Student exchange in Germany
Becoming an exchange student in Germany is the perfect opportunity to get a genuine experience of this exciting country. When staying with a German host family and attending a local High School, students will gain a unique insight into the characteristic German culture as well as become fluent in the widely popular language.
As a German speaker, students are able to communicate with millions and millions of people. This is a qualification that will open them plenty of doors in the future, not least career-wise. Germany is one of the world’s biggest economies, and exchange students will be enjoying a country with friendly people, excellent education, and living standards.
Our high school programs
In Germany, we offer several exchange programs. Read more about our programs in Germany.
Choose where in Germany you want to study
Northern, Western, Southern or Eastern Germany? With us, you can choose where in Germany you want to spend your exchange year. Check out our regional choices and secure your spot today.Region Choice
About High School in Germany
During their exchange in Germany, students will get to experience the life of German teenagers. The classes in the High School here are usually quite informal, and students are encouraged to think and participate actively in the classroom discussions.
All classes will be in German, which may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but the teachers are, of course, willing to help. For each day, students will notice how their language skills improve, and will soon be able to join discussions just like any other German student.
Subjects & school activities
German High Schools vary in course offerings depending on the grade, the community, and the federal state, the “Bundesland”, the school is located in. Along with traditional subjects such as math, German, foreign languages, science, history, and physical education, most schools offer a range of elective courses. These can be IT, music, choir, photography, dance, and various sports.
German High Schools sometimes offer a small selection of after-school activities and voluntary study groups in the afternoon. Engaging in these activities is a great way to meet new friends and to participate in the school community. As long as students are curious and openminded, they will have a joyful time as a high school student in Germany.
Semesters & breaks
The school year in Germany generally start in July–September after a six-week summer break and runs until late January, when the second semester starts. Many schools often have a 1–2-week autumn break, 2–3-week Christmas break, one week off in February and a 2–3-week break during Easter. The weeks off school are a perfect opportunity for planning trips and excursions with friends and host family. Please note that the number of days off school is different in each Bundesland.
Soft Landing Camp in Mannheim
Students going on an exchange year to Germany can choose to start their adventure by attending the Soft Landing Camp in the city of Mannheim, in southwestern Germany. For three days, they will get to know other students that are also spending their exchange in Germany as well as discover the lovely city. Together we get prepared in the very best way through workshops and sightseeing.
Below you will find an example schedule of how the first days in Mannheim may look.
Students’ days in Mannheim
Day 1: Arrival at Frankfurt International Airport and transfer to the students’ accommodation in Mannheim. A relaxing day where they settle in, get to know each other and have a welcome evening awaits.
Day 2: Workshop about German culture, customs, and traditions in the morning. Sightseeing in the afternoon. They explore the Mannheim city centre and organise a barbecue in Luisenpark.
Day 3: Workshop about German school life, communications, and leisure activities in the morning. Sightseeing in the afternoon. They visit the Heidelberg castle and go on a boat tour on the river Neckar.
Day 4: Departure time. Let the exchange adventure begin!
At arrival, students will be picked up at the airport by our staff. Together we get to the hostel or hotel where students will be sharing a room together with other students. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included every day of the camp.
Language course in Mannheim
To ensure that students are as prepared as possible for their exchange year in Germany, we offer a preparation course in German in the city of Mannheim. The language course is organised right before the Soft Landing Camp, in the same city.
We recommend everyone who needs to refresh or improve their German skills to attend the language course. This to get the best possible start to the High School adventure.Language Course
Staying with a German host family
By staying with a host family, students will experience life in a German family. They will get to try typical German food such as different kind of wursts and sauerbraten and find out more about the customs and traditions. It is the ultimate way to get to know the country.
Since they will be surrounded by the German language almost all the time, students will become fluent speakers much faster than one can imagine. They should make sure to always engage in conversations with their host family, even if they may be a bit insecure in the beginning. They could tell them about your day and ask them about theirs. Like this, students will become more and more fluent each day.
Carefully selected host families
Our host families come in all shapes and sizes, and they live all over Germany. Some have kids and pets, some live in big houses in the countryside and others in apartments in the city. What they all have in common is that they have a passion for cultural exchange and are looking forward to finding out more about the students and where they come from.
Spare time in Germany
Metropolitan cities, idyllic villages, green hills, and beautiful rivers. Germany is a country with all kinds of sceneries and lifestyles to offer. How students’ spare time in the country may look is dependent on where in the beautiful country they will live, and of course on their personal interests.
The best way to immerse in the German culture is to be openminded and join the host family and friends' activities after school and on the weekends. This is especially helpful at the beginning of the exchange year when students are settling in and getting to know both their family and classmates as well as Germany as a whole. If they are lucky, students might also get to join a school trip where they get to see more of the beautiful nation.
Sports and activities
As in many other countries, football is the most popular sport in Germany. Getting involved in a sports team, whether it is football or another sport, is a perfect way to meet new friends. If students do not play football, they can look into the local sports clubs and play sports like handball, basketball or tennis.
In Germany, there is also a long tradition of playing instruments, and it is highly encouraged for students who play an instrument or sing to join a choir, band or orchestra. If students do not play any instrument today, they can sign up for some guitar, piano or violin classes. An exchange year is about trying new things after all!
Quick facts: exchange student in Germany
• Age of students: 15–17 years
• Departure: August/January
• Language requirements: Proof of A2 German knowledge, stable English skills
• Visa: Yes, for non-European
• Region choice: Yes, special requirements and deadline apply
• City choice: Yes, for Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne (special requirements and deadline apply)
• Soft Landing Camp: Yes, in Mannheim
• School day: Normally from 8am to 3pm
• Subjects: There are both compulsory subjects and electives
• Program: Several options