Students who plan on going to Germany must be entering grades 9 through just graduating at the end of the school year, the year we go to Germany
Students must attend rehearsals held on Sunday evenings beginning in January until the trip in July. They are also expected to help with the Hearts Across the Table dinners for multiple years. The commitment also involves agreeing to host at least one German student for approximately two weeks the summer following our German visit.
This is a music based cultural exchange. In Germany, you will live with a German host family for the duration of the trip. During the day and on some evenings, the Exchange sponsors culturally-based excursions, concert practices, and public performances. There are many opportunities that bring together both the Rhinebeck and Rheinbach students. You spend the remaining time with your host family and participate in their lives, where you have the opportunity to learn more about the German culture and they can learn from you. In general, you eat breakfast and dinner with the host family and are on field trips or rehearsing during the day.
You are responsible for the cost of airfare, traveling fees and membership dues, plus any spending money. In 2017, the cost of a plane ticket to Germany was $1,126. Travel fees and membership dues were an additional $774. In the past, people have taken $150 to $250 as spending money. The total cost of travel for 2017, not including spending money, was $1,900. The estimated cost for 2023 is under $3,000.
The final placement in the host homes is made in the last month before travel. Based on information you have provided, an effort is made to place people in a compatible German family.
Common courtesy is to bring the host family a gift. The Germans really appreciate something made in the US. It is common to spend around $25 to $50 on a gift. Leaders will make suggestions as we get closer to travel.