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Germany is a vibrant, economically and culturally diverse country – a world leader in renewable energy technologies, manufacturing, tourism and culture. Germany enjoys successful schools, accessible public transportation, historic town centers, and livable, pedestrian-friendly communities.

Exchange students are placed with host families in both large and small communities throughout Germany, and attend the 10th or 11th grade at a Gymnasium, or other public high school.

NWSE will help you arrange after-school German lessons for the duration of your exchange to help accelerate your language acquisition. You should also plan to join other after-school and community activities together with your German peers, so you can further improve your language skills, find friends, and learn about German culture.

Application Requirements

  • Between the ages of 15 and 18 at the start of the program
  • Current enrollment in 9th-11th grade at an accredited high school
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (out of 4.0)*
  • Current formal study of German and successful completion of one year of high school German at the start of the program; motivation to experience German culture
  • Successful completion of German language test. Existing German skills are a significant advantage.
  • Maturity, good character, scholastic aptitude
  • Good physical and mental health

* NWSE may consider you for the program with a GPA below 3.0 if you can demonstrate appropriate qualifications in other areas. We are happy answer any questions about the application requirements.

Program Dates

The program dates below are approximate:

Program Start Program End
Academic Year Program: Late July to mid-September Late June – early August
Fall Semester Program: Late July to mid-September Mid-January – late February
Spring Semester Program: Early January to late February Late June – early August

The Program Includes:

  • Placement with a carefully screened volunteer host family who provides room and board
  • Supervision by an NWSE representative in Germany
  • Acceptance to a German high school
  • Travel insurance (if chosen)
  • German language course twice a week after school
  • Pre-departure and post-arrival student orientations
  • Required documents for the German residence permit
  • Orientation for the host family in Germany
  • Advising and counseling, when needed, throughout the application process and program
  • Handbooks and informational resources for students
  • NWSE certificate of participation upon successful program completion

Not included in program fees:

  • Plane tickets and other travel-related expenses. NWSE can help you book an affordable flight
  • Fees for German residence permit (approx. 100 Euros) and, for non-U.S. citizens, a German Visa
  • Passport fees
  • School supplies
  • Lunch, if you do not to pack lunch from your host family home
  • Personal expenses, including for public transportation. NWSE recommends at least $250 per month for the duration of the program plus $250 for each semester
  • Any other expenses or services not listed as being included in the program fees

Program Fees

Please contact NWSE for program fee information. Scholarships (“fee reductions”), based on merit and need, may be available.

The NWSE Exchange Award

Includes host family and school placement, insurance, airfare. Learn more and register online for the NWSE Exchange Award to Germany. NWSE Exchange Award recipients are chosen on the basis of merit, need, qualification and motivation.