Host a Teacher from Germany – application process guidelines

In order to take part in this programme, coordinating teachers fill out an application form on behalf of their school. This page outlines the application process for the Host a Teacher from Germany programme 2020-21.

Before you start with your online application, please read our Help page as it contains important information on logging in/out of, saving, previewing and downloading your application. Please also refer to this page in case you experience any technical difficulties.

The following application process guidelines cover the steps and documentation needed to apply for this programme.

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

German Teacher Award 2020

If you know a truly outstanding German language teacher at your primary or secondary school – make sure that their dedication and excellence get the recognition they deserve!

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany is pleased to invite nominations for the annual German Teacher Award, now in its 17th successful year.

Deadline: Applications must reach the German Embassy by Sunday, 31st May 2020.

More information can be found here:

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

Host a Teacher from Germany – data protection guidelines

In order to take part in this programme, coordinating teachers fill out an application form on behalf of their school. This page outlines UK-German Connection’s policy regarding your data privacy and rights in relation to the Host a Teacher from Germany programme.

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

Opportunities for Pupils

We have a variety of opportunities for pupils to visit Germany, either as individual applicants or with a group from their school.

German Pupil Courses

The German Pupil Courses are two-week long language and culture courses, which take place in July and August in Germany. There are three course for 12 pupils and one group leader each. The pupils stay with German host families for two weeks and attend excursions and school visits while in the country. The programme is open for students in Year 10 and Year 12.

More information about the German Pupil Courses can be found on our website for young people.

German Scholarships Programmes

The German Scholarships Programme is a four-week long programme in Germany for students with a high level of German. The course is entirely funded by the German Foreign Office and eight students are selected each year.  The students spend two weeks living with host families and participate in an international programme, involving cultural and educational excursions and activities.

You can find more information about the German Scholarships Programme on our website for young people.

Youth Seminars

Throughout the year, UK German connection runs thematic seminars, often based on current topics and events. The seminars are attended by young people in education or as part of a youth group and are bilateral events, held in either the UK or Germany.

You can find more information on our website for young people.

Magical Christmas Trips

The Magical Christmas trips programme is an intercultural and educational Christmas trip to Germany for primary school children and a small number of accompanying secondary school students. The four day visit allows younger children to experience German culture during the festive period.

More information, along with past experiences, can be found on our Magical Christmas Trip page.

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

Host a Teacher from Germany – Why take part in the programme?

Our school felt that we had brought a piece of the world into the classroom by hosting the German teacher for 3 weeks. It encouraged our students to see things from a different perspective, preparing them to become good citizens. (Francis Askew Primary School)

Schools that have hosted a teacher from Germany this academic year share their highlights and the benefits of the programme:

This experience has been incredibly powerful for the school and pupils. It has enabled pupils to experience a taste of Germany which is very important as many of our students would never be able to afford the opportunity to visit Germany. German language is no longer such an abstract concept for our pupils as they have been able to connect with German pupils and Germany. I would recommend every school to apply. (Coordinating teacher)

It’s flexible

Visits can take place at any time between September and July with the freedom to tailor the programme to your common interests.

It provides real opportunities for creativity. You can take it in any direction because you are not restricted. (Putteridge High School)

It’s free

For schools not able to host a language assistant, the Host a Teacher programme allows pupils to benefit from lessons about German culture and linguistic support at no extra cost.

UK-German Connection provides a great opportunity for schools to share their experience and knowledge in a cost-effective way. (Charlton Manor Primary School)

It’s a great way to exchange resources

Need some ideas for activities to teach a certain topic? Teachers at Oakthorpe Primary were left feeling inspired after sharing ideas and resources with their teacher from Germany.

Swapping ideas and sharing resources can be quite enlightening and stimulate further ideas for projects and links. (Oakthorpe Primary)

It’s an excellent professional development opportunity

Hosting a teacher from Germany can give you a unique perspective of teaching techniques and can give you some fresh ideas to try out in the classroom.

It was wonderful to be able to share my practice with the teacher and learn about how he teaches.

