Exchange Programs

Foreign politics is no longer shaped primarily by government-to-government relations. Public attitudes and opinions count.

The Exchanges Section of the Public Affairs Department at the U.S. Embassy Berlin sponsors and facilitates a wide range of educational and cultural programs, thus engaging German audiences in dialogue about the U.S. in Germany, and encouraging them to seek professional, educational, and social experiences in the U.S.

The U.S. Embassy offers a number of exchange programs to different audiences:
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) is an official exchange program established by the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag in 1983.  The CBYX program was part of the three-year President’s International Youth Exchange Initiative and celebrated the 300th anniversary of the first German settlements in the U.S.  It provides a full scholarship for an academic year in the host country. The CBYX focuses on young professionals, vocational school graduates, and high school students. The program is administered by exchange organizations in the U.S. and in Germany.
To mark the CBYX’s 15-year anniversary, the Dortmund Landesinstitut‘s Sozialforschungsstelle conducted the first study, titled “Learning to Believe in Themselves: Young Professionals in the USA,” on the program’s long-term effects. The study was commissioned by the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG) (now the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)) and funded by the U.S. Department of State and the German Bundestag.Executive Summary »
Check out these video testimonials taken at an event marking the return to Germany of the 75 Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Young Professionals from their U.S. exchange year in 2013-2014. |
The Fulbright Program in Germany is the largest and most varied of the Fulbright Programs worldwide. It has sponsored more than 40,000 Germans and Americans since its inception in 1952. The core Fulbright program in Germany is similar to other countries, supporting graduate study and teaching and research by U.S. and German professors, but there are also many special programs and a new set of programs targeted at minority students as well as increased teaching assistance ships in areas of Germany with large minority populations.
The German American Partnership Program (GAPP) is a high school linkage program between American high schools and secondary schools in Germany.  In terms of sheer volume, it is the largest U.S.-German youth exchange program.  Since its inception, over 250,000 students and teachers have taken part in this two-to three week exchange program. The German government, and the participants themselves, sponsor approximately 90% of the program. The American government supports the program through an annual contribution.

The Congress-Bundestag/Bundesrat Staff Exchange Program (CBBSX) was established in 1983 to complement the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange.  Each year ten Bundestag and ten Congressional staff members spend two weeks in each other’s country to observe and learn about the host government’s political institutions and to convey their views on issues of mutual concern.  Previous grantees play an integral role in arranging the program for their successors, which includes a visit to a congressional or parliamentary district.

The German International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) offers multipliers and potential leaders working in areas relevant to U.S. policy interests in Germany an opportunity to visit the United States in order to consult with colleagues and observe the latest American developments in their areas of expertise. The IVLP covers a wide range of current issues including: security and foreign policy; counter-terrorism; combating trafficking in persons; trade; agriculture and biotechnology; education; immigration, diversity and multicultural integration; new technologies; data privacy; and museum management. Candidates for the IVLP will be selected by representatives of the U.S. Mission Germany.

The Eastern German Teachers Visitor Program (EGTVP) is a fully funded two-week visitor program for secondary school teachers from Eastern Germany.  Ambassador Coats established the program in 2003 to give high school teachers from the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), where negative images of the U.S. were prevalent, an opportunity to experience and learn about America first-hand. Additionally, the program provides German and American teachers with an opportunity to develop lasting contacts. The program is financed through donations from German and American companies.

USA for You is a two-week scholarship program jointly funded by the U.S. Mission in Germany together with Robert Bosch Foundation (RBS), and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It provides language learning, homestay, and community service opportunities for German high school students (15-17 years old) from Real-, Haupt- and Gesamtschulen. The USA for You group from Munich is funded by the City of Munich, the group from North Rhine Westphalia by the exchange organization Experiment e.V.
The organizations YFU e.V. and Experiment e.V. recruit participants and organize the program in the United States through their partners. The program runs in Eastern Germany, the City of Munich and in North Rhine Westphalia and takes place in spring and fall.

For more information:

  • YFU:
  • Experiment e.V.: