Virtual Summer Courses: ‘Deutschland online erleben’

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This virtual programme replaced the German Pupil Courses and German Scholarships Programme in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for the face-to-face programmes are expected to open in January 2022, if circumstances allow.

General information on the programme

The programme is run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) and UK-German Connection.

The Virtual Summer Courses: ‘Deutschland online erleben’ gives you the chance to put your German skills into practice and immerse yourself in the language with like-minded peers from many different European countries. It’s a unique opportunity to exchange on topics relevant to your life, gain new perspectives and make friends, all under the guidance of specialist German teachers.

This is an international programme and participants will experience German language learning in mixed international groups. The virtual language courses will be embedded in a wider programme run by UK-German Connection (see details below).

  • Who can take part?

    These courses are for UK pupils who

    • are aged 15-17 when the courses take place
    • are in the penultimate year of school or below
    • have been learning German for at least two years (or one year if you are in year 10 (England, Wales) / year 11 (Northern Ireland) / S3 (Scotland))
    • are permanent UK residents*


    Participants are expected to actively take part in all programme activities which will take place entirely in German. A participant’s level of German should therefore be sufficiently high in order to not only talk about topics relating to themselves and current affairs but also to follow online lessons without problems and to contribute actively.

    Courses will be offered at two levels according to competency in German. Teachers will be asked to comment on an applicant’s level of German in a teacher reference.

    Participants also need to have a good general knowledge, as well as very good personal, social and intercultural skills.

    You cannot apply if you have previously taken part in the German Pupil Courses or German Scholarships Programme.

    *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 nationals, German native speakers or those who have previously lived in Germany for a significant time.

    Preference will be given to those showing particular ability in German and 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?

    There will be several courses of one week between 12 – 30 July 2021 and 16 – 27 August 2021. Participants are given the opportunity to state a preference for either the July or August courses in the application form.

    The final course allocation will be done by PAD and course providers and while preferences will be taken into account, these cannot be guaranteed. Successful applicants will be notified of their course allocation by early June.

    UK-German Connection will provide supplementary webinars before and after the one-week courses (further information under ‘What does the programme include?’). Several date options will be available for these meetings.

  • What does the programme include?

    The programme consists of a one-week course delivered by PAD and their partners in Germany as well as preparatory and post-course webinars delivered by UK-German Connection.

    The programme will focus on communication and exchange about country-specific topics (Landeskunde). Topics will be explored through the lens of the lives and experiences of young people in Germany and the participating pupils themselves.

    Activities will be interactive and take various formats including working in small groups, verbal exchange, short presentations, research and writing short texts or producing simple videos. Language support will be provided where necessary.

    A detailed course programme will be shared with the pupils once their participation has been confirmed.

    During the one-week course, participants will work together in mixed-nationality groups of 10-15 pupils per group and the programme will begin from 9am each day, consisting of 4 hours of content each day (25 lessons in total over the week).

    The virtual language courses will be embedded in a wider programme run by UK-German Connection. This will include a network of UK participants, complementary language support from a UK teacher, and an opportunity to engage with German peers.

  • Who will deliver the course?

    Each group will be supervised by either two teachers-in-training of German as a foreign language or a team of lecturers with extensive German teaching experience.

    UK-German Connection webinars will be delivered by vetted UK-German Connection colleagues.

  • How much does it cost?

    This programme is free for all participants.

    Selected participants are expected to attend and actively participate in all aspects of the programme for the full duration.

  • What are the technical requirements?

    Courses and preparatory and post-course webinars will be hosted using Zoom. Only confirmed participants will be admitted to join the calls.

    Participants will need a laptop, tablet or smart phone with a camera and microphone and stable internet connection. Headphones are also strongly recommended.

    If you do not have such equipment of your own, we recommend speaking to your teacher to see if you can borrow equipment or use the library.

    If you have any other barriers to taking part, please get in touch to speak to us about this via

  • 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 includes all lessons and preparatory and post-course webinars.

    Participants are also required to follow all programme guidelines and code of conduct. If participants don’t comply with the rules, they may be excluded from the programme.

    A certificate of participation will be issued to those who attend all parts of the programme.

  • How do I apply?

    The application deadline for the Virtual Summer Courses 2021 has now passed.

  • What happens next?

    We will contact all applicants by the end of April and notify them of the outcome of their application.

    Selected participants will then need to confirm acceptance of their place and their parents/guardians will be asked to return a consent form.

    Participants will then also receive further information including the course schedule and access details.

    Successful applicants will be grouped according to language ability, course capacity and a balanced distribution of participants by language level. Preferred course dates (July or August) will be taken into account where possible.

  • Spread the word in school

    Participants are encouraged to share insights from the courses with peers in a post-course German language ambassador capacity.

  • Online safety

    The Virtual Summer Courses take place in a protected and moderated environment and are led by experienced and vetted professionals in Germany.

    Preparatory and post-course webinars will be delivered by experienced and vetted UK-German Connection staff, including a dedicated online-safety contact.

    Online safety is taken seriously and course participants will be informed of safeguarding principles prior to the programme.

    Further information will be shared with successful applicants in due course and they will be required to sign up to an online safety policy as a condition of their participation.

    If you, your parent/guardian or your teacher have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

  • Any questions?

    If you have any questions, or would like further information on the programme, please contact us by email on or by phone.