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.

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.

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.

However, getting ready for a long-term stay in the US requires careful preparation. There are many rules and regulations that govern the J-1 visa application process. 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 coordinator can then obtain the J-1 Visa application package from our office in New York. 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.
If you are an American student interested in attending your German partner school for a longer period of time, the process is a bit easier. Americans don’t need a sponsor organization to obtain a permit to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. However, the American GAPP-coordinator 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.

Please contact us for the latest information brochures on initiating a long-term exchange. We are happy to assist you with what many students have rated a “once in a life-time experience”.