Register now as a host school or speaker and join Meet-a-German on October 6, 2021!
Thanks to its great success, Fulbright Germany in cooperation with the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) is bringing back Meet-a-German for a fourth round as part of Wunderbar Together.
In Honor of the 75th anniversary of the global Fulbright Program, Fulbright Germany is hosting a Fulbright Day on October 6 - including Meet-a-German.
Meet-a-German offers American schools the wonderful opportunity to have a native speaker or someone with first-hand experience of German culture join their classroom for one lesson. It also provides speakers with the chance to contribute to international understanding and to connect with local communities.
Last year, around 8,000 students at nearly 150 schools in over 40 US states “met a German”. Check out 2020's interactive map to find the location of all the schools that participated. With your help, we can now reach our goal of bringing Meet-a-German to all 50 states!
To continuously mitigate the spread of COVID-19, this year Meet-a-German events will take place online via video conferencing platforms. That being said: If COVID-19 permits, the speaker is in the USA at the time and is matched in the school area (which we strive for), they could also meet in person by individual arrangement and at their own risk.
If you are a teacher or administrator interested in hosting a virtual Meet-a-German session during an in-person class or via remote learning, you can register as a US host school here: I want to register as a host school!
If you are either a German or an American who has lived in Germany for an extended period, you can register as a speaker here: I want to register as a speaker!
As a speaker, you can independently connect with a school that is willing to invite you to their virtual classroom session. You can then enter the school’s contact information when registering. In this case, the respective teacher does not need to register as a host school. Last years’ experience shows that this is the most effective method of linking speakers with schools.
Your second option is to let Fulbright Germany match you with a school. Although all Meet-a-German sessions will be virtual, we will still base the matching process on geographic proximity for speakers who live in the US or plan to move there by October 6. If COVID-19 permits, the speaker is in the US at the time and is matched in the school area (which we strive for), you could also meet in person by individual arrangement and at your own risk.
If you are permanently living in Germany, the matching process will focus on those US regions for which no speakers has registered. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that all schools and speakers will be matched.
In 2019, already 7% of classroom sessions took place online because speakers and schools were not close enough to travel for that one session. In 2020 all sessions were online due to COVID-19. Both teachers and speakers gave very positive feedback regarding this virtual exchange:
“I was very happy to participate via the online format and felt that it worked very well. In terms of format, the teacher and I had a discussion beforehand about my background and interests in which I gave her some sample topics that I could speak about (e.g. being a POC in Germany, contemporary culture, majoring in German, etc.). The teacher then helped the students (9 and 10 graders) prepare questions in advance of our session. When I got to the session, I began by introducing myself (5 minutes or so) and then we had the q&a. This was all done in German. It was awesome to speak with the students and I hope they got something useful out of it.” (Fulbrighter Didem @ Swartz Creek High School, MI)
“My students and I loved our Skype day with our very own German. He patiently answered what may have been over a hundred questions for four hours and played a game with my students. He even opted to miss his favorite college class to be with my German students after lunch! We very much appreciated the opportunity to meet him via Skype.” (anonymous)
When you get in touch with the teacher to confirm the match, also take time to discuss the age and German level (if applicable) of the students as well as what you would like to talk about with them. Ideally, you should test the school’s video calling platform (Zoom, Skype, etc.) for this conversation.
To prepare your online session, we will have downloadable materials available. The classroom session can focus on anything from history to German pop culture, language, or current affairs. Choose a topic that is meaningful to you and give students a chance to connect with you on a personal level. For example, last year Isabel, one of the virtual speakers, talked about the history of East/West Germany and reunification. This lesson was not only inspired by Meet-a-German taking place on German Unification Day, but also because her family is originally from the GDR, while she grew up in the West of Germany after the fall of the wall.
Furthermore, we will offer an optional interactive webinar in September to provide you with ideas for ice breakers, warm-ups and other playful activities. The classroom session should be interesting and exciting for the students. You can be creative in what you will do. Last year’s participants took students on a virtual trip through Germany using GoogleEarth, played games, did quizzes, or invited students to an “Ask-Me-Anything” exchange.
On October 6, participants can share their experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags and by tagging:
- Instagram #MeetAGerman #WunderbarTogether @FulbrightGermany, @AATGOnline, @WunderbarTogether
- Facebook #MeetAGerman #WunderbarTogether @FulbrightGermany, @AATGHQ, @WunderbarTogether
- Twitter #MeetAGerman #WunderbarTogether @fulbright_de, @AATGOnline, @Wunderbar2gethr
As a speaker, you could take a picture of your “workstation”: Are you joining the virtual classroom from your kitchen table, your sofa or the balcony? You could also take a screenshot of the virtual session. Before you take images with/of students, please ask the teacher to make sure that you have the permission to do so. It would also be wonderful to see the teachers’ and students’ perspectives reflected on social media – no matter whether your Meet-a-German session takes place during an in-person class or as remote learning.
To celebrate the fourth round of Meet-a-German, we will select a winner (via lottery) from the #MeetAGerman pictures, who will receive a surprise!