Student Exchange Programs in Germany

Become fluent in German

A student exchange program to Germany will introduce you to a world filled with culture, literature, and history

Becoming an exchange student in Germany is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself as a local in this exciting country. A student exchange program in Germany will see you surrounded by the most beautiful landscapes while visiting castles and being welcomed by the most friendly people everywhere you turn. When staying with a German host family and attending a local high school, you will gain a unique insight into German culture and become fluent in this widely popular language.

As a German speaker, you can communicate with millions of people. This is a qualification that will open doors in the future and be of benefit in your career. Germany is one of the world’s strongest economies, and as an exchange student, you will enjoy a country with friendly people, quality education, and living standards.

Willkommen in Deutschland!

Quick facts

Age of students: 15–17 years

Departure: August, January, October, November, December

Language requirements: One year’s German study is required prior to departure

Visa: Yes, subject to program length

Area choice: Yes

Soft Landing Camp: Yes, in Mannheim

School day: Normally from 8 to 15

Subjects: There are both compulsory subjects and electives, short programs may not have a choice in subjects

Program: Classic High School

Views from Germany

Choose your location in Germany

Northern, Western, Southern or Eastern Germany? With Southern Cross Cultural Exchange, you can request a location in Germany to spend your exchange program. Check out our area requests and secure your spot today.  

The experience of a lifetime

Travelling on a student exchange program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shapes your future. Check out this short guide to planning your year in Germany. Then request a call with us to make that plan a reality.     

About high school in Germany

As an exchange student in Germany, you will experience the life of the German teenagers. The classes in the high school here are usually quite informal, and students are encouraged to think and participate actively in the classroom discussions.

All your classes will be in German, which may be a bit challenging at first, but your teachers are willing to help you. Each day, you will notice how your language skills improve, and soon you will be able to join the discussions just like any other German student.

Enquire now

Subjects and school activities

The German high schools vary in course offerings depending on the grade, the community, and the federal state, the “Bundesland” that the school is located in. Along with traditional subjects such as math, German, foreign languages, science, history, and physical education, most schools offer a range of elective courses. These can be IT, music, choir, photography, dance, and various sports.

Schools typically start early in the morning and finish at around midday/early afternoon. Most schools do not have a lunch break as they generally finish early. The education system is seen to be very organised and structured and is proven to produce high-performing results. It is a system that gives students the opportunity to study up to university level, regardless of the family financial status. Students do not need to wear school uniforms.

Enquire now

Semesters and breaks

Secondary education in Germany consists of five different types; Gymnasium (grammar school), Fachoberschule, Realschule (middle school), Mittelschule and Gesamtschule. Every state in Germany has its own school system, and start and end dates vary depending on which state you are in.

Enquire now

Your spare time in Germany

Metropolitan cities, idyllic villages, green hills, and beautiful rivers. The best way to immerse in the German culture is to be openminded and join your host family and friends’ activities after school and on weekends. This will help at the beginning of your exchange when you are settling in and getting to know both your family and classmates as well as Germany. If you are lucky, you might also have a school trip and be able to see more of the beautiful nation.

Sports and activities

As in many European countries, soccer (football) is the most popular sport in Germany. Getting involved in a sports team is a perfect way to meet new friends. If you do not play football, we highly recommend you support one of the Bundesliga teams during your exchange anyway. The atmosphere at live games is wonderful and talking about soccer is a great ice-breaker when meeting a new people.

In Germany, there is also a long tradition of playing instruments, so if you play an instrument or sing, we suggest you join a choir, band or orchestra. If you do not play any instrument now, why not try something new?

Enquire now

Staying with a German host family

By staying with a host family, you will immerse yourself living like a true German. You will try typical German food such as different kind of wursts and sauerbraten and find out more about the customs and traditions. It is the ultimate way to get to know the country from the inside out.

Since you will be surrounded by the German language almost all the time, you may become a fluent speaker much faster than you can imagine. Make sure to engage in conversations with your host family, even if you may be a bit insecure in the beginning. Tell them about your day and ask them about theirs. Like this, you will become increasingly fluent as each day passes.

