Germany is a breathtakingly beautiful country with a unique and diversely modern culture at every turn. Many exchange students have been happy to call Germany home!


Scholarships Available

  • 374 - Alexander Voigt Memorial Scholarship
  • 64 - Chevron Corporation Scholarship
  • 115 - Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
  • 7 - Epson America, Inc. International Scholarship
  • 358 - Goethe Institut - PASCH Scholarship
  • 385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Study Fund
  • 378 - The Grand Forks Scheels Scholarship
  • 368 - YFU Community Grant
  • 384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund
  • 273 - YFU Stiftung
  • 305 - YFU Stipendium Program to Germany

Age Requirement

Spring departure: October 1, 1999 - January 15, 2003. Summer Program: April 1, 2000 - December 31, 2003. Fall departure: April 1, 2000 - August 1, 2003.

Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

  • Language: German. Previous language study is not required. Year and Semester students will participate in a 3-week orientation and intensive language course (OLC) to help develop German language proficiency.
  • Host Family Placement: Students are placed throughout Germany, usually in the countryside, small towns (up to 30,000 people) or medium-sized cities (between 31,000-125,000 people). Very few students are placed in larger cities. A charming aspect of German family life is the tradition to have family members and friends come over in the afternoon for tea or coffee. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your new host family and friends.
  • School: Begins in mid-August or early September and ends between mid-June and early July.
  • Pastimes: Sports clubs, music clubs, soccer, hiking, camping, and traveling.

Summer Programs

Explore Germany this summer through a one-week Berlin cultural tour and four-week homestay in another part of the country. Upon arrival in Berlin, students will join a group of YFU students from around the world with a series of orientation activities, city tours, museum and memorial visits, and local cultural activities. Students will then go on to stay with host families located throughout Germany to experience everyday life and attend school for up to 3 weeks.The program will end with another two-day seminar in Berlin before returning home.

Academic Programs

Germany has a variety of cultural opportunities and a host family that is waiting to share them with you! As an exchange student to Germany, part of your experience will be:

School: As a student in Germany, you may be placed in a gymnasium or gesamtschule. Most students will attend a gymnasium, which prepares students for entrance into the German university system. Gymnasiums have a set of core classes (math, science, languages, social sciences) supplemented by elective courses. At school, students may participate in physical education, the arts (theater, music, and photography), computer projects, and other events. YFU students should be prepared for the possibility of attending classes in a grade or two lower than their American grade level. Students in Germany spend the final year of secondary school preparing exclusively for German colleges, so YFU students typically do not attend classes at this level.

Extracurriculars: Outside of school, most German youths are involved in organizations such as sports clubs, church, and community education centers. Exchange students are encouraged to take advantage of the extracurricular activities offered in their communities.

Additional Information

Orientations: All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. All orientation costs are included in program tuition. Year students will attend a mid-year orientation, held in various cities like Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, and Berlin. The mid-term orientation will be six days and each orientation provides a wonderful opportunity to meet other YFU students and explore German history, culture, and politics. Before returning back home, students will also take part in a two-day regional re-entry orientation. These orientations are also included in the program tuition.

Important information: Students who have previously participated in a semester or year exchange in another country are not eligible for a year or semester program in Germany. In addition, applicants should be aware that smoking is prohibited for anyone under the age of 18 in Germany. Students going to any Germany program do not need to obtain a visa prior to departure. YFU USA exchange students will apply for a residence permit in Germany with the help of YFU Germany and their host families.

"There are certain experiences in life that seem to set the stage for everything that follows. Receiving the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship was that experience. Everything that I accomplished up to this point would not have been possible, could not have been imagined if I hadn't studied abroad in Germany!.” - Miranda, Germany 2013

Tuition includes

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Enrollment in a local German high school (excluding summer students)
  • Airport transfers
  • Domestic and international travel
  • All pre-departure and post-arrival orientations
  • Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
  • Support from a YFU Germany Area Representative while on program
  • Comprehensive insurance

Additional Costs: Textbooks, school fees, and transportation to school are not included in program tuition and vary depending on where students are placed. Program tuition does not include personal spending money. YFU Germany recommends that students plan for about €120 for every month that they are on the program.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for all winter and spring departure programs (January-March) is October 1. The deadline to apply for scholarships is December 1. The deadline for all summer or fall departure programs (June-September) is March 15. Programs can fill up before the deadline, so we encourage early submission!

Program taught in:
  • German

See 22 more programs offered by Youth for Understanding USA »

This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
1 - 2 semesters
13,995 USD
Semester program
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2020
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
Sep 2020
End Date
Application deadline

Sep 2020

Application deadline
End Date
Application deadline
End Date