Home to many of the world's most famous artists, philosophers, scientists, and inventors, Germany has areas of study and opportunities for immersion for all sorts of students in high school.
Study history in Berlin and learn about WWII on a visit to Checkpoint Charlie, or the Berlin Wall that once separated east and west. Go back in time while exploring the Neuschwanstein Castle, which inspired Disney's famous Sleeping Beauty. Practice your language skills while living with a host family in Frankfurt. You can even embrace modernism in art, architecture and technology in Dresden, near the Czech border.
Germany is perfect for high school students who are interested in history, the arts, international affairs, German language, want to be in the center of Europe, and who love bratwurst.
If you're interested in spending time abroad in Germany while in high school, there are several different types of programs you can choose from.
Semester, Gap Year, or Full Year Exchange
What's better than having several months to bring the places in your textbook to life? Study abroad in a historical village like Niederalteich, live with a host family on the outskirts of a big city, or immerse yourself in the urbanization of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, or Frankfurt alongside German students in your age group. Take all of your basic courses abroad, while also enhancing your language skills with extra German language practice, both inside and outside of the classroom with your international friends and host family.
Want to perfect your German? Then a 2-8 week summer camp program might be just what you're looking for. Students on a language immersive program can plan on taking 4 hours of German a day, or 20 hours a week, while living with a host family. You'll also get to put your language skills to the test on excursions around the city with your program.
Summer Study Abroad
Put your problem solving skills to the test over the summer while attending a program filled with different workshops around Germany and bordering countries, focused on pressing issues in international relations, business, and engineering. Other programs allow you to live with a host family in the suburbs of an city and practice your German language skills, or take rigorous STEM courses.
Get to know Europe by traveling to the countries where some of your favorite philosophers, politicians, artists, and writers are from. If you enroll in a teen travel program over the summer, some other countries you could spend time in include the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Switzerland, England, Belgium, Netherlands, and Austria. Areas of study include political science, European history, and the arts. Students looking to really familiarize themselves with Germany can enroll in a teen travel program that takes them through urban cities like Berlin and Munich, while also spending time in fairytale castle towns.
Planning Your Trip
Because Germany is in the Schengen zone, students may enter the country for up to 90 days without the need to acquire a visa. Students on semester or year long programs will be given visa assistance from their program provider.
All travelers must make sure that their passport will be valid for at least three months after their intended departure date from Germany, or else they may not be allowed to enter. For more information, please refer to the US Department of State's website.
Students on semester, year long, and summer programs in one city can expect to stay with a host family. Traveling programs will place students in youth hostels or hotels in the cities they visit to with their programs.
The official currency in Germany is the Euro, which right now is almost equal to the USD. ($1 = .91 Euros.) Most of your meals will be provided through your program and host family, but it's always smart to budget an extra 8-15 Euros for lunch, or 30-40 euros for a nice three-course dinner in case you would like to splurge on some delicious schnitzel or goulash. Germany has many affordable entertainment options, and museums tend to offer discounts to students as well. Lonely Planet is a great resource for all things cost related in Germany.
Program costs vary depending on duration. Semester programs range between $9,500 and $13,000, while year programs cost between $11,280 and $19,995. If you plan to spend the summer in Germany, or embark on a teen travel program, expect to spend between $1,400 and $8,330 for 2 to 12 weeks.
Germany experiences seasons the same time that we do here, so pack accordingly to the time of year you are going. Here are some essentials that you can't forget at home:
- Comfortable walking sneakers
- A nice outfit or two
- Plain clothing that mixes and matches well (and will save you room in your suitcase for your souvenirs)
- A waterproof jacket
- 220v power adapter
- A backpack for weekend excursions out of town
- Flip flops for hostel showers, if you travel with your program
Health and Safety
According to The Travel Vaccination Companion, the only recommended vaccination prior to entering Germany is Tick-borne encephalitis.
Part of immersing yourself in a new culture means embracing the food! Some German favorites include schnitzel, bratwurst, homemade pretzels, and of course bier (their liquid bread)! For more food recommendations, refer to Go Oversea's article, 10 MUST Try Foods and Drinks when Studying in Germany.
Germany is one of the safest places to spend time abroad while in high school! The only danger here is really petty theft, so we recommend only caring a modest amount of cash with you, and making copies of your bank information to leave at home. To be extra safe, students can even wear a money belt to secure their passport, money, and important documents.