Carefully selected host families

Our host families come in all shapes and sizes, and they live all over Germany. Some have children and pets, some live in big houses in the countryside and others in apartments in the city. What they all have in common is that they have a passion for cultural exchange and are looking forward to finding out more about you and where you are from. Introduce them to some films, music or recipes from home. It is always appreciated when the students do that little extra to show recognition to their host families.

About our host families

About high school in Germany

As an exchange student in Germany, you will experience the life of the German teenagers. The classes in the high school here are usually quite informal, and students are encouraged to think and participate actively in the classroom discussions.

All your classes will be in German, which may be a bit challenging at first, but your teachers are willing to help you. Each day, you will notice how your language skills improve, and soon you will be able to join the discussions just like any other German student.

Enquire now
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Subjects and school activities

The German high schools vary in course offerings depending on the grade, the community, and the federal state, the “Bundesland” that the school is located in. Along with traditional subjects such as math, German, foreign languages, science, history, and physical education, most schools offer a range of elective courses. These can be IT, music, choir, photography, dance, and various sports.

Schools typically start early in the morning and finish at around midday/early afternoon. Most schools do not have a lunch break as they generally finish early. The education system is seen to be very organised and structured and is proven to produce high-performing results. It is a system that gives students the opportunity to study up to university level, regardless of the family financial status. Students do not need to wear school uniforms.

Enquire now
banner-img

Semesters and breaks

Secondary education in Germany consists of five different types; Gymnasium (grammar school), Fachoberschule, Realschule (middle school), Mittelschule and Gesamtschule. Every state in Germany has its own school system, and start and end dates vary depending on which state you are in.

Enquire now
banner-img

Your spare time in Germany

Metropolitan cities, idyllic villages, green hills, and beautiful rivers. The best way to immerse in the German culture is to be openminded and join your host family and friends’ activities after school and on weekends. This will help at the beginning of your exchange when you are settling in and getting to know both your family and classmates as well as Germany. If you are lucky, you might also have a school trip and be able to see more of the beautiful nation.

Sports and activities

As in many European countries, soccer (football) is the most popular sport in Germany. Getting involved in a sports team is a perfect way to meet new friends. If you do not play football, we highly recommend you support one of the Bundesliga teams during your exchange anyway. The atmosphere at live games is wonderful and talking about soccer is a great ice-breaker when meeting a new people.

In Germany, there is also a long tradition of playing instruments, so if you play an instrument or sing, we suggest you join a choir, band or orchestra. If you do not play any instrument now, why not try something new?

Enquire now
banner-img

Staying with a German host family

By staying with a host family, you will immerse yourself living like a true German. You will try typical German food such as different kind of wursts and sauerbraten and find out more about the customs and traditions. It is the ultimate way to get to know the country from the inside out.

Since you will be surrounded by the German language almost all the time, you may become a fluent speaker much faster than you can imagine. Make sure to engage in conversations with your host family, even if you may be a bit insecure in the beginning. Tell them about your day and ask them about theirs. Like this, you will become increasingly fluent as each day passes.

Carefully selected host families

Our host families come in all shapes and sizes, and they live all over Germany. Some have children and pets, some live in big houses in the countryside and others in apartments in the city. What they all have in common is that they have a passion for cultural exchange and are looking forward to finding out more about you and where you are from. Introduce them to some films, music or recipes from home. It is always appreciated when the students do that little extra to show recognition to their host families.

About our host families
banner-img

Soft Landing Camp in Mannheim

When going on an exchange year to Germany, your adventure will start at the Soft Landing Camp in the city of Mannheim, in southwestern Germany. For three days, you will meet other Southern Cross Cultural Exchange students that are also spending their exchange in Germany as well as discover the lovely city. Together we get prepared in the very best way through workshops and sightseeing. This is available for long programs only.  Please note the SLC is an optional extra.  

Hear from our former exchange students in Germany

Sonia in Germany

Sonia shares her view and tips from her student exchange in Germany.

Read her story here.

Jessica

“If you’re going to come half way around the world, take every opportunity you can. This is a once in a lifetime experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
That first step is always the hardest. It will be worth it.”

Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

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