The Sheboygan Chapter of People to People International has been sponsoring an annual exchange with Sheboygan’s sister city, Esslingen, Germany since 1970. Esslingen is a charming city of about 100,000 located in Southwest Germany on the banks of the Neckar River, near Stuttgart. Since that time over 170 Sheboygan County high school students have participated in this unique program. Many have made life long friendships. “For us, the student exchanges provide the best avenue to help foster the understanding of people and cultures with the youth of our community.” said Past President and current Board Member – Jon Keckonen.
The High School program offers a more in depth German experience over 5 months. The students are treated like a member of the family and engage in all activities with them. Applicants are usually first semester freshmen or sophomores. Applications should be returned by December 31, and the selection of students, which will include a family interview, is usually completed in December or January. Since classes in Esslingen are conducted in German, applicants should be strong students and have good study habits. The German students arrive the following July and stay until mid-December. The American students finish their fall semester and leave for Germany in mid-February, returning in late July or early August. Students in grades 9/10 are eligible to apply for placement in Spring/Summer grades 10/11.
A new High School alternative is under development. A hybrid exchange with the same placement of the German student for 5 months but the American student would visit the following summer for 2 months over the June – August time frame. This allows the American student some exposure to the German schools and study but not the typical 5 months. This is an especially good option for those who don’t speak German or have conflicts with coursework or other activities during the school year.
Host Family for a German High School Student – 5 months: Opportunity to learn about Germany – people, culture, customs, heritage and more – first hand from an Esslingen High School Student. Share Sheboygan, your home and family life with an exchange student. Applicant Families with Students/Children in High School are preferred.
For more information, visit the chapter website at: www.ptpsheboygan.org. Applications for the programs are due by December 31, 2021 and can be found on the website.