AFS High School Program in Germany

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Known for their direct communication, Germans love spirited conversation about politics, economics, environmental issues and any other issue one can take a side on. They also passionately follow their soccer teams, especially after hosting the World Cup in 2006. You could be placed in one of three types of German schools, though most likely will be enrolled in a Gymnasium (college preparatory), a program that includes the classics, modern languages, math, or the natural sciences. Teenagers generally devote their time to academics during the week. Because there is no school in the afternoon, school-based extracurricular activities are not commonly offered; instead, communities organize activities for teens, and there are frequently festivals year-round in towns and villages.

  • Live with a host family and experience German hospitality
  • Attend a local high school and participate in the German educational system
  • Develop your language skills and learn the ins-and-outs of everyday German life
  • Gift shop or browse a world-famous Christmas markets during the winter months
  • Enjoy some of the heartiest cuisines on the planet (think schnitzel, bratwurst and thick bread)

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4

AFS: Better than the rest

When abroad with AFS on the CBYX Department of state scholarship for the 2014-2016 school year, my experience was an A++. AFS matters. We had the opportunity to meet other exchangers, travel around the country, had a support network and attended camps throughout the year. AFS helps students become immersed in their exchange communu=itys while providing paid trips, 24/7 on phone emergency contact, and a mentor who is a part of the respective country of study. Better hope your place in the Leipzig chapter, they're the coolest! I meet Step In, Flag and other exchangers with other programs. No one is happier than an AFSer!

How can this program be improved?
AFS can do a better job of screening students to host families. Its the families which hand pick the students they wish to host. If a student doesn't like their placement, they can always change! AFS is flexable.
Yes, I recommend
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An unforgettable year

My year abroad to Germany is something I could do over and over again. The events I've witnessed, the scenery I've admired, the people I've crossed paths with, the food I salivated for, the family that became a permanent pillar in my life--an experience like that can't be replicated in any other way.

I was placed in a village in Northeastern Germany. On weekends, I'd bike an hour through the countryside to reach an ancient castle, amidst a garden. I would proceed to eat cake and drink tea and enjoy the nature and history around me. Other times I would take a train to a different city or part of Germany and absorb everything it has to offer.

I plunged into the culture and it accepted me. When living in a different country, you have to let go of your morals, your traditions, and misconceptions. When you let the country's culture overtake your own, you will be treated as part of the community. It's a wonderful, satisfying feeling.

Leaving home at a young age made me learn a lot about myself and how capable I can be in certain situations. A trip abroad will change a person. If someone denies this, they haven't truly immersed themselves in their new life.

I would strongly reccomend going abroad. Especially to Germany. I've been to several countries, I've lived in a few. But my heart belongs to Germany. The people are hearty, warm, and strong. They work but they like to enjoy life too.

AFS was hands on, always there if you needed them. They constantly interacted with the students and helped them see more of Germany.

I know I'm writing about AFS, but I must mention that I recently came from a year exchange in Japan with a different organization. It was horrible. I didn't appreciate AFS as much as I do now. They stay in touch with you even after the program ends and give you opportunities for activities and travels beyond that.

Yes, I recommend
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Das Leben der Stadt

My year abroad was--FANTASTIC! I studied abroad on the Speedwell Scholarship through AFS and had the best time of my life. I did face some challenges with my first host family, but overcame them and moved to a wonderful family living in inner city Cologne, Germany. Life in the city was exciting and new for a country bumpkin like myself! Some of the best times I had while abroad were spent at exchange student camps and traveling with amazing people from all over the world. This experience of independence, exploration, and inner-exploration changed my life in amazing ways. Plus, it gives me an edge in school and on college applications! Take the plunge and spend a year abroad! Your life will be changed!

How can this program be improved?
Give the host families more training and really screen them beforehand. My first host family was in no way prepared to take on an exchange student. Should an exchange student be placed in an unfriendly environment such as the one I was placed in, AFS should really help the student in changing the host family. One committee was very helpful and I was very grateful, while my own committee just stood by and watched.
Yes, I recommend
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Best year of my life

Not a single day goes by that I don't think about my year abroad. I lived a life of a minority, by attending a school with a predominant Turkish school and living with a Turkish family. By living in another family, I was able to grow into a new person and learn adaptability. I had an experience of having siblings and a HUGE extended family that lived so close by. It was like nothing I was used to. Having my life turned upside down and nothing seeming normal, has made me a better person. The family and friends I now have in Berlin, makes it a magical city, and I would not of had that if it wasn't for

Yes, I recommend


AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS...