German exchange students experience life in America - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

German exchange students experience life in America

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- A group of German students are getting a taste of life in America and in the Yakima Valley. It's a month-long exchange program with West Valley High School.

They've done this exchange since the mid-nineties, and it's not just one way. Every odd year, the German students from the town of Gustrow come here, and every even year American students head to Germany.

The exchanges are done through the German American Partnership Program, or GAPP. The German students stay with families here in West Valley and sit in on classes. They'll also take a trip to Seattle. The teachers say it's a valuable opportunity for their students.

"They see... that the picture… of the US Americans we usually get is not always... how the people really are," says John-Brinckman-Gymnasium Teacher Ilka Heinrichs.

Heinrichs says the point is for both German and American students to gain insights into other cultures, both the big differences and the small ones.

The German students say things like cars and buildings are larger here than in Germany. They're looking forward to their trip to Seattle, where they're going to be able to catch a Mariners game.