other], my nervousness wasn’t so strong anymore because I got to know her.”

While in North Carolina for two weeks, the German students will have activities other than following their hosts around school. They will see the Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro, job shadow businesses, visit small towns and shops and have a weekend trip to Charleston to see historic areas.

Teachers at Northwest will also have an opportunity to have a German student present a PowerPoint on their life in Germany.

“Other activities are them just living with you and doing whatever you do because they are here to immerse themselves [in American life],” Overmyer said.

After their trip here, the German students will go to the Outer Banks and Washington D.C. to explore more of America.

While in Germany for two and a half weeks, Northwest students will follow their German partners around to school, a university, local towns, businesses to job shadow, a bakery and an excursion to the Alps. They will also present their own PowerPoints to English classes in Germany about their American lives.

“I’m super excited; I can’t wait to meet her [Grünwald], and I’ve always wanted to do it this way where I’m not going as a tourist, but I’m going to get a first-hand experience of [German culture],” Overmyer said.

Groce will be doing this program every other year, so the next chance is 2020. To get involved with this program, you don’t have to be in a German class, but there are still guidelines.

“Behavior, obviously, is a concern,” Groce said, “Hopefully this will spark an interest [in German] once they get to meet the people and experience the culture.”

If students at Northwest are interested, they should sign up for German and start saving up their money for 2020.

So, be on the lookout in the second week of March to find a foreign friend and learn a few things about what their life as a teenager in Europe is like.

“I’m so excited to meet her and the family because it’s my first exchange and it’s such a great chance to see how people in other countries live,” Grünwald said.

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Northwest exchanges with Germany