Individual Exchanges (Long-Term)

Individual Eschange GAPP © Goethe-Institut/Daniel Seiffert

Individual Exchanges (Long-term)

Spending a semester or a year abroad as a foreign exchange student and to completely immerse yourself in a foreign culture is a dream for many students. GAPP provides a unique environment for a semester or academic school year exchange for German and American secondary school students who are enrolled in GAPP partner schools.

Designated by the U.S. Department of State, GAPP, Inc. is an authorized sponsor organization of the Exchange Visitor Program for secondary school students. We only sponsor students visiting their official GAPP partner school.

If you are a student at a German GAPP-school, you can apply for either a semester or year-long stay at your US partner school. Ideally, you’ve already visited your prospective host school during your school’s short-term GAPP-exchange. This way, you are already familiar with the school and community that will become your second home.

As a first step, the German GAPP coordinator contacts their American partner on behalf of an interested student they recommend for a long-term exchange.

Only the American GAPP coordinator can then obtain the J-1 Visa application package from our office in New York. They will forward the information to the German GAPP teacher who will then provide the interested student with detailed information on  terms and conditions, fees and associated costs, program activities, and restrictions of the exchange program before the student and their parents fill out the application form.

We recommend the process be initiated at least 3-4 months before the semester or school year starts and we can only accept a certain number of applications per school year.

For more information about the Exchange Visitor Program, please visit the website of the US State Department.
For US students going to Germany, GAPP itself does not get involved as exchange organization, since there is no need for a visa sponsor.

These stays are arranged by the schools, teachers, and families themselves. We only provide the framework of school partnerships. Therefore, GAPP does not charge any fees.

If you are an American student interested in attending your German partner school for a longer period of time your GAPP coordinator will be able to obtain our most recent information brochure on long-term stays in Germany and to provide you with more information.

The American GAPP-coordinator then needs to contact their German partner and the German school needs to agree to accept the American student. Then, a host family has to be found, the student needs to show they are financially supported and health insurance needs to be obtained in order to receive such a permit. You can apply for an “Aufenthaltsgenehmigung”, as it is called, either through a German consulate or at the local authority in Germany responsible for foreigners.

NOTE: The German American Partnership Program does not act as exchange organization for long-term stays to Germany. We do have a short booklet with information we collected over the years on how to arrange a long-term stay in Germany and with ressources for further research. This information is subject to change and we can’t guarantee accuracy, although we do our best to keep it updated.