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German Scholarships Programme

Please note: the application process is currently closed. The programme usually takes place between end of June/beginning of July and beginning of August every year.

The application process for 2020 will open in January.

Applicants will need to submit an online application form, a copy of a recent, marked piece of written work in German, an essay (choice of topics to be announced) and a teacher reference.


Congratulations to the 2019 German Scholarships Programme participants!

  • Sophie, Regent House Grammar School
  • Matthew, Dame Alice Owen’s School
  • Jack, Rossall School
  • Miranda, Redcliffe Sixth Form Centre
  • Kate, Wrekin College
  • Riya, The Abbey Senior School
  • Lucy, Hamilton College
  • Misha, Plymstock School

What is the German Scholarships Programme?

The German Scholarships Programme (Internationales Preisträgerprogramm) is a fantastic opportunity for all UK citizens, aged 16+, in their penultimate school year (Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland, Year 13 in Northern Ireland) to improve their language and learn more about the German culture. The programme is run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) and administered in the UK by UK-German Connection. It provides a unique opportunity for pupils to get first-hand experience of German life and culture and improve their German language skills at the same time. The German Scholarships Programme is an international programme and participants will experience German language learning and travelling in mixed international groups.

Who can take part?

Candidates need to have studied German for at least two years and have achieved excellent results. They also need to have a good command of the spoken language and a good general knowledge about Germany, as well as very good personal, social and intercultural skills. Participants are expected to actively take part in all the programme activities.

Preference will be given to those showing particular ability in German. As competition for these places is high, 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.

Please note: this programme is for permanent UK residents only ( (at least three years at the time of application). It is not open to German nationals and German native speakers.

When does it take place?

This is a four-week programme which usually takes place in July and August in various locations throughout Germany.

The dates for 2019 are:
3 July - 2 August 2019

What does the programme include?

  • an introductory week in Bonn to meet the rest of the international participants and to find out more about the four-week programme ahead
  • school visits and project work in mixed international groups
  • a two-week home stay with German host families
  • visits to museums and famous cities like Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich
  • an international evening where each national group represents their country

Participants will be following a full-time programme of activities and travelling in a group with other students. Individual excursions and trips will therefore not be possible nor can flight/travel dates be altered.

Who organises travel?

The PAD books return journeys between a London airport and the German destination. Participants arrange their own journey to and from the London airport.

The group is met on departure at a London airport by a member of UK-German Connection staff. Programme guides will meet participants on arrival in Germany and accompany the groups throughout the programme, offering assistance wherever needed.

Who pays what?

This is a fully-funded course, and therefore all costs (including travel, accommodation and course costs) are paid for by the German government through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD).

UK participants pay for the cost of domestic travel to a London airport and their own pocket money.

IMPORTANT: Further information on the organisations responsible for the courses, host school and family selection, group leader selection and the safety measures in place on the courses is on our health and safety pages. Please click here to read these, as well as passing on the information to your teachers and parents.

Scholarships essays

As part of their application, all 2019 applicants were required to write an essay on one of the topics below:

  • In diesem Jahr jährt sich der Fall der Berliner Mauer zum 30. Mal. Inwieweit können wir deiner Meinung nach von einem vereinten Deutschland sprechen und welche Rolle spielt dabei die kulturelle Identität, insbesondere für Jugendliche heute?

  • "If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen." (Willy Brandt)
    Inwiefern trifft diese Aussage deiner Meinung nach heute noch in den deutsch-britischen Beziehungen zu, auch angesichts der Dominanz der digitalen Kommunikation?

  • “Das Bauhaus gehört inzwischen zu den bedeutendsten und weltweit wirkungsvollsten kulturellen Hervorbringungen unseres Landes.“ (Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier)
    In diesem Jahr feiern wir 100 Jahre Bauhaus. Welche Rolle spielte diese Bewegung in der Tradition des deutsch-britischen Kulturaustauschs? Wie können wir den Kulturaustausch zwischen Deutschland und dem Vereinigten Königreich auch in Zukunft lebendig halten?

What happens next?

All participants for the 2019 programme have been selected.

Participants are expected to take a very active and constructive part in all aspects of the programme and follow all programme guidelines and code of conduct. If participants don't comply with the rules, they may be sent home at their own / their parents' expenses.

Primary school ambassadors project

Our courses include an element of practical outreach work for all participants, in order to bring an authentic element of German culture to primary schools, and to give participants an opportunity to share their experiences and learning with the wider community. Before the start of the course participants will need to contact a local primary school for which they will prepare a small project (e.g. a workshop or a presentation) after their time in Germany. After the course, they go into the primary school and share their experiences with the pupils. Former participants have reported that this was an exciting and rewarding experience with benefits for not only them but also the primary teachers and pupils. On completion of their project, participants are required to provide us with brief feedback on the outcomes. Participants will receive guidance on the projects from UK-German Connection. You can read about previous participants' primary projects on the German Scholarships Programme feedback page.


Participants are required to report on their time in Germany through a variety of media, including questionnaires, contributions to social media and a report, which will be featured on our website. To view participants' reports from previous years, visit the German Scholarships Programme feedback page.

Spread the word in school

Participants should also tell others in their own school about their experiences, for example giving a talk in an assembly or writing an article for the school magazine.

Before going to Germany

All participants will 'meet' in a closed online forum before travelling to Germany, giving them the opportunity to get to know each other beforehand, as well as discuss aspects of the courses such as travel to the airport and primary ambassadors projects. In addition, participants will also be able to contact peer mentors, who have previously participated in the German Scholarships Programme.

Further information

If you have any questions, or would like further information on the programme, please contact our pupil programmes manager.