Study abroad at a High School in Germany

Welcome to ASTUR Education's High School in Germany Programmes! Watch the short teaser video to learn more about us and how you can make your dream of becoming a student at a German High School come true.

High School in Germany is different from other countries. Here is why!

When planning your stduies at a High School in Germany abroad, there is literally a thousand questions that pop into your head. How will I get there? Where will I stay? How do I apply for school? Do not worry, it's not that complicated and we're happy to help. You found the one place with all the info you need to start your study abroad at a German high school. We do have answers to all these questions, because that's what we - the ASTUR Education Group - do since 1986. We have helped countless students to make their dream of studying abroad come true. Now read on about all the important questions that you are asking yourself and also those you might not have thought about, yet.

To sum up, on this site we will explain to you...

  • How to recognise a quality study abroad programme
  • What programme is best for you and
  • How we make sure that you'll have the best experience

For us it is elementary that all parties involved have a positive experience during the High School in Germany programme. These parties are the student going to Germany, the student's parents and of course the student's host family.

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Please specifiy the type of programme you're interested in

What High School in Germany programmes do we offer?

Going abroad is never an easy decision and sometimes the number of choices and different programmes can seem overwhelming. We make it easier for you by offering two different types of programmes with ways to customise and tailor it to your needs. As a consequence, before you can go to Germany, you will need to decide on the type of programme you will be in. Therefore, we are offering two separate  programmes with different experiences:

  • Short-Term High School Programme (1 - 6 weeks) is tailored to younger students of at least 12 years who either want to have a try on Germany and see if they like it or students who do not wish to stay for a longer period.
  • High School in Germany Programm (2 to 11 months) is giving you the full experience of being a regular student at a German High School. You will fully immerse into your German life and become a full member of your host family. A truely unforgettable experience.

Apart from the duration there is only minor differences between the programmes. Check the table below for a quick overview.

Short-Term High School Programme High School in Germany Programme
Guaranteed placement (school & host family)
Select your city
Choose your host family X
Local organiser in your city
No hidden fees
ASTUR Certificate
School report X
Online Education (RosettaStone, Bettermarks etc.) X
Short Term High School
The short-term High School programmes in Germany is for students who want to study for 1 to 6 weeks at a German High School. Perfect for everyone interested in German education.

Age: 12 - 17 years

Time: all year round (rolling admission)

Duration: 1 - 6 weeks

Language requirements: min A2 German

School report: no

ASTUR certificatet: included

High School in Germany
The High School in Germany Programm is for students who want to study for 2 to 11 months at a German High School as a regular student. Enroll today to start your German adventure.

Age: 14 - 18 years

Time: all year round (rolling admission)

Duration: 2 - 11 months

Language requirements: min B1 German

School report: included

ASTUR certificatet: included

One-to-One Language Lessons
Private German Language lessons that boost your language skills. Prepare for a certain exam or have a kickstart for your life in German High School. We can help you with the tailored language lessons to reach your goals.

Lessons: from 2 lessons / week

Duration: from 1 week

Language requirements: no

ASTUR certificate: included

What are the requirements?

If you check all these boxes you're fit to join the high school programme:

  • Good German language ability of at least level B1 (long-term) or A2 (short-term)
  • For the long-term programme be at least 14 years old at the start of the school term
  • For the short-term programme be at least 12 years old at the start of the school term
  • You should be an independent personality
  • Your grades in school are above average
  • Your school allows you to leave

Read more about the application process here.

Need to improve your German skills?

You wish to get even better or you need us to get you up to speed with your German? Worry not, we got you covered. All High School Programmes can be upgraded with a flexible one-to-one tuition plan: starting from 2 lessons per week during your stay up to a 20-lesson-intensive preparation week just before you start school. All one-to-one tuition plans will be tailored to your needs.

Why ASTUR Education?

ASTUR Education was founded in 1986 and provides a number of different education programmes throughout Germany. Also, we run Germanys largest host family network with more than 6000 families. In the past three decades we have worked with many high schools and built good relationships with all of them. Rest assured that transparency is part of our core values and just like you we stay away from hidden charges or any negative surprises in the fine print.

We offer our High School Programme directly to students and parents all around the globe. Our dedicated team will take care of you end-to-end and make sure you'll get the best service possible.

