• Germany
4 - 52 weeks
Program Categories
Cultural Immersion Study Abroad

Program Details

Program Type
Academic Year Fall Spring
Host Family


Starting Price
Price Details
Visit website for more details.
What's Included
Accommodation Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

- Enrollment in a local high school
- All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
- Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
- Support from a YFU Germany Area Representative while on program

What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Dec 20, 2019
May 28, 2018
18 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Study abroad in Germany with YFU. Regardless of your level of German, you will have opportunities to improve and practice with native speakers. Students will take classes at a local school and live with a German family. Your host family will help you adjust to living in Germany and introduce you to your new environment while supporting you during your exchange. While in Germany, you have the option to visit some of the country's most iconic cities and sites, all the while attending a local high school and making new friends.

YFU also offers six-week summer stays in Germany for students looking for a shorter option. Experience what daily life is like in Germany while learning about German culture, trying exciting new foods, and experiencing traditions that are different from your own. All the while, no matter what your level of German, your language proficiency and comfort expressing yourself will improve!

Program Reviews

4.89 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • 5 rating 88.89%
  • 4 rating 11.11%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.8
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.9
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 9 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing but Difficult

I was a student who didn't know exactly what they were doing when I got there, and I didn't speak any of the language. I had problems with my host family because they didn't understand my cultural differences and rather than move me, they made my sit there with them despite the fact that they didn't want me there I was left there for a month, and blamed me for my families treatment of me. I finally moved and had a fantastic experience with another family in the way north. I learned alot of the language, I learned more about myself then I ever would have at home, and finally learned how to be happy. Now I have a second home, another family, and an amazing best friend from my time there, and my life will never be the same.

What would you improve about this program?
YFU Germany needs to step up and not blame there students for literally every problem they have.
65 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange- take this opportunity!

I grew up hearing stories of my mom's exchange year with CBYX and couldn't wait to embark on an adventure of my own in Germany. I felt very well prepared going into my exchange year, as I attended an orientation in Washington D.C. beforehand hosted by YFU. My first taste, per say, of Youth for Understanding was wonderful. I was deeply impressed by the staff members and my fellow YFU exchange students. The alumni gave great tips and engaged our attention. The YFU staff abroad in Germany were also very personable and did a great job of pushing us to use German as much as possible, even during the arrival orientation. Overall, I had a year full of surprises and adventures, but also self-development and extreme independence. While I had a support system of Area Reps and YFU staff to help me whenever I needed it, I really discovered a side of myself and of the world completely independently. My advice to anyone considering the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange or a program with YFU: put yourself and your knowledge of what it means to be a member of a global community to the test. You will grow in ways you cannot fathom, and you will not regret your decision. The connections you make with alumni, your host family and friends abroad are important in broadening the respect we need to continue to foster for different cultures and peoples.

What would you improve about this program?
As I mentioned in my review, I really appreciated the support system YFU offered me. That being said, I did wish at times that it was a little more hands off in terms of the fact that I did not find monthly meetings with my Area Rep completely necessary at times. I also wished that the information presented at orientations and seminars had not been repeated so much; diversifying it would be a really great improvement in my opinion.
71 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

YFU Germany (CBYX) 2015-2016

From beginning to end, YFU was fantastic about telling us what to expect. From logistics to travel to programs to exchange curves, I and my host family, for one, were always informed and reminded well in advance of important dates and events (sometimes too much, perhaps!). Some things--like the language, finding activities/friends, etc.--depend very much on the individual exchange student, so that I will not divulge too much into. I will say, however, that even though the host family is also a chance of compatibility, mine was truly lovely, and I am at least thankful that YFU has the great measures and savoir faire to be able to find those wonderful families willing to open their hearts and homes.
In Germany, I was in Bavaria, and seem to have undergone a somewhat different experience from others in Germany with my local area rep--in short, Daniela and Karl Lutz were fantastic. They frequently organized get-togethers for the students in the Augsburg area (city tours, Christmas cookie making, host family dinners, etc.!) and were almost a second German home to me especially. I had no major problems with school or host family or such that I needed to report to my area rep specifically, but if I did, I'm positive that they would have been fantastic in supporting me and finding solutions.

77 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

The ups and downs of my exchange year

As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed my exchange year. My German improved immensely, I was able to see a lot of Europe, and my host family was wonderful. The school was a little boring to me, but that's to be expected when it's a gap year and therefore doesn't count for anything. The language camp was amazing; we got to spend three weeks with other exchange students making friends, learning the language and culture, and enjoying a temporary host family before we went to live with our permanent host families. I also loved the mid-year orientation and end-of-year orientation. YFU definitely kept us safe but gave us plenty of freedom abroad. For instance, we were free to travel after we filled out the required form (which was very easy). The one main down in my year was when I switched host families after the first month and a half. YFU was helpful, but kind of made me feel like I had to find myself a new host family, which put a lot of pressure on a student in a new country and at a new school. It all worked out for the best, but maybe they could have approached that situation a little better. I would encourage anyone who wants to go abroad to choose YFU, because they really care about your success and give you the tools you need to succeed! My experience with them was life changing :)

What would you improve about this program?
Like I said above, YFU could approach the topic better of students switching host families. Maybe looking for more back up families or at least not expecting the student to find the new family.
72 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program


I spent one year in Germany through the CBYX scholarship and it changed my life forever. I was able to learn a new language, meet tons of amazing people, and develop myself personally. I would recommend YFU because I always felt supported and always got good, educated answers when I called with a question. I had to go through a host family switch and they were great, facilitating my needs and always making sure I was safe. So, go out and change your life and participate in a YFU exchange!

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend that YFU use email as their main form of contact, because I feel like so much paper was wasted throughout my exchange year. They would send each letter twice, one for me and one for my host family, when it could have easily all been emailed.
74 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Exchanges to Two Unfamiliar Countries

After meeting a few of the exchange students that attended my high school during freshman year, I quickly committed to the idea of doing an exchange of my own. Unfortunately, this dream definitely came with a high price tag that made me consider whether or not I would have to wait until college or beyond to end up traveling. After discovering that Youth For Understanding had a range of scholarships (including the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) & Okinawa Peace scholarship programs), I found that it was actually impossible to go abroad without price being an issue. I spent my sophomore year of high school abroad as a CBYX scholar which was arguably the most important year of my life in terms of defining who I am today. Thanks to my year in Germany, I have lifelong friends and connections that will last me a lifetime. This upcoming summer, two of my German school friends will even end up spending a few weeks visiting me in Michigan! Studying abroad has led me to be more confident in talking to unfamiliar faces, given me a sense of what's important for my future (I'm planning on studying outside of the United States for college), and motivated me to take any chance I can to travel the world. My first exchange experience was so unique and exciting that I ended up spending the summer after my junior year in Okinawa, once again with YFU. I'm looking forward to becoming more involved in the international community in my future, thanks to my adventures abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
My support system felt much stronger in Germany than in Japan. In a way this was to be expected since I was in Germany for a full academic year, whereas in Okinawa I only spent six weeks living in the area. I would have appreciated having more contact with my assigned local coordinator in Japan in order to keep updated about travel arrangements, difficulties transitioning into school, etc. By having a stronger network of volunteers that maintain contact with students in some countries and regions, the exchange experience could have been a bit more smooth.
74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Abroad 2015-16 with CBYX-YFU in Germany

My time spent in Germany has been life changing! One of my most favorite memories was afternoons spent with my sisters, biking around my city and exploring Europa by train, bus, and by foot. I was able to visit the town were my grandfather grew up, aided refugees, and made friends and family internationally. I am grateful for YFU, they truly made my experience amazing and always helped me. One of the best things, was my 3 week language camp as soon as I was in Germany. Not only did that help my German, but I have such great memories

What would you improve about this program?
More exchange students!
73 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Don't Let This AMAZING Opportunity Slip Away!

When I was 14, I received a full scholarship (the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship) to study abroad in Germany my sophomore year of high school.

Wow, was that an amazing year.

Not only do I have a second home, fluency in a second language, and some incredible, international friends; I also have such a heightened and much more enthusiastic outlook on the world that I would have certainly never acquired had I not studied abroad. I am a global citizen; the world is my home, and I couldn't be more excited to explore it after having lived abroad.

My exchange year made me stand out from my classmates and presented me with myriad opportunities and ideas (that still keep coming!) that would not have been possible without my exchange experience.

I think of Germany every day -- after all, it really is my home away from home.

I deeply urge each and every one of you reading this to go onto Youth for Understanding's website and at least check out their programs and scholarship opportunities. I am more than certain that there will be at least one program that really suits you, although studying abroad anywhere will truly be a life changing experience.

I'll end with this cheesy, but important note: Do yourself, your resume, and your future and big favor and study abroad today. ;)

What would you improve about this program?
Like any study abroad program, I wish they were more affordable so that they may be accessible to more students. I was very fortunate to receive a full scholarship -- had I not, my amazing year abroad in Germany would not have been possible.

Naturally YFU and other organizations do not have complete control over program costs, but I certainly wish that there wasn't such a hefty price tag placed over these programs.
71 people found this review helpful.
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