We benefited from sharing experiences and learning from each other, particularly regarding teaching children who do not have English/German as a first language. (Woodrow First School)

Pupils benefit from cultural input and linguistic support

Bring pupils’ learning to life! Having a native speaker in the classroom who is able to share cultural information first-hand provides students with a tangible learning experience and enthusiasm.

The children gained a unique perspective into a different culture and way of life. (Woodrow First School)

It was such a benefit having not only a “native speaker” but also a teacher – the pupils’ preparation and performance in oral exams really benefitted from her presence and input.

We had a fantastic experience hosting a teacher from Germany and I can fully recommend the programme to any school considering it – it may seem like extra work but on the contrary, the benefits far outweigh the initial planning. Being sent an extra teacher for free is a godsend – she was an instant hit with our students and they loved the contact with an authentic German speaker as well as hearing about school life in Germany. (Kelso High School)

It can lead to bigger things…

Hosting a teacher from Germany could open up further opportunities for activities or a possible link between the two schools.

After hosting a teacher from Löhne, Spalding High School set up an orchestra exchange, which is still going strong.

new pen pal scheme was set up between Year 7 pupils at a school in Hertfordshire and their German visitor’s school.

The visit has made the partnership real and personal to both pupils and staff. (Bishop Hatfield Girls’ School)

Top tips from UK hosting teachers

  • Plan your visitor’s timetable in advance, so that as many classes or year groups can benefit.
  • Speak to the teacher before they come to ensure that you have broken the ice beforehand.
  • Get them involved in all aspects of the school, not just the German department.
  • Ask the German teacher to prepare a presentation of their school/local area or bring photos.
  • Ask the German teacher to bring letters from their pupils introducing themselves as well as authentic materials.
  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

Host a Teacher from Germany

Bring German culture into your classroom! Host a German teacher for one, two or three weeks during the upcoming academic year, at no cost.

Application deadlines:

The deadline to apply to host a teacher from Germany in 2019-20 has now passed. UK schools interested in hosting a teacher from Germany in 2020-21 will be able to apply again from mid-May 2020.

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK

Sustainable transport

Sustainable project, sustainable partnership

The Dukeries Academy and Gesamtschule Rheydt-Mülfort met to investigate the sustainability and inclusivity of the transport infrastructure within their local areas: “The purpose of the project was sustainability, not only in environmental terms, but also for the contact between the Dukeries and Gesamtschule Rheydt-Mülfort” (UK teacher). We wanted pupils to work together in both languages towards a common target to increase their social, civic and language competences. Developing an awareness towards people with special needs and environmental problems in relation to their local transport infrastructure would in turn raise knowledge, acceptance and tolerance of other cultures and values.

Time to investigate

Initial research into the historical background of their local transport networks began, incorporating visits to the British Rail Museum and the Museum of Early Industrialisation in Wuppertal to find out how transport networks in their local areas have developed over the years. After many Skype conferences with their counterparts to present their findings, students collaborated on a joint survey of the general public about current transport habits and even got their local primary schools involved to help collect the data. During the exchange itself, students put their language skills to the test to find out the public’s views on how to make local transport more environmentally friendly, sustainable and inclusive. The pupils presented their results in both countries using posters, PowerPoint presentations and speeches in their respective languages. By having to survey, evaluate and present their work, pupils were able to broaden their skills in many fields.

An opportunity like this really develops your confidence and allows you to improve your language in a fun and enjoyable way. (UK participant)

A renewed enthusiasm

The project has had an enormous impact on pupils from The Dukeries Academy. German is now back on the map! The exchange has become a regular feature, German A-level is now firmly back on the curriculum, and Year 7 pupils are communicating with pupils from the partner school by email and letter. Other pupils who did not participate in the exchange have even started communicating with the pupils from our partner school. This renewed enthusiasm has sparked ideas of a new exchange in the sixth form which will enable pupils from both schools to be taught at each institution for six weeks to enable them to improve their language skills and cement the exchange even further.

Despite the school being in a rural location with poor public transport links, the project has given the pupils the opportunity to sample life in larger cities, work with pupils from more diverse backgrounds and pupils from other countries. The community has also seen massive benefits from the repeat visits; in fact, Newark and Sherwood Council are reprinting German tourist guides on the area due to the increased demand.

Other pupils who did not participate in the exchange have even started communicating with the pupils from our partner school. (UK teacher)

Top tips

  • Try and find a project idea that is meaningful for the pupils.
  • Try and involve the pupils from the beginning by finding ways of getting in touch with the partners beforehand.
  • Involve the pupils in planning the project visits so that it is their project.
  • Plan a meticulous programme with opportunities for the leaders and for the pupils to spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere to get to know each other, exchange information and ideas.
  • Inform the pupils that they will have to evaluate and present their results not only in front of the school and authorities but also after the visits for the organisation from which we receive the grant money. (They often think that it is all over when they are home and it is sometimes difficult to bring them to finish this part of the project).

An inclusive exchange

How did your link with Germany start out?

Our link originally started as we were working with the Wiesenschule on a Comenius school improvement project. When we heard about UK-German Connection we thought we might be able to develop another project. The German head teacher was not sure any of his parents would be happy to let their children travel so while we were at the Wiesenschule, we laid on a parents’ evening where our students presented Cornwall and the school in German and cooked Cornish specialities for the parents and students. Pasty power prevailed and we suddenly had a group of parents who wanted their child to come to us. As the school had never run a residential course, let alone travelled abroad, we were very pleased with the result and now run the parents’ evening each time we visit.

How have you developed your activities over the years?

Our first project was a straightforward exchange between the two schools concentrating on language skills and the GCSE students being placed in the classes as teaching assistants. The second project idea came from the Mounts Bay pupils who wanted to gain experience as teaching assistants to their peers from our local SEN school and our German partner school. We took students from our local SEN school with us and the pupils produced a film about the two regions. This year we have also involved a local primary school and held a festival week and a final ‘Life Celebration’ concert with students from all four schools.

What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

As mentioned above, the first time, the German school was not sure parents, students and even staff would be prepared to be involved. Not surprisingly, we also had to convince our local SEN school that the exchange was feasible for the second project. Our parents’ evening was also cancelled this year as northern Germany bore the brunt of a catastrophic storm. We compensated for this by presenting the planned work at a whole school assembly the next day then incorporating it into the summer show in Cornwall.

What have been the benefits to the young people involved?

The MBA students have grown in confidence both in their language skills and in their leadership experience. All groups have developed their life skills as they have been forced to adapt to their new surroundings and the needs of a travel in a foreign country. The GCSE students have shown real motivation in their studies since returning and the communication skills of pupils in all four schools have expanded greatly given the difficulties of language and the nature of the difficulties some of the SEN students have.

The UK-German projects have been the most life-changing for our students amongst the extensive offer of international visits we provide. (UK teacher)

How has the partnership made a difference to your school or youth group as a whole?

Our parents are hugely supportive of this exchange and have been since the first year. It is seen as a very different educational visit, which has changed the life choices of many of those involved. Some of the past students are now planning to move on to language degrees in order to train to teach and others are looking at going into careers working with students with special needs. Our partner schools in Penzance are asking to be more involved with the Academy and we are planning creative arts lessons for them here. Through the German lessons delivered in the primary schools, we are expecting a greater uptake in German in Year 7 when students are offered a language choice. Meanwhile, as a ‘Teaching School’, we are offering training positions to TAs from the German school.

By leading the visit for the German pupils, the Mounts Bay students gained valuable experience for future careers as well as an insight into how to support young people with special needs.
(UK teacher)

What are your plans for the future of the partnership?

Aside from the developments as a ‘Teaching School’, we are also hoping to take primary students abroad with us, as well as linking up and exchanging with Wiesenschule students who are now in the 6th form at the local ‘FiLB’ (Förderzentrum zur individuellen Lebensgestaltung und Berufsbildung).

Do you have any top tips for other teachers?

  • Make sure you have a member of the senior leadership team involved.
  • Allow your students to be part of the planning from the outset so they feel responsible for the success of the project.
  • Don’t panic when things go array. Stay calm and the students will follow your lead.
  • Be prepared to be flexible if you are working with SEN students. They will not always be able to follow the regimented programme you have established for them!
  • If you don’t already know the staff from your partner school, be sure you all agree expectations from the start: Who is paying for what? What are the expectations of participating staff and students?

Jennifer Hick, 2014

This article is part of the UK-German featured partnerships series.

A new focus each year

How did your link with Germany start out?

My links with Germany started after a contact seminar, organised by the British Council and (then) UK-German Links, in Bad Nenndorf in 2004. There I met Mrs Kling from the Grundschule Wettbergen, who was also trying to find a partner school. Both of us were developing our libraries and despite the schools being very different (Great Creaton, my former school, had 86 pupils and was in a village, GS Wettbergen had 360+ pupils and was in a suburb of Hannover) we got on well together and decided to link the schools. Since then we have arranged exchange visits each year with pupils from both schools travelling and staying with host families. I have also moved schools to Towcester CE Primary (a larger town school) but have kept the link together with GS Wettbergen.

How have you developed your activities over the years?

Over the years we have had a focus on the exchange to enable the pupils involved to gain some curriculum activities that can be spread around the two schools. Each visit had a product or outcome that we decided upon and this helped when applying for grants to support our partnership. Over the last 10 years we have done projects such as:

  • animated film of the Pied Piper
  • food from both countries (recipes and a calendar)
  • festivals and traditions
  • transport and its uses (canal systems)
  • tourism in both areas
  • technology including design
  • animals from different countries.

What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle was to get the project started and get the backing of the parents as the pupils were only 10 years old and some parents felt that this was too young to do an exchange. We also needed to make sure that the host families were equipped to host a pupil from another country and funding has been a bit of an issue at the new school Towcester Primary, mainly due to the social background of most of the pupils. Here at Towcester Primary there is over 20% of the school on the Free School Meal Register and many families find it hard to fund trips and visits. I have used various charities to try and get funding to help the project along with grants from UK-German Connection and the British Council.

What have been the benefits to the young people involved?

All the pupils involved in the exchange have had a great time and had tremendous opportunities and experiences. They have developed language skills and become much more confident at school and more motivated to take on extra activities. They have also been an inspiration to other pupils in the school, particularly when running an assembly to explain about the project. This has kept the level of interest going in both schools over the years.

How has the partnership made a difference to your school or youth group as a whole?

The partnership has enabled the school to offer a wide range of activities and opportunities to all the pupils and also encouraged the staff to become involved in international events. Since the partnership started we have also been the co-ordinating school for two Comenius projects, and at Towcester Primary we have a week residential planned to France. It has also encouraged us to develop other partnerships including an exchange with a school in Spain. The members of staff who have been on the partnership have come back to school with new ideas and enthusiasm and we have managed to engage the whole school community in these projects. The school (Towcester) is now known in the local community for its international links.

What are your plans for the future of the partnership?

Both schools are committed to continuing the partnership, as we have both seen the benefits to the schools and pupils over the years. We plan to do more projects, the next one on Healthy Living and Healthy Food.

Do you have any top tips for other teachers?

To anyone who was thinking of doing a partnership I would say ‘have a go’. It is hard work with the organisation and application but schools do really benefit from these partnerships. Think of a simple project to start with and then build upon this over the years.

Richard Camp, Headteacher, 2014.

This article is part of the UK-German featured partnerships series.

Think of a simple project to start with and then build upon this over the years.

Flexible funding scheme

This special flexible funding scheme is designed to bring young people of the UK and Germany together to facilitate an exchange of ideas, joint learning and open discussions on special topics and current issues. Projects can be virtual or include mobility.

Themes currently available under the flexible funding scheme:
World War I
Our future in Europe – maintaining the UK-German connection (NEW)

  • Open to applicants from:
  • All UK