MEXICO – Members of the Mexico Academy & Central School District’s German American Partnership Program (GAPP) recently returned home to Oswego County after spending more than two weeks abroad in Germany and Austria.
The group, which was in Europe for 17 days, spent a week with host families and attending school at Mexico’s partner school in Schneverdingen (northern Germany) before departing for travel through Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and Munich.
The group had an abundance of experiences, including touring the Berlin Reichstag, walking through Berlin’s East Side Gallery, where large portions of the Berlin Wall are still standing, and visiting the Berlin Cathedral and the Brandenburg Gate.
In Vienna, the students toured St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Church of Saint Michael, and were able to tour centuries-old catacombs under the city as well as a recently-excavated chapel dating back to the 13th century.
The group also had the opportunity to ice skate in the evening in front of the Wiener Rathaus, visit the open-air Naschmarkt, tour the Hofburg Palace (location of the Austrian Imperial Apartments and the Sisi Museum) and Schönbrunn Palace, the onetime summer residence of Austrian royalty.
The students had the unique experience of taking an overnight train from Vienna to Munich, where they were able to visit the Marienplatz at the center of Munich’s Old City and enjoy cultural dining experiences at the Ratskeller and Hofbräuhaus.
They also climbed to Neuschwanstein Castle and visited the BMW Museum, Munich’s Olympiapark, and the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
GAPP students taking part in this experience included Adria Ariola, Olivia Bartel, Ashley Bennett, Ainsley Bigelow, Hayden Combs, Adrianna Denton, Anita Druce, Rosina Hawkins, Merrisa Jewell, Payton Nelson, Delaney Richer, Brayden Scott, Juliana Smith and Matthew Shaffer. The group was led by chaperones Kevin Quinn and Mona Goble.
The GAPP program at MACS has been in existence for more than 40 years. Next year, students from Schneverdingen will travel to Mexico to spend time with host families here.