Germany is not only the most populous country in the European Union, it is also a global leader in industry and the fourth largest economic powerhouse in the world. With a long and complex history spanning hundreds of years, of both bright and dark times, the German people have shown great resilience in rebuilding and becoming one of the most prominent nations in our modern age. Embarking on a high school program in Germany will prove a tremendously enriching experience for young adventurers from all over who are ambitious to travel and see the world.
Berlin is Germany’s capital and largest city. Located in the northeastern corner of the country straddling the River Spree, Berlin is a tremendously fascinating urban environment that has gone through many changes in modern history. While attending a high school program in Berlin you will notice some distinct differences between East and West Berlin, which have endured since the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of Soviet rule in the late 20th century. Today, Berlin stands as a thriving city, and a central political, technological, and artistic hub of the European continent.
Munich is another very popular city for high school programs in Germany. As Germany’s third largest city, Munich is consistently ranked as one of the most livable places in the world and offers a wealth of cultural, historic, and sporting attractions, which beg to be explored. Munich’s beautiful blend of historic and modern architecture will provide an excellent backdrop for your high school experience in Germany.
Other popular cities for high school programs in Germany include Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Dusseldorf. Each city has something unique to offer, so spend some time researching which of these potential locations seems most enticing to you. If you can’t decide on one location don’t fret; many cultural immersion programs for high school students will also take you traveling throughout the country, or even throughout Europe, meaning you don’t always have to choose just one!
High School Programs in Germany
Most high school abroad programs in Germany are focused either on intensive German language lessons or more general cultural exploration opportunities. If you are learning the German language then there is nothing quite like traveling to the country and being implanted in a situation where you can practice on a daily basis. Some high school programs in Germany will provide lessons specifically targeted at international students, while others place students at a local high school where they learn alongside German students.
Cultural exploration programs do not necessarily require high school students to learn the German language, as they are more centered around familiarization with the arts, history, architecture, politics, and other cultural facets of German tradition. Students will have the opportunity to tour a variety of museums, monuments, and other educational attractions across a given location while also supplementing these outings with courses for academic credit.
High school programs in Germany are most commonly offered over the summer, for a period ranging from two to eight weeks, so that students do not have to miss any school to go abroad. The level of supervision varies between programs, with some offering a full time schedule and strict guidance, and others offering a greater degree of personal freedom. Parents and students should discuss the different program options to come to an agreement on which will provide the best possible high school experience abroad.
Scholarships & Costs
Costs of living in Germany are moderate by European standards, and the country is actually more affordable than most countries in Scandinavia and Western Europe. While program fees covering airfare, housing, and other aspects of the trip can be expensive, finances should not prevent you from embarking on this adventure. There are many scholarship opportunities available for ambitious high school students who want to study abroad in Germany and fundraising with friends, family, and at your school is another great great way to raise money for the trip.
Accommodation & Visas
Most high school programs in Germany will set you up living in a homestay or in dormitory style housing. Homestays are highly recommended as they provide you with the unique experience of total cultural immersion into a local family, as well as the opportunity to form a close relationship with your host and practice the German language regularly. Dormitory style living can be a fun option too living with other students, and most programs will set you up with a good degree of security and supervision so you know you will be safe and accounted for.
You might need to apply for a visa if you plan on staying in Germany for more than 90 days, so consult with your program provider on whether or not this will be a requirement.
Benefits & Challenges
Traveling abroad during high school will look great on your college applications and resume, but more importantly it will be a tremendously enriching experience which will expand your worldview at a young age. There are a large variety of programs for high school students in many locations across Germany. While leaving home and embarking alone on a global adventure may seem like a daunting prospect prior to departure, it is more than likely that you will look back on your high school program in Germany as one of the best decisions of your high school career.