German Pupil Courses
The German Pupil Courses are two-week language and culture courses which take place in July or August. There are three courses for 12 pupils and one group leader each.
These courses are for pupils with a very good level of German, with a high level of interest in the language and culture, and very good personal, social and intercultural skills. The courses take place in three different German towns. Participants live with a German host family for the two weeks, and have lessons in school as well as organised excursions.
This is a high-profile government programme, part-funded by the German foreign office (participants pay a contribution towards the costs – usually around £300), and 36 pupils from the UK are selected each year. In order to apply, candidates must complete an application form stating their reasons for their interest in the course. This programme is open to pupils in Year 12 (England, Wales) / Year 13 (Northern Ireland) / S5 (Scotland) and Year 10 (England, Wales) / Year 11 (Northern Ireland) / S3 (Scotland).
You can find more information about the German Pupil Courses on our website for young people.
For pupils with excellent German results, the four-week German Scholarships Programme may also be interesting.
The German Pupil Courses and German Scholarships Programme are run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), Bonn in co-operation with UK-German Connection, London. The PAD runs the programme on behalf of the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Ministry). UK-German Connection manages the programme in the UK on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) and the British Council, and in close cooperation with the PAD. The Pädagogischer Austauschdienst is the German governmental institution in charge of international education at school level and works to develop and promote international co-operation at school level.
If you have any questions, please contact our pupil programmes manager.
Group structure and group leaders
German Pupil Course participants travel in groups of 12 together with one dedicated UK group leader each, who travels out and back with the group and stays with them throughout the duration of the course. The group leaders are fully-qualified and vetted UK teachers and have completed a DBS check. Group leaders are selected by UK-German Connection on the basis of their experience in teaching and leading groups abroad, and relevant references from their heads of institutions. The group leaders are responsible for the welfare of the 12 UK pupils during their stay, for accompanying the group on their travels and for leading and coordinating their activities. They also provide some German lessons, in cooperation with teachers from the German school.
Group leaders for the German Pupil Courses receive comprehensive guidance from UK-German Connection prior to the course, including an in-depth briefing meeting, which includes all aspects of the course, including health & safety procedures. They have a valid first-aid qualification and carry an emergency pack at all times.
In Germany, every host school has a dedicated course organiser for the UK group, who has been selected by PAD and briefed by UK-German Connection. The course organiser works together with the UK group leader on all activities during the two weeks and remain in regular contact with UK-German Connection and PAD.
Participants are supervised and/or in groups of at least three for most of the time on the German Pupil Course; however, for local transport to and from the German school participants are accompanied by a member of the host family.
How are host schools and host families selected?
The German schools, and course organisers, are selected by PAD, and have generally been running the courses at their schools for many years. UK-German Connection then allocates UK pupils to the German schools on the basis of their applications.
The host families are carefully selected by the host schools. They are well-known to the school, have children at the school and are trusted by them. UK pupils and host families are matched according to the details provided by pupils in the ‘host family’ section of the application form. Where possible, host families are selected where there is a pupil of the same age but this cannot be guaranteed. Details of host families are sent to participants well in advance of the course, so that participants and their families can establish communication beforehand.
Travel and insurance
UK-German Connection books return journeys between a London airport and the German destination. Local travel and transport in Germany is arranged there. Participants arrange their own journey to and from the London airport and, where possible, UK-German Connection advises participants on who may be able to travel to the London airport together. Individual travel arrangements to and from Germany are not possible nor can flight or travel dates be altered. UK-German Connection organises travel and health insurance for all participants.
The groups are met on departure at a London airport by a member of UK-German Connection staff and their group leaders. The teacher accompanies them to their destination and is their group leader during the entire stay in Germany.