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German American Partnership Program

Since its inception in 1972, the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) has developed into the most successful short-term exchange program between the United States and Germany.

The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) is a non-profit high school exchange program between schools in Germany and the United States, sponsored by the German Foreign Office and by the US Department of State.

The main objective of the Program is the integration of students into the everyday life of host families and into the classroom activities of host schools to provide them with a coherent intercultural experience.
Interested schools will find general information about present exchanges, participating schools, guidelines, deadlines and useful links within these pages. In addition, there are several forms available for download by current or prospective participants.
GAPP was greatly expanded in 1982 and 1983. As a result of financial participation from the American as well as from the German side, the program received a stimulus which has been sustained to this very day. The number of school partnerships has increased from 150 in the early days to almost 800 today. Up to now, more than 300,000 students have participated in GAPP.

Its objectives include the initiation and development of student exchange programs between the United States and Germany, inspiring intercultural understanding, promoting German language instruction and motivating personal friendships.
In addition to its patronage, GAPP, Inc. contributes financial support under certain conditions.

Excerpt taken from the German American Partnership Program- Goethe Institute Home Page

BHS GAPP History

The Bartow High School German American Partnership Program began in 2003 as a cultural exchange program. Since its inception, Bartow High School has been partnered with Märkische Schule Wattenscheid in the Ruhr Valley of West Germany. Due to its nature as a cultural exchange, all Bartow students are able to apply for the exchange program regardless of their enrollment in a German language class. Each student from Bartow is matched with a partner student from Märkische Schule for the duration of their involvement in the program. As partners, students (and families) are responsible for hosting their counterpart during the 3 week exchange. Traditionally, the Wattenscheid students arrive in Bartow in October and our Bartow students travel to Germany the following June. As a part of the Bartow exchange to Wattenscheid, the students will also have the opportunity to visit Berlin for several days at the end of the trip.


Students from the classes of 2022 and 2023 (current freshmen and sophomores) are eligible for membership in the 2020-2021 exchange. Students must have a 2.5 GPA (minimum), a clean discipline record, and be in good attendance standing with the school. Students must also obtain recommendations from teachers and submit an essay with their application. Included in the packet is one teacher recommendation form. Students will need to have recommendation forms from at least 5 teachers (past or present teachers from BHS/IB/SA).

Applications are due with a $50 deposit.  Those not selected as members of the program will receive their money back.

Please note:  Students who apply and are accepted must be able to host their partner German student (October, ’20) and travel to Germany (June, ’21).

Contact Mr. Giles For Application Forms Or More Information


Before applying, please discuss whether you will be able to meet the following requirements of Bartow GAPP members:

  • Monthly payments of $150 (total cost estimate is $2,000)
  • Monthly meetings
  • Feed, house, and transport your German partner student for 3 weeks in October of 2020
  • Participate in all group activities for the duration of the program
    • The schedule during the Germans visit in October is very full and is a big time commitment for students and families
  • Participate in group fundraisers