School Immersion in Germany – 15-17 years – 3 months to 1 academic year

Discover our High School Programme in Germany, specially designed for motivated young students aged 15 to 18 who want a unique experience of school exchange and cultural immersion. By choosing this language stay in Germany, participants will be able to study from 3 months to 1 academic year in a German secondary school, while sharing the life of a warm host family. This German language programme offers an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills and discover German culture on a daily basis.

Why Germany?

Germany is one of the world’s leading powers. Over the last few decades, it has shown exceptional dynamism in economic, cultural and artistic terms.

It is also a country of great diversity, combining modernity and tradition, cultural creativity and commercial dynamism. It is made up of 16 Länder, each with a high degree of autonomy. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and has official status in 6 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Placements can take place anywhere in Germany. For those who prefer to choose their region or a city placement rather than a placement in a rural area or a particular city, we offer 3 options at extra cost.

You attend a state secondary school(Realschule, Gesamtschule, Gymnasium), generally in 10th grade, with the last 3 years of school (11th, 12th and 13th) being preparatory classes for the abitur, the secondary school leaving examination.

The choice of school depends on where your family lives, your academic level and your language level. Schools are carefully selected to ensure that they offer young people the best possible cultural environment. The choice of class is the sole responsibility of the head teacher and cannot be negotiated. Schools generally do not accept foreign students in classes 11, 12 or 13, so our participants can attend classes with 15-16 year-olds, even if they are older.

In gymnasium, students generally take 12 subjects per year. Up to Year 11, subjects are compulsory. The most common subjects are German, English, French, history, geography, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, social sciences, physical education, art or music and computing. From Year 11 onwards, students must select their subjects according to their chosen subject (language, science, etc.).

German students attend fewer lessons than their Belgian or French neighbours. Classes last 45 minutes and are generally held from 8am to 3pm. The rest of the afternoon is usually free and can be devoted to sports or extra-curricular activities at school or in external clubs.

International students cannot take the Abitur exam which allows them to enter university, but they must obtain good marks in the various assessments.

Typical timetable (given as an example only)
Timetable/DaysMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday
07:55-08:40Math Social SciencesEnglishGeographyHistory
09:45-10:30Art GermanChemistryMathSocial Sciences
12:20-13:05FrenchFrench GermanEnglishEP

Note: the subjects offered vary from school to school. Those listed above are common, but are not necessarily offered in all schools

Option 1: Regional choice

You can choose from the following 4 main regions:

Region EST

The Länder: Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt (including Berlin)

Ideal if you want to be as close as possible to Berlin or dynamic cities such as Dresden or Leipzig

North region

The Länder: Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (including Bremen and Hamburg)

Ideal for exploring the cities of Hamburg and Bremen. Close to Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland

Southern region

The Länder: Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg

Ideal if you want to live close to cities such as Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg or Heidelberg


The Länder: North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Hesse

Ideal for discovering the famous cities of Frankfurt, Cologne, Dortmund and Düsseldorf. Close to France, Belgium and Luxembourg

It is possible to choose a region at the time of registration, specifying 2 destinations in order of preference if the 1st choice is not available.

Option 2: choice of city

Suggested cities: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne

Please note: places are extremely limited for this option, so it is important to register early.

The Abitur is awarded at the age of 18 (without completing Grade 13) in the following Länder: Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The Gesamtschule leads to a diploma from one of the other 3 types of school, depending on the direction chosen.

Primary school(Grundschule) lasts 4 years. Pupils are then allocated to the different types of secondary school(Gymnasium, Realschule, Hauptschule, Gesamtschule) according to their abilities. The Gymnasium offer a 12- or 13-year course of study that prepares students for university, the Realschule offer a 10-year course of study that focuses more on foreign languages, economics, technology or the social and health sciences, while the Hauptschule are vocational schools (9 years). The Gesamtschule (10-year course) combines the other three streams, for pupils who want to avoid an early start.

If they wish, Hauptschule graduates can continue their education at the Realschule, just as Realschule graduates can go on to the Gymnasium.

From Year 11 onwards, students have the right to replace certain compulsory subjects with electives based on their interests (foreign languages, natural sciences, etc.).

The education system is the responsibility of the Länder. There may therefore be variations from one Land to another, although a degree of uniformity is ensured by the “Standing Conference of the Länder Ministers of Education”, which has been set up for this purpose.

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Host families are selected by the local correspondent on the basis of their genuine desire to welcome a young foreigner and share their culture with him or her through everyday life.

The local correspondent visits the family’s home and ensures that they can offer the participant a balanced environment.

Your stay can take place in a medium-sized city or a small town. Wherever it is, you’ll really experience the daily life of your German host family.

There is no such thing as a typical family, each one is unique and reflects the society and way of life in this country. Host families come from many different backgrounds. They are not necessarily traditional families with father, mother and children. They may be single parents with or without children, or parents whose children no longer live at home. But they all share the same motivation: to open their doors to a foreign student and share their way of life and culture.

Students have a single or shared room, depending on the host family. All meals are included, with the exception of meals taken outside the home, such as meals taken in the school canteen during the week.

Our partner has a network of local correspondents throughout Germany. These are experienced people who are used to working with young people, who may themselves have had a high school experience abroad, who know the host families and who stay in regular contact with the students.

The local correspondent is therefore your key contact on the ground. A few days after your arrival, he or she will organise an orientation meeting to give you all the practical information you need. They will be in regular contact with you throughout your stay to answer your questions and make sure that everything runs smoothly. The local correspondent can act quickly in the event of a problem.

Finally, you will be given an emergency number so that you can contact someone locally at any time if you need to.

When you arrive, you will be welcomed by your family or by the local correspondent.

  • Be aged between 15 and 17
  • Have the language skills needed to communicate in the school environment and with your family (minimum level A2). Online German course strongly recommended if your level is below B1/B2. Good level of English required.
  • Good academic results over the last 3 years
  • Be willing to make new friends and share the daily life of a host family
  • Be motivated, mature and adaptable

Do you meet the conditions for taking part?

  1. Fill in the pre-registration form as soon as possible
  2. When we receive it, we’ll send you a provisional confirmation, including the total cost of the stay, a request for payment of €100 (for the language test and the motivation interview), and the full application form for the chosen programme. We will also ask you to send us a copy of your school reports for the last 3 years.
  3. We then invite you to come and take the language test and interview at our offices in Brussels or Paris. This costs €100 and is payable on receipt of the pre-confirmation. This amount is non-refundable, but can be deducted from the balance of your stay if you are definitively enrolled and accepted on the programme. Part 1 of the application form must be completed and brought with you to the interview.
  4. We will confirm the result no later than 8 days after our interview
  5. If the interview is positive, we ask you to pay a deposit of 25% of the total cost of your stay (with a minimum of €1,500) and to complete all the elements of your application, including letters of recommendation from your teachers and other information needed for us to study your application on site. As soon as your application is complete and we have received payment of the deposit, we will forward it to our partner.
  6. Final acceptance to the programme is given by our partner
  7. Once your application has been accepted, our partner begins the search for and selection of a host family and school

The deadlines for submitting applications to our German partner are :

  • 31 March for a departure in August
  • 30 September for a January departure

Note: the online pre-registration form must reach us at least 15 days before the deadline for submitting applications to our partner.

If you choose the regional, “urban environment” or city option, the application deadlines are 31/01 for programmes starting in August and 30/08 for those starting in January.


The exact dates of the stay, as well as the station or airport of arrival, are communicated at the time of placement.


European Union nationals do not need a visa to take part in this programme.

Citizens of other countries will need a student visa. Contact the German embassy in your country for full details.

All costs incurred by these procedures are the responsibility of the student.

Medical/accident/repatriation and civil liability insurance is compulsory for this type of stay. You will be asked for a certificate when you submit your application.

Langues Vivantes offers you a complete insurance package adapted to young people’s stays abroad, cf. Insurance and guarantees

Online German courses

It is in the participants’ interest to have sufficient knowledge of German to enable them to participate actively in family and school life. This is why our German partner is offering online German courses for students whose level of German is below B1/B2. These courses will run for 10 weeks, with 4 lessons of 45 minutes per week.

Students will have the opportunity to review basic grammar and vocabulary, learn useful expressions and take part in quizzes and games. During the course, students will practise listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some of the topics covered will be

  • German culture
  • Life with a host family
  • School life
  • Daily habits
  • and much more!

Students who do not wish to take part in these courses will have an individual interview with our German partner to assess their language level.

Orientation – 3 days / 2 nights (stays starting in August only)

An orientation course is offered in August. It will enable you to prepare for the experience and get to know the other participants in the programme who come from all over the world.

It takes place in Manheim and includes workshops in the morning (cultural differences, school life, customs, communication, etc.) and a tour of the city in the afternoon. Accommodation is in a youth hostel, in a room shared with another foreign student, and full board is provided

Day 1: Arrival at Frankfurt airport and transfer to the youth hostel. Settle in while waiting for all the students. Welcome evening

Day 2: Morning workshops. Afternoon visit to the city of Manheim. Barbecue at Luisenpark

Day 3: Departure to the place of stay (transfer to the host family included in the price of the orientation course)

Dates 2024-2025

The year is divided into 2 school terms. The school calendar, duration and dates of holidays vary from state to state, but holiday periods are generally organised as follows:

  • July / August : 6 weeks of summer holidays
  • October: 1 or 2 weeks autumn holiday
  • December: 2 or 3 weeks of Christmas holidays
  • February: 1 week of winter holidays
  • April: 2 or more weeks of Easter/Spring holidays
  • May: some public holidays

Dates of stay :

  • School year: 24/08/24 to 21/06/25
  • School term: 24/08/24 to 12/01/25 or 25/01/25 to 21/06/25
  • 3 months: 24/08/24 to 22/11/24

Orientation course in Manheim: 22/08/24 to 24/08/24

Prices 2024-2025

WPCS 42.0.3
Tuition, accommodation & meals, administrative costs
3 months 7.195
1 school semester (5 months) 8.650
1 school year (10 months) 10.195
Choice of region 700
Choice of city (Hamburg, Munich or Cologne) 3.400
Choice of city (Berlin) 4.500
Online German course (10 weeks) 990

Our prices include:

  • German and English level tests and pre-application interview
  • Registration formalities at the school for the selected length of stay
  • Accommodation with the host family, half board during the week and full board at weekends and during school holidays
  • Assistance, support and follow-up from the local correspondent throughout the stay
  • Regular contact and evaluation reports
  • Official certificate of participation
  • Transfers at the beginning and end of the stay from the designated station/airport to the host family

Not included:

  • Return journey to destination
  • Lunches during the week
  • Local transport
  • Books and school supplies
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Pocket money (€200-300 per month)
  • Online German courses (compulsory for students with a level of German below B1)
  • Orientation course in Manheim
  • Any additional costs associated with Covid (e.g. quarantine, tests, etc.)
  • Optional insurance
  • Visa fees, if applicable

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