Youth For Understanding USA
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What kind of exchange experience do you want?
I want to spend a all program lengths  studying in Germany, or maybe all regions. And I'm looking for something with a traditional exchange  and I definitely want to show off my need for  any language skills. Can I go whenever?
  • All around the world.

    all regions
    Africa & Middle East
    Asia & Pacific
    Eastern Europe
    Latin America
    Scandinavian Countries
    Western Europe
    North America
  • Pick a place, any place.

    Say what?

    Any language requirements?

     Any  Yes  No
  • What I'm into.

    a traditional exchange
    a gap year option
    college & university programs
    language classes
    a connection to the Arts
    sports & outdoors
    a volunteer program
  • How long I want to go.

    All program lengths

    When can I leave?

    May to September
    December to March
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Scholarships Available

374 - Alexander Voigt Memorial Schol...
64 - Chevron Culture and Travel Prog...
115 - Congress-Bundestag Youth Excha...
7 - Epson America, Inc. Internationa...
358 - Goethe Institut - PASCH School...
385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Stud...
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund
273 - YFU Stiftung
305 - YFU Stipendium Program to Germ...
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Age Requirement

Spring departure: April 1, 2001 - August 1, 2004. Summer Program: April 1, 2001 - December 30, 2004. Fall departure: September 1, 2000 - January 15, 2004. Students who do not meet this age requirement or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.


German. Previous language study is not required. Year and Semester students will participate in a 3 week orientation and intensive language course (OLC) to help develop German language proficiency.

Host Family Placement

Students are placed throughout Germany, usually in the countryside, small towns (up to 30,000 people) or medium-sized cities (between 31,000-125,000 people). Very few students are placed in larger cities. A charming aspect of German family life is the tradition to have family members and friends come over in the afternoon for tea or coffee. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your new host family and friends.


Begins in mid-August or early September and ends between mid-June and early July.


Sports clubs, music clubs, soccer, hiking, camping, and traveling.

Germany is a breathtakingly beautiful country with a unique and rich history and a diverse modern culture. One of the most popular study abroad destinations in Europe, Germany offers an inclusive and exciting exchange experience at every turn!
Learn more about Germany.

Summer Programs

Explore Germany this summer through a one-week Berlin cultural tour and three-week homestay in another part of the country. Upon arrival in Berlin, students will join a group of YFU students from around the world with a series of orientation activities, city tours, museum and memorial visits, and local cultural activities. Students will then go on to stay with host families located throughout Germany to experience everyday life and attend school for the remainder of the program.  The program will end with another two-day seminar in Berlin before returning home.       

Academic Year and Semester Programs

Germany has a variety of cultural opportunities and a host family that is waiting to share them with you! As an exchange student to Germany, part of your experience will be:


School: As a student in Germany, you may be placed in a gymnasium or gesamtschule. Most students will attend a gymnasium, which prepares students for entrance into the German university system. Gymnasiums have a set of core classes (math, science, languages, social sciences) supplemented by elective courses. At school, students may participate in physical education, the arts (theater, music, and photography), computer projects, and other events. YFU students should be prepared for the possibility of attending classes in a grade or two lower than their American grade level. Students in Germany spend the final year of secondary school preparing exclusively for German colleges, so YFU students typically do not attend classes at this level. 


Orientations: All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July or early December. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. All orientation costs are included in program tuition. Year students will attend a mid-year orientation, held in various cities like Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, and Berlin. The mid-term orientation will be six days and each orientation provides a wonderful opportunity to meet other YFU students and explore German history, culture, and politics. Before returning back home, students will also take part in a two-day regional re-entry orientation. These orientations are also included in the program tuition.


Extracurriculars: Outside of school, most German youth are involved in organizations such as sport clubs, church, and community education centers. Exchange students are encouraged to take advantage of the extracurricular activities offered in their communities.


Year and Spring Semester students may have the option to participate in the YFU Young Europeans' Seminar, a weeklong program of seminars, educational workshops, inspiring guest speakers, panel discussions, and other activities.  The Seminar takes place in Germany in late June and is attended by around 500 other YFU exchange program participants from across the continent. Space is limited and participation requires an additional application and fee.


Tuition Includes

-Placement with a carefully selected host family
-Enrollment in a local German high school (excluding summer students)
-Airport transfers
-Domestic and international travel
-All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
-Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
-Support from a YFU Germany Area Representative while on program
-Comprehensive insurance


Additional Information

Visa Information: Information regarding visas and other immigration processes will be provided upon enrollment.  Students going to any Germany program do not need to obtain a visa prior to departure.


Additional Costs: Program tuition does not include personal spending money or school-related costs such as books and school trips.  


Important information: Students who have previously participated in a semester or year exchange in another country are not eligible for a year or semester program in Germany. In addition, applicants should be aware that smoking is prohibited for anyone under the age of 18 in Germany. 



Programs Code Departure Return Full Tuition
Fall Year
Spring Year

0066 *
0877 *

mid August
late January

early July
early January

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

0202 *
0856 *

mid August
late January

early January
early July

Fall Trimester

1633 *

mid August

late November


0064 *

early July

early August


* Programs also available to graduates