German Students Signing up for Friendship Connections

Posted on November 16, 2020 by

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German students are in the process of signing up for Friendship Connections. 

If any students are interested in finding out more, he or she can approach Mrs. Christine Moll, German teacher, with any questions. It usually takes place between March and April. 

Up until 2020, the Friendship Connection successfully arranged four-week ¨home-to-home¨ exchanges every year for thirty-nine years. All student pairings are based on age, interests, and hobbies to help create long-lasting friendships. If the American wants to return the visit, this takes place around mid-June through mid-July.

“I hosted a German exchange student named Maximilian Fetz between Mid-March and early April of 2018. He comes from Sankt Goarshausen, a village in the Rhineland, and hopes to become a programmer as a career choice,” senior Andrew Loeffler said.

 “Much of the time at home was spent with him shaking off jet lag, lounging around with Netflix on the TV and Nerds Ropes in our hands,” Loeffler explained. “Other than that, he tagged along with me to school, church services and Youth Group, and to my after-school activities. Over the course of his stay, my family and I also took him to many places. The biggest and most memorable trip was spending a day in Philadelphia. It was mostly to sightsee and walk around. We went to see the Rocky Steps, the Old City, and the Franklin Institute.  On a side note, we also took him to his first-ever ice hockey game at the Reading Royals arena!’’ 

 Students will not be able to travel if they have not had at least two years of German. Students can still sign up if they do not take German but cannot actually travel to Germany.

“I signed up because I thought it would be fun,” Emilee Scheffler said. “I thought that meeting someone from another country would be really cool, and I really hoped to go there someday. I would like to talk about how different German schools are compared to American schools. I would also like to see if what she does in her free time is different compared to what I do. I would just talk about anything that comes up really; it does not matter what topic.”

Traveling would not be held until the 2021-2022 school year. If someone is interested to be involved this year, go to http://www.friendshipconnection.org and follow the link to ¨Forms”; there one can find the ¨VFC application form” and follow these steps to sign up:

 1) Fill out the form with as much detail as possible; the more info, the better the match. Forms are accepted now until 15 January 2021.

2) Print out the form, attach a picture of yourself, and have a parent or guardian sign it.

3) Scan the form and email it to Krista.FC@gmail.com or take a picture of your form and text it to Krista Winzer-Lee (330-618-6127); make sure it is a clear photo.

4) Once you receive an email confirmation and an invoice from VFC that your form has been processed, pay the $75 participation fee online with a credit card or by mailing a check. The pairing process begins in January; then you will be put in contact with your German partner at the end of February and begin communicating (via virtual exchange due to Covid) or participate with the intent to host your virtual German partner and travel to Germany the following year).

Students will have more than a year to correspond before the real exchange takes place in the summer of 2022.

“I am looking forward to meeting a native German that is my age and has similar interests as me so we can talk and have a good time,” Scheffler said.

Each month, VFC will email ¨check ins¨ to participants to encourage frequent correspondence and suggest topics to discuss and projects to do together. 

“Some reasons I signed up for the program would be to learn more about German culture and to try actual German food and to improve my German speaking skills with the help of a fluent German speaker,” Scheffler said. 

“It has been over two years since then, and I still communicate with him over WhatsApp. It not only helps us keep in touch but also helps me with my German,” Loeffler said.  “I plan on visiting him someday, maybe when I have the money to do so. I look forward to it.”

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