German students get the ultimate learning experience through exc - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

German students get the ultimate learning experience through exchange program

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YAKIMA, WA - For the first time, a group of German exchange students learned how to play baseball. 

When you have never taken part in America's favorite pastime, understanding the basics is a little tough, but after some trial and error they became pros.

This is only a glimpse of what foreign students get to experience through a partnership with West Valley High School.

"They are able to be on their own and communicate on their own in a foreign language, and use the language they have learned in school and see that it works," said German teacher Ilka Heinrichs.

20 German students and two teachers are staying in Yakima for four weeks. This is possible through the German-American partnership program GAPP. For many like 15-year-old Niclas Schroeder, this is all brand new.

"It is cool here," said Schroeder. "There area lot of differences here from Germany. The thing that is most different is the size. All things in America are bigger."

West Valley High School and families have hosted German students for ten years now. It all started in 1998 when teacher Heinrichs came to Yakima as part of an exchange program.

"I came here, I worked at the junior high school and at the high school, so I have known the area for 20 years now," said Heinrichs.

The trip is about more than just learning in a classroom setting. The group also gets to travel to places like the Cascade Mountains and Seattle. Schroeder even attended a Seahawks game this weekend.

"There was a football game last weekend on Sunday," Schroeder said. "I was there with my family and my two friends and it was awesome."

The students head back to Germany on the 17th.

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