Education in Germany - a Multi-Faceted System

A Professional Development Seminar for U.S. Teachers to Germany, June 27 - July 11, 2015



The seminar is administered by the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin.

The seminar will offer the participants the opportunity to gain professional insight into various parts of the German education system and its underlying philosophy in order to enrich their own teaching and reinforce their motivation to engage in transatlantic dialogue and exