Germany is an up and coming destination for study abroad high school placements and its location in the heart of Europe could well be why. Germany is home to many vibrant and modern cities alongside a strong economy and heritage, making it a safe and exciting destination for a cultural exchange experience.
2020 German High School Programme
MyChoice Germany offers public school placements with homestay in all 16 federal states of Germany.
Public School with Homestay
Under 16’s are accepted on this programme, although we recommend it is best suited to students aged 14 to 17.
We also accept students with no or limited German language skills, as we offer a short-term intensive preparatory language course prior to embarking on their placement.
This programme offers placements at Gymnasiums or Gesamtschule/Stadtteilschule alongside accommodation with a friendly local host family. Upon arrival in Germany, students will be welcomed with a 3-day orientation*, to introduce the German culture gently. Students have a wide choice of study periods for this programme, choosing from 2 months, 3 months, 1 semester or a full Academic Year.
Placements can be in any of the 16 federal states of Germany, although regional choice can be made upon request for an additional fee.
Host family accommodation will be part of the programme and we place all our students with Xplore families that have been selected by our team. All families go through an intensive application process and we ensure to continuously care for our students through our Local Coordinator in the community who will be in contact with the student, school and family during the placement.
*3-day orientation is available for students studying for one semester or full academic year, starting in August/September. For students studying for less time, or arriving at a different time of year, we offer one-to-one arrival orientations within the host family’s community.
Public education in Germany is different in many ways from other countries. Public secondary schools offer a well-balanced and high quality education up to university level, therefore the overwhelming majority of German students attend.
There are 3 different ‘secondary education’ schools available after 4th grade, and students attend according to their academic ability and family’s request; Hauptschule (or Realschule), Gymnasium and Gesamtschule (or Stadtteilschule).
The Hauptschule and Realschule offer more of a vocational education, whereas Gymnasiums and Gesamtschulen offer a more ‘typical’ well-rounded curriculum, including German, foreign languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, philosophy and social studies. Gymnasiums can be most closely compared with grammar schools or prep high schools and Gesamtschule or Stadtteilschule are most similar to a comprehensive or district school.
Gymnasiums typically lead to a diploma called the Abitur which prepares students for university study or for a dual academic and vocational credential. Many German states have changed the curriculum so students can achieve their “Abi” at the end of the 12th grade but some remain at 13th grade.
Gesamtschules combine elements from the Hauptschule/Realschule and the Gymnasium. This type of school was introduced in Germany more recently and students usually spend six years here, obtaining a leaving certificate after 10th grade. If students wish to sit the Abitur, they must attend the school for another three years.
Germany is a member of the Schengen Area, which waivers the need for a visa for residents of 62 countries. However, for those wishing to stay long-term and for the purpose of studying, even nationals of the Schengen area may require a Germany long-stay visa. Please speak to your Embassy or consulate for more information.
MyChoice Germany is provided through our Xplore Foundation; our not-for-profit arm of the organisation.
Established in 2015, Xplore Foundation promotes global youth exchange and its aim is to encourage worldwide friendship and global citizenship. Through Xplore Foundation, we offer a range of programmes in Germany as well as the opportunity for German students to travel and study around the globe. The Foundation also supports the recruitment of German host families for international students to live with whilst studying in Germany.