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To live and study in Germany is to discover a world of contradictions. The country is renowned for its precision and orderliness, but it’s also the land of “Dichter und Denker” (“poets and thinkers”), with world-class musicians like Wagner and Bach. By staying with a host family and attending a local high school, you’ll have the opportunity to observe both sides of German culture as well as become a vital part of the community. Germany’s reputation for quality and efficiency means you’ll likely attend a well-organized, competitive school, where you’ll be able to learn the language and experience life as a regular German teenager.

Eligibility Requirements

Participants must be between the ages of 15,6 and 18,6 years old on the day of departure.

The AFS Program

After your host parents greet you with traditional hospitality, it shouldn’t be long before you feel at home in their open, friendly community. By going to a local high school, you’ll be totally immersed in a new language and customs, and what you learn during the day will be reinforced at night when you spend time with your host family. This is your chance to break out of your comfort zone and join in this diverse and ever-evolving culture.

Your high school

You’ll most likely attend a college prep school called a Gymnasium, but you could also be enrolled in a Realschule (which only goes up to grade 10) or a Gesamtschule (which is a comprehensive public school). Classes usually begin around 7:30 or 8:30 am and end by 2 pm. Because most German students don’t attend school in the afternoon, many teenagers are involved in local sports clubs (Verein) or music lessons. Most host families will encourage you to participate in after-school activities, since they’re a good way to make friends and learn about German culture.

You’ll begin learning German through a Rosetta Stone course before you depart to help you communicate with your host family and friends as soon as you arrive in Germany. If you stay for the full year, you’ll have the opportunity to take additional language lessons with your local AFS volunteer chapter.

For more information on fees and scholarships.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad.
“Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.


What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Individual Contact Person
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • School Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Re-entry Orientation
  • Global Competence Certificate
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • Stipend
  • School Uniform