High School Exchange in Germany

 for students aged 12 to 18 

Explore the Dynamic Life of Germany: Embark on an adventure with a high school exchange program in Germany. This unparalleled opportunity allows you to not only enhance your German language proficiency but also immerse yourself in the country's rich cultural heritage and storied history. Experience Germany's captivating fusion of tradition and modernity, making it a truly unique destination. With CULTURE Bridge as your trusted partner, you'll feel supported every step of the way, ensuring you can fully relish your time in this land of innovation and cultural diversity. Choose from our diverse range of programs and extensive selection of schools to tailor your ideal experience for a year abroad in Germany.

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 Click here    for comprehensive and practical tips for your application for a high school exchange in Germany. From preparing for the application interview to what awaits you upon your return to Germany, we guide you step by step.

You will receive detailed information about the  costs of a year abroad  in Germany.

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Embark on a journey to England and immerse yourself in its rich history with a high school exchange – CULTURE Bridge is your perfect guide! The country captivates with its historical cities, picturesque landscapes, and world-famous landmarks that make England truly distinctive.

Known for their politeness and humor, the English make it a particularly popular destination for a high school exchange. Despite economic and political challenges – England has undergone many changes – the English have always retained their charm, gathered in cozy pubs, and preserved traditions. You can still experience this blend of history and modernity today, especially during a high school exchange in England.


Support and Assistance
During your stay in Germany, you won't be left alone. Experienced advisors will be available on-site to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Many schools also have counselors who specifically cater to international guest students. A key point of contact is the "Pastoral Tutor," who will support you especially with subject selection and personal concerns.

Structure of the School Year
The school year in Germany is divided into two semesters and typically runs from late August or early September to late June or early July. The semesters are structured as follows:

  • August/September to January/February
  • February/March to June/July

If your stay extends over the Christmas holidays, you may have the opportunity to fly home during this time. You have the flexibility to participate in the exchange program starting from one semester onwards.

The German School System

During your high school exchange, you'll experience the German school system, which is divided into several main phases:

  • Sekundarstufe I (Lower Secondary Education): The first six years of secondary education, typically from ages 10 to 16. This phase culminates with the Hauptschulabschluss, Realschulabschluss, or Gymnasium Abschluss depending on the type of school attended.
  • Sekundarstufe II (Upper Secondary Education): The final two to three years of secondary education, from ages 16 to 18. This phase ends with the Abitur examination, which is necessary for university admission.

During these years, students have the opportunity to specialize in certain subjects and prepare for their future academic or professional careers. The German school system offers a balanced mix of academic studies and practical experiences to ensure comprehensive education.

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Denominational Schools and School Uniforms

Many German schools have a denominational background. However, nowadays, religious affiliation does not play a crucial role in student admission. Traditionally, students in Germany do not wear school uniforms like in England. While some schools may have stricter dress codes, others may allow for more casual attire. The costs for school uniforms are not typically included in the program fees for your exchange in Germany.


German high schools boast a wide-ranging and diverse selection of subjects. In addition to core subjects, students have the opportunity to choose from a variety of electives based on their grade level. In secondary school (Sekundarstufe I and II), subjects like mathematics, German, natural sciences, social sciences, and a foreign language are mandatory. Furthermore, students can select additional subjects that align with their interests and abilities.

Sekundarstufe II (Upper Secondary Education) - Years 11 and 12
During this phase, students can further specialize their subject choices. Alongside compulsory subjects, they have the option to select from various electives such as:

  • Mathematics
  • German (Literature and Language)
  • Natural Sciences (combined or separate subjects)
  • Social Sciences (e.g., History or Geography)
  • Modern Foreign Languages

Additionally, students can opt for multiple electives tailored to their interests, including:

  • Arts and Design
  • Music
  • Computer Science
  • Design and Technology
  • Economics
  • Theater
  • Further Foreign Languages
  • Sports Sciences

Years 12 and 13 (Oberstufe)
In the Oberstufe (upper secondary level), students typically focus on three to four main subjects to specialize in. The range of subjects is even more extensive, encompassing a broad array of academic and vocational courses such as:

  • Mathematics and Further Mathematics
  • German Literature
  • Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Economics and Law
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • History and Geography
  • Arts and Design
  • Music and Theater
  • Computer Science
  • Languages (e.g., French, Spanish, German)

This diverse subject offering enables students to pursue their individual interests and talents and adequately prepare for their future academic or professional careers.

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During your stay in England, you'll be accommodated in a carefully selected host family near your school. These families have been chosen with great care by our partner organization. Each student will have their own room and will be provided with breakfast and dinner during the week. Full board will be available to students on weekends..


Quick Overview

Duration of Stay

Semester, Year

Application Deadlines

1st October for departure in January
1st May for departure in September

Country / Region

The North Sea and North Rhine-Westphalia



  • Counselling
  • Counselling in Germany
  • Assistance with the application
  • Confirmation of participation
  • Local counsellor on site
  • School place
  • School fees
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Local activities
  • Transfer on arrival in the host country and back
  • 24h emergency number
  • Surprise package
  • Participant certificate
  • pocket money
  • Optional excursions
  • material costs
  • Lunch at the school
  • Outward and return flight
  • Visa (for non-EU members)
  • Transfer

  Optionally bookable:

  • Outward and return flight
  • Tour to Berlin or Munich
  • Insurance
  • Welcome Camp
  • Transfer if different airport chosen


6 Reasons for a Student Exchange in Germany

A student exchange in Germany is a decision that will offer you unforgettable experiences and diverse cultural enrichment. Here are some personal reasons why you should consider a student exchange in Germany:

  1. Improvement of German Language Skills: A student exchange in Germany provides you with the perfect opportunity to deepen your German language skills. Through daily use of the language in school and everyday life, you will make rapid progress and learn to speak German fluently.
  2. Insights into Rich Culture and History: Germany is renowned for its rich culture and history. During your stay, you can visit famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the Berlin Wall. German culture, from literature to music and theater, will enrich your time there and open up new perspectives.
  3. Experience a Diverse Education System: The German education system offers a wide range of subjects and extracurricular activities. You can discover new interests and talents while furthering your education at an academically high level. The opportunity to take A-level courses can also open doors to international universities.
  4. Forge New Friendships and Networks: During your stay in Germany, you will meet people from various cultures and backgrounds. These new friendships and networks can last a lifetime and provide you with a more global perspective on life. Interacting with international students also enhances your intercultural competence.
  5. Personal Development and Independence: A student exchange in Germany is a challenge that will allow you to grow personally. You will learn to navigate in a new environment, act independently, and take on responsibility. These experiences will strengthen your self-confidence and prepare you for future challenges in life.
  6. An Exciting Time of Cultural Discoveries: A student exchange in Germany promises an exciting time filled with cultural discoveries, personal development, and unforgettable memories. Immerse yourself in German culture, explore the breathtaking nature, learn the language, and enjoy the hospitality of the people. Prepare for an adventure that will positively shape your life!

A student exchange in Germany promises an exciting time filled with cultural discoveries, personal development, and unforgettable memories. Immerse yourself in German culture, explore the breathtaking nature, learn the language, and enjoy the hospitality of the people. Prepare for an adventure that will positively shape your life!

Apply NOW