German Pupil Courses

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The German Pupil Courses did not take place as face-to-face courses in Germany in 2021. They were instead week-long virtual courses with a focus on the practical use of German language skills in a cultural context. Please visit the Virtual Summer Courses information page for more information.

Applications for German Pupil Courses are expected to open in January 2022, if circumstances allow.


General information on the courses

The German Pupil Courses are two-week courses in Germany for UK pupils studying German. The German Pupil Courses are a great opportunity for young people to experience Germany, its culture, language and lifestyle first hand. We offer three courses for 12 pupils each in three different German towns.

The courses are run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), which is the German governmental institution in charge of international education at school level and works to develop and promote international co-operation at school level. The courses are administered in the UK by UK-German Connection.

  • Who can take part?

    There are two course options:

    Option 1 is for pupils who:

    • are currently in year 12 (England, Wales) / year 13 (Northern Ireland) / S5 (Scotland)
    • have been learning German for at least two years
    • are permanent UK residents*

    Option 2 is for pupils who:

    • are currently in year 10 (England, Wales) / year 11 (Northern Ireland) / S3 (Scotland)
    • have been learning German for at least one year
    • are permanent UK residents*

    *Please note: Applicants must have lived in the UK for at least three years at the time of application. The programme is not open to German, Swiss or Austrian nationals and German native speakers.

    Preference will be given to those showing particular ability in German. As competition for these places is high, places may be restricted to one place per school. Preference may also be given to those who have not previously had the chance to participate in similar opportunities.

  • Where and when do the courses take place?

    The courses usually take place between mid-July and end of August every year at different locations in Germany.*

    *Please note that the 2021 courses took place virtually.

  • What does the programme include?

    Participants travel together with 11 other course participants and a UK group leader. Accommodation is with a German host family and the stay is packed with lots of lessons and activities including:

    • German language and culture lessons for 2-3 hours a day
    • Some lessons with German pupils covering a wider range of subjects and a chance to experience German school life
    • A joint thematic workshop with German peers on a topic of mutual interest
    • Various trips with other participants and the group leader (Previous programmes included visits to local towns, a boat trip on the river Rhine, a trip to the Königssee lake, a bike tour of Potsdam and a visit to the Stasi museum.)
    • Time with host families, experiencing daily life in Germany (host families have previously taken participants to visit Eiscafes, outdoor swimming pools, football matches or the cinema.)
  • How much does it cost?

    The courses are part-funded by the German government through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) which covers all course-related costs in Germany. The Department for Education part-funds other programme costs, and participants are required to pay £300 to cover travel between London and the course centre, insurance and teachers’ costs.

    Participants are also responsible for the cost of domestic travel to a London airport and pocket money.

  • Requirements and expectations

    Participants are expected to take a very active and constructive part in all aspects of the programme for the full duration which involves excursions and other activities of an active nature. This could include activities such as walking tours and sporting activities.

    This includes preparation for the course before travel to Germany (sending back forms on time, getting in touch with other participants, the group leader and host family, and contacting a primary school to discuss the primary ambassadors project – see below for details). During the course participants are expected to actively participate in lessons, excursions and activities, as well as a thematic workshop, during which they will have the chance to discuss a current topic of interest with German pupils.

    Participants are also required to follow all programme guidelines and a code of conduct. If participants don’t comply with the rules, they may be sent home at their own / their parents’ expenses.

  • How do I apply?

    The application process for German Pupil Courses is currently closed. The courses usually take place between mid-July and end of August every year.* Applications usually open in mid-January.

    *In 2021, the courses took place virtually. Please visit the Virtual Summer Courses  page for more information.

    Applications for German Pupil Courses are expected to open in January 2022, if circumstances allow.

  • Primary ambassadors project

    Our courses include an element of practical outreach work for all participants, in order to bring an authentic element of German culture to primary schools, and to give participants an opportunity to share their experiences and learning with the wider community. Before the start of the course, participants will need to contact a local primary school for which they will prepare a small project (e.g. a workshop or a presentation) after their time in Germany. After the course, they go into the primary school and share their experiences with the pupils. Former participants have reported that this was an exciting and rewarding experience with benefits for not only them but also the primary teachers and pupils. On completion of their project, participants are required to provide UK-German Connection with brief feedback on the outcomes. Participants will receive guidance on the projects from UK-German Connection.

    Read about previous participants’ primary projects.

  • Reporting

    Participants are required to report on their time in Germany through a variety of media, including questionnaires, contributions to social media and a report, which will be featured on our website. The outcomes of the thematic workshop session and the primary ambassadors project will also be published on the UK-German Connection website.

  • Spread the word in school

    Participants should also tell others in their own school about their experiences, for example giving a talk in an assembly or writing an article for the school magazine.

  • Further information

    Further information on the organisations responsible for the courses, host school and family selection, group leader selection and the safety measures in place on the courses is on our health and safety pages. Please read this carefully as well as passing on the information to your teachers and parents.

    If you have any questions, or would like further information on the programme, please contact