Four promises for our students

Promise #1: A Host Family of your choice

Staying with the right host familiy during a high school programm is maybe the most important factor that makes for a good experience. After all, the host family is the one place, where an exchange student spends most of the time. It's the place where the student should feel safe and welcome, so the time in Germany can become a full success.

With ASTUR Education we offer you to choose the family you're staying with and we won't place you with a "welcome family". Before you will start your journey you will have plenty of time to get to know your host family

All host families are vetted and regularly checked upon. Almost every host family that welcomes a foreign student into their home has welcomed students in other types of programmes before. These other programmes are all from the portfolio of the ASTUR Education and can be class trips, language groups or one-to-one tuition.

Promise #2: A Programme made in Germany

With ASTUR Education you will have a reliable partner in Germany that guides you through the whole programme from your very first steps until you arrived back home safely. We are the ones in direct contact with the host families, put a center manager at your side and will always be there whenever there are questions.

Every city that we offer is supervised by a center manager, who is in charge of supervising that our operations run smoothly and evaluating the host families. The center manager is our face in the city and makes sure, that for both the student and the host family we deliver the best possible experience. Moreover, unlike other organisations, we have at least one center manager per city to keep distances short and make sure that we as an organisation know every host family personally.

As a German company, we make promises that we will keep.


Promise #3: You will attend an academic secondary school

Understanding the German Education System is key, when making any decisions on a high school programme. There is only two types of schools that prepare students for university and these schools are called Gymnasium and Gesamtschule. Some organisations also place incoming students with the so-called Realschule, which only has 10 years and graduates will not be able to attend university.

Without exception all high school students that we ever received, planned to go to university for undergrad studies, once they graduated high school. Which is why we made a strategic decision to not place students with Realschule, becausethese schools do not teach on an academic level fit for university.

Promise #4: Education is the focus of the programme

As it should be, education is the focus of our German High School programme. With our experience in teaching and running all sorts of experience, we build a package of additional services that enhance every student's experience.

When you sign up for an ASTUR Education High School Programme, you will automatically enroll in an online learning platform for the duration of your programme. This platform grants you exclusive access to these benefits:

  • Full access to the Rosetta Stone language learning platform with 24 languages. The software helps you to practice spoken German and listening comprehension with Rosetta Stones unique full immersion technology
  • Access to BetterMarks, a comprehensive maths tutoring software in both German and English to keep you up to speed with your mathematical skills
  • Improve your vocabulary with the Phase6 vocabulary trainer

ASTUR Education Group is the only programme provider that offers a complementary e-learning solution for every high school student.

A unique set of services

You can choose from 40+ destinations in our ASTUR Homestay network. Depending on the plan you enrol in, you can chose both the family and the city you're going to stay in. However, you will not be able to chose your school freely, because of the German education system (read more here).

ASTUR Education Others
Select your host family X
Guaranteed placement (school & host family) X
Stay with the same host family the whole time X
Number of destinations in Germany 40+ (6000+ host families) less than 10
Transcript of records included (for all 6+ months programmes) not all
Local organiser in your city not all
Direct selection of school and host family mostly through agencies
No hidden fees and surcharges surcharges very common

Read more about our core values, the services we provide and the comparison to other stakeholders in the FAQ section. In that section we offer concise and clear answers to every question you might have regarding the programmes.

The application process

The Application Process follows three very simple steps.

Checklist for going to a High School in Germany

I. Do your homework

You already made the first step and that's taking the decision to go abroad and study in Germany.

Before you go, here are a few things you will need to consider.

Great, you made the first step already and started researching about different high school programmes. But where will you start planning your journey and what are the things you need to look out for? Of course, it is a complex topic, but once you start asking the right questions, it become much simpler. Here are a number of questions you can start with: These are all the things you need to prepare in general or need to think about before you make any decision.

Personal preparation

  • Are you ready to go abroad and live in a foreign country?
  • What do you want to experience? What are your goals?
  • Check your language level. When did you last take a test?
  • Are you in a healthy condition (mind and body) to be far away from home?
  • How do your parents feel about your plan of studying abroad?

