In Dortmund the AG NRW (Foreign Institute) is in charge of nurturing the sister city relations and receives funding by the city to do so. On the contrary in Buffalo, it is individual Buffalonians on the Buffalo Dortmund sister city Committee work on a voluntary basis to assist the exchange programs.

Lynn Barrett Engle and Greg Engle

Lynn is the contact for all exchanges in Buffalo. Her official “job” description reads Program Director of the Buffalo-Dortmund Sister City Student Exchange programs. She recruits host families in Buffalo, organizes the programs for the students, and liaises with high schools in Buffalo that accept German exchange students. As chaperone she supervises excursions, serves as a liasion with the Auslandsgesellschaft and provides the support students need when they are away from home. Lynn knows of the importance of abroad experiences as she herself participated in the summer program and studied abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. When she is not busy recruiting families to take in German kids or chaperones American students on their stays in Dortmund, she teaches German at the State University of New York, Buffalo State, as well as at Canisius College. Her husband Greg is the president of the Buffalo-Dortmund Sister City Committee. The committee has signed off on the promotion of international understanding. Like his wife, Greg is also an alumni of the student exchange with Dortmund. Both know the programs very well and help coordinating the stays in Buffalo.

Contact at the Foreign Institute

Margarethe Thomas, Norena Kunter and Ingrid Silvasi are contacts at the International Institute. Dan Scanlon used to be a teacher at St. Joes and was Lynn’s predecessor as program coordinator. Since his transfer to Dortmund, he has been taking care of the summer exchange, accompanying the German kids to Buffalo and running the program for both the American students and their hosts in Dortmund. Laure Geslain is the contact for the High School program and is always willing to listen to the students and their host families during their four months stay. She assures their safe arrival in Buffalo, as well as getting them back home to Germany. Margarethe Thomas has organized the exchange programs and she has accompanied the groups in Buffalo and Dortmund for many years.