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YFU offers over 200 full and partial merit-based scholarships and needs-based financial aid to students every year.

To be considered for scholarship awards, students must meet the eligibility requirements listed on the individual Scholarship Information pages below and demonstrate characteristics like flexibility, tolerance and open-mindedness. In addition to the standard application and fee (if required), students also need to submit essay responses, a host family introduction letter and teacher recommendations by the scholarship deadline. Students can apply for multiple scholarships and pay only one fee.

Through the generosity of numerous corporations, governments, foundations and individuals, YFU awards more than $2.3 million in partial or full study abroad scholarships annually. Students are encouraged to consider all of their scholarship options and apply to as many as they qualify for by the December 1 scholarship application deadline!

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange

YFU Scholarship Information Sheet

At a Glance

Application Deadline

Program Length

January 3

- School Year (summer departure)

Eligible Countries

Please refer to individual country pages for program duration and departure times.

Scholarship Amount

  • This is a full scholarship.


  • The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is for motivated high school students who want to live with a host family and attend school for an academic year in Germany. No previous language experience is required. Students who have previously participated in a semester or year exchange in another country are not eligible for the Germany programs and scholarships.
  • To be eligible, you must:
    • Be a U.S. citizen
    • Have a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
    • Reside in one of the following states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Age Requirements

  • Students must be between 15 and 18.5 years old at the start of the program. 

Complete Application Includes:

  • 1 Teacher Recommendation
  • Host Family Letter
  • 3 Short Answer Essay Questions
  • Complete Online Application
  • Host Family Letter
  • Health Certificate
  • Parent-student agreement
  • School Certificate
  • 5 Candid photos
  • 1 Passport size photo

Application Fee

  • Application fee to be paid by the sponsor.

Scholarship Covers:

  • Round-trip international travel
  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Regional orientation for scholarship recipients and parents
  • Preparatory materials
  • Support services in host country
  • Medical insurance coverage

Scholarship Recipients are Responsible for:

  • Round-trip domestic travel – PLEASE NOTE: the majority of programs offered by YFU cover domestic travel, but Congress-Bundestag winners are required to purchase domestic travel to an international gateway airport.
  • Passport
  • Visa fees (if necessary)
  • Any excess luggage tariffs
  • Personal spending money



Note: Scholarship programs are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.


If applying for multiple scholarships, please indicate each scholarship's name and code on your application. All scholarship recipients are required to travel on the YFU group travel dates, and to complete the entire program. For more information regarding YFU and the scholarship selection process call 1.800.TEENAGE or refer to the Scholarships Overview section of this web site.