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    High School Exchange to Germany

    Commonly known as a major country of the "Old World," Germany is the ideal destination for exchange students. The Partnership International e.V. high school program provides the opportunity for students to become members of a German family and attend a German secondary school for either a semester or an academic year.
    This challenging experience allows young people to discover German life and traditions, and to learn the language of many famous poets like Goethe and Heine.
    After an unforgettable exchange experience students will return home full of memories, long-lasting friendships, and ideas on how to proceed with their young lives.

    Secondary Schools in Germany

    The German school system provides a variety of educational institutions for students between the ages of 15 and 18.  Hauptschule, Realschule, and Gymnasium are separate school paths that offer different diplomas after completing grades 10, 12, and in some places 13. Our students are usually placed, according to their age and academics, in the 10th or 11th grade at either a Gymnasium or Gesamtschule, which combines the three separate school paths under one roof. The school year starts in August or September and ends in June or July. Each school decides in which grade to enroll students. Subjects like mathematics, German language, and science are compulsory at most schools. Of course, classroom instruction is in German. Before coming to Germany, it is recommended that students applying for the program develop some familiarity with the German language through a German club or evening classes, available at most community colleges.

    German Host Families

    Partnership International e.V. visits and carefully screens all families before they are accepted into the program. The families we consider consist of at least two people. In most cases, we place students in families with two parents and a child, a single parent with a child, or two parents without children. In some cases we place students with single parents whose children are no longer living at home. The basic requirements for hosting are that the family: provide a warm home, have a strong interest in learning about a different culture, and provide food and an individual bed for the exchange student.  We provide the student with detailed information about their host family before arrival in Germany.

    Welcome Orientation

    Members of Partnership International e.V. introduce our exchange students to the German way of life, the dos and don'ts, and all the little things that help make the exchange experience a positive one. Four classes of language instruction per day and some fun activities make this one-week orientation a very valuable and useful start to the program. The orientation includes full room and board at a seminar site.

    Departure Orientation

    Members of Partnership International e.V. meet our exchange students before they go home. In a variety of sessions and workshops students elaborate on their experiences in Germany. At the end of this seminar our volunteers make sure that all of our students will have a smooth departure. The orientation includes full room and board at a seminar site.

    Meet some of our students on their last day in Germany

    Going home after an exciting year in Germany is not easy for many of our students. Some find it hard to leave their new friends and of course their host families. However, most of them are determined to come back. See for yourself how fun our group from Thailand is. They all spent the school year 2010/ 11 in Germany.

    Participant Requirements

    Students participating in the Partnership International e.V. high school program should meet the following basic criteria:
    •    Be between 15 and 18 years of age
    •    Have a strong academic record with a minimum grade average of “C”
    •    Be willing to accept placements throughout Germany
    •    Be prepared to adapt to the lifestyle of a host family
    •    Accept and follow all program rules

    Program Dates 2012/2013

    Fall Semester and Academic Year:

    Program start: August 13, 2012
    Welcome orientation: August 13 - 19, 2012
    End of Program: January 24, 2013, Departure orientation January 22 – 24, 2013 (Spring Semester) - June 23, 2013 (Academic Year), Departure orientation: June 21 – 23, 2013.


    Spring Semester:

    Program start: February 14, 2013
    Welcome orientation: February 14 - 20, 2013
    End of program: June 23, 2013, Departure orientation: June 21 – 23, 2013.



    A print version of our inbound-program description can be found in the Downloads section.