Journey to Germany

Maddy Crist

Every year, students who are learning the German language in high school have a chance to go on a trip to Germany. Students all over the United States partake in the tests that qualify students for this trip. The test is known as the national German exam. Macy Ripley, a junior here at Kennedy, received this opportunity and will be going to Germany in the summer.

The AATG or the American Association of Teachers of German gives out a test every year to students who want to travel to Germany.  Diana Ross is a German teacher at Kennedy and she is also Macy Ripley’s teacher. She handed out the test in mid-January this year. To even be eligible, students have to earn a 90 percent or above.  Macy passed the test, and earned a 97 percent.

After a student passes the test, the state interviews students to go on the trip who are in the “gold” category (which means 90 percent or above). They decide among these students which are the most worthy to go. Students also have to go on interviews and fill out application in English and in German.

“It really depends on what the student’s expectations are of the trip and what they are hoping to get out of it,” Ross said.

There are certain requirements to be able to go. A student has to be in-between 16 or 17 years old. They have to have at least two years of German in the high school level and they couldn’t have stayed in Germany for more than two consecutive weeks since the age of six.

“For the first week we’re in a group but for the next three weeks we get a host family to stay with and go to school with them,” Ripley said.

Ripley is planning on a career in German. “I want to major in German and maybe do something like translating for a job,” Ripley said. This trip will expand her cultural diversity and prepare her for the future.

“I’m kind of nervous to go, but really excited to just go there and eat the food and see all the sites and meet new people,” Ripley said.

44 students across the nation are going on the trip this year.  The trip includes a roundtrip ticket from New York, a host family when they arrive and excursions to places of cultural and historical importance.  The dates for Ripley’s trip to Germany are from June 24th to July 20th.

“She is the perfect candidate for this because she’s such a great student and she’s so enthusiastic about German and I think she will make use out of this opportunity, almost better than anyone else would,” Ross said.