Things to check with your School

  • Does your school allow you to leave for an extended time?
  • Can you apply for a scholarship when going abroad?
  • Does your school have requirements the school abroad would need to meet?
  • Are there school policies for students going abroad?
  • Are there students that have been to germany before?
  • Check with the organisation if you are "applying" or "enrolling"? (read more here)

There are many different types of organisations that offer High School Programmes and it is not always clear who is in charge of what. Most organisations rely on adhoc volunteer host families. In most cases these host families have little experience hosting a foreign student. Here are some important questions you will need to ask every organisation you might consider:

  • Can you choose your host family? If so, how many options do you have?
  • Will you be placed with the final host family or does the organisation use so-called "welcome families"? (this means you will stay with an interim family until the organisation has found your final family)
  • What happens, if you don't get along with your host family?
  • If you (can) change the host family, will you be guaranteed to stay in the same city and school?
  • How does the organisation select the host families?
  • Does the organisation directly select these host families or are these host families of a partner organisation?
  • How does the organisation vet the host families?
  • How is a standard level of quality ensured?
  • Does the organisation you sign up with have a contract with the host family?
  • Do you have a point of contact / caretaker in the city you stay in (not regional but in the city)?

The booking terms that you will sign with the high school organisation of your choice are most important. Invest the time and ask every organisation you talk to for their booking agreements before you make any decisions (you can find our conditions here). Transparency and fairness of the contract you enter are key, because up to one year of your life you will have to live by these rules.

  • Will the organisation give you their booking agreement without discussion?
  • How can you cancel the programme?
  • How can they cancel the programme?
  • Will the organisation gurantee you a placement in Germany or a German speaking reagion?
  • Will they cancel you in case they cannot place you with a school or host family?
  • Are the payment conditions easy to understand?
  • What's the amount of non-refundable fees?
  • How much is the total programme cost including all fees and surcharges?

II. Make your decision

Once you completed your research, you can start comparing different programmes and eventually make a decision.

Here are a few things you will need to consider when making a decision.

The first question you need to decide upon is: how long do you want to stay in Germany? If your answer is less than two months, you will enroll in a short-term programme, where you study at a German school for a duration of 1 to 6 weeks. If your answer is anthing from 2 months and above, you will need to enroll in the regular High School Programme.

When checking the different programmes you want to ask these questions:

  • Can I change my short-term programme to more than 2 months, while I am in Germany?
  • What type of school will I visit?
  • Can you guarantee I will not be placed in a Realschule?
  • Will I be placed in a welcome family?
  • What happens if I want to change my host family?

Comparing prices can be tricky, but here is a list you need to check when making a price comparison. Before you start comparing, make a list of all the services that are necessary to enroll in the programm. After you completed the list, make a cost break-down of the total price and be sure you only compare the total prices rather than the advertised prices. Here are a couple of additional questions you want to ask yourself:

  • What services are included in the programme fee?
  • What services are excluded from the programme fee?
  • When I book a programme with an included flight, do the prices add up? Would it be cheaper to enroll in a programme not including a flight and book your own flight?
  • What surcharges are there? Common surcharges are health insurance and other insurances or non-refundable application fees or seperate visa letters / invitations.

Congratulations, you made the right choice! Thank you for choosing us 😉 This was the most important step.

You reached your destination: a High School in Germany

III. Start preparing

After selecting us, you will enjoy all the benefits of enrolling in the ASTUR High School in Germany programme.

These are the last three steps before you will go to Germany:

Now that you enrolled with the ASTUR Education High School Programme, we may begin customizing your journey. These are our questions for you:

  • Do you wish to stay in a particular city or region?
  • Did you make a final decision on your traveling dates?
  • Do you need special services or do requires any additional assistance?
  • Would you like to improve your language skills with the ASTUR one-to-one lessons?
  • Would you like to book a prep-course before you start school in Germany?

After we clarified on the most important questions there is some paper work to do.

  • Did you complete the detailed application sheet already?
  • Did you already start preparing your visa application (if necessary)?
  • Do you have a passport?
  • Did you prepare your short introduction video for the host families?
  • Is there anything we should be aware of when matching you with our host families?

As soon as we received the full application documents, we can start looking for the host families with the best fit to your profile.

One of the last steps before you can finally go to Germany will be the selection of your host family. We will present a number of families for you to choose from. Remember, these families already know your profile and have seen your application documents. Once you decided, you will go the exciting last step before going to Germany: meeting your host family online.

Most students (and their parents) will have a video call with the German host family in advance to get themselves acquainted.