STS High School 14–18 years of age
High standard in Germany

High School in Germany

Age 15-17

Germany is the largest country in the EU in terms of population. It’s also the European Union’s biggest economy, which you will notice by the high standards of living. This modern, cosmopolitan country is a centre for technology and innovation. It attracts people from all over the world with a varied cultural scene and a certain love for concerts and festivals.

High school classic

High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Germany, from the lowlands of the north to the Bavarian Alps of the south! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.

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Think big

This big nation truly has it all. From beautiful scenery and cozy villages to modern cities and charming Christmas markets. The mixture of old and ultra modern is exciting in cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne In the mountainous central and southern regions and around the river Rhine, you’ll find dream-like castles. If you want to think big for your high school exchange, think Germany!

Area: 375 000 km2
Population: 82,5 million
Capital: Berlin
Language: German
National holiday: October 3rd
Country code: +49

High standard schools in Germany

Germany is a federal republic and schools differ in terms of foreign languages offered (English is always mandatory) and the number of school years (12 or 13) depending on where in the country you are placed. The lowest common denominator is that the academic level is high. You can count on some good education. Also, German teachers want you to be active in class. Raise your hand and ask questions and take part in discussions. This will also give your German skills a real boost! 

Two years of German language study is recommended, but not required.

High School in Germany

There are two types of high school in Germany that lead to the German high school diploma Abitur, which allows access to university: Gymnasium and Gesamtschule. Gymnasium usually ends with year 12, Gesamtschule with year 13, which means that the tempo of learning is a bit more relaxed. Exchange students are usually not placed in the final two years. Exactly which year you will attend depends on your age, your grades and your level of German.

You can look forward to feeling welcome, since there is an overall interest in international relations and foreign cultures in this open and culturally diverse country.

Weekends with the family

Being a part of a German family you will soon get in touch with the language and the culture. Family is important to Germans and they often spend the weekends together, visiting relatives or being outdoors. For many German families, Sunday lunch is when they all sit down and eat together.

Germany is a big nation and your family will probably show you around in their particular area. What you get to see depends a lot on where you are located. You might live close to cute markets in old villages, deep green forests, beautiful river valleys or a big city with lots of sightseeing.

Freedom and responsibility

German teenagers are rather independent and often given a lot of freedom, but they are also expected to show a great deal of responsibility. A year in Germany is a great chance for you to grow as a person.

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–17,5 years on arrival
  • Departure month: January/August/December
  • Language requirements: Two years of German language study is recommended, but not required.
  • Visa: Yes
  • Prep course: STS Welcome Camp included
  • School year: August/September–June/July 
  • School day: Usually 08.00 – 16.00
  • Subjects: Compulsory and optional
  • Trips in the country: Trips to Hamburg, Munich and more. Additional cost
My exchange was a ‘ROLLER COASTER’, the type of ride you wish would never end. With the twists, the turns and the lows came the peaks which made it all worthwhile. / Clarine Fourie

The keyword is Verein

Naturally you can spend your free time in a café, at the movies or in a shopping mall, like young people all over the world. But here’s a tip for your free time in Germany: Verein. What now?

Verein is German for club and many exchange students quickly discover that joining some kind of activity group is a great way to make new friends and have fun after school. Are you into art, dance, music, drama? Ask your host family for help to find the Verein that suits you best!

Sporty people

Germans are sporty people and many students practice sports at a local Verein when classes are over. Of course, soccer is a favourite. As you probably know, the national soccer team has been extremely successful over the years. Other popular sports are gymnastics, athletics and handball. 

Travel with us

You can also join one of the trips we arrange every year. We offer a three day visit to Hamburg in the fall semester as well as a weekend trip to Munich in spring. Your local contact person will give you more detailed information about prices and travel dates. Discover more of Germany! 

STS High School students on exchange in Germany get the chance to join optional trips. One of the trips offered usually goes to Berlin.

STS Welcome Camp in Europe

Your exchange begins with our fun Welcome Camp in Europe! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your exchange, and is packed with sightseeing, seminars, new friends and lots of fun.

What's included

  • Accommodation in a host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a local high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person in both home and host country
  • STS Welcome Camp 
  • Online pre-departure meeting
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag
  • STS Diploma


Gain more control over your high school exchange experience with our placement requests. Choose your location and increase your chances of making your dreams a reality.   


Please note that the transport to your destination and back is not included the program fee.

Sales Year
5 months
From 8 350 €
10 months
From 9 350 €
5 months
From 8 250 €
3 months
From 8 350 €
5 months
From 8 350 €
10 months
From 9 350 €


About you/the student