German Scholarships Programme

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The German Scholarships Programme did not take place as a face-to-face programme in Germany in 2021. It was replaced by 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 summer courses are expected to open in January 2022, and updates on how the courses will be run in 2022 will be published here soon.

General information on the programme

The German Scholarships Programme (Internationales Preisträgerprogramm) is a fantastic opportunity for all UK citizens, aged 16+, in their penultimate school year (Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland, Year 13 in Northern Ireland) to improve their language and learn more about the German culture.

The programme is run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) and administered in the UK by UK-German Connection. It provides a unique opportunity for pupils to get first-hand experience of German life and culture and improve their German language skills at the same time. The German Scholarships Programme is an international programme and participants will experience German language learning and travelling in mixed international groups.

  • Who can take part?

    This programme is open to UK pupils in their penultimate school year (Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland, Year 13 in Northern Ireland).

    Candidates need to have studied German for at least two years and have achieved excellent results. They also need to have a good command of the spoken language and a good general knowledge about Germany, as well as very good personal, social and intercultural skills. Participants are expected to actively take part in all the programme activities.

    Please note: this programme is for permanent UK residents only (applicants must have lived in the UK for at least three years at the time of application). It is not open to German 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.

  • When does it take place?

    This is a four-week programme which takes place in summer in various locations throughout Germany.*

    *Please note that the 2021 programme took place virtually.

  • What does the programme include?

    Participants travel in a group with other students and following a full-time programme of activities including:

    • An introductory week in Bonn to meet the rest of the international participants and to find out more about the four-week programme ahead
    • School visits and project work in mixed international groups
    • A two-week home stay with German host families
    • Visits to museums and famous cities like Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich
    • An international evening where each national group represents their country

    Individual excursions and trips are therefore not possible nor can flight/travel dates be altered.

  • Who pays what?

    This is a fully-funded course, and therefore all costs (including travel, accommodation and course costs) are paid for by the German government through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD).

    UK participants pay for the cost of domestic travel to a London airport and their own 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, 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.

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

  • How do I apply?

    The application process for the German Scholarships Programme is currently closed. The programme usually takes place between mid-July and end of August every year.* Applications usually open in mid-January.

    *In 2021, the programme was replaced by virtual courses. Please visit the Virtual Summer Courses page for more information.

    Applications for summer courses are expected to open in January 2022, and updates on how the courses will be run in 2022 will be published here soon.


  • Primary school ambassadors project

    The programme includes 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.


  • 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 programme, host school and family selection and the safety measures in place on the programme is on our health and safety pages. Please read through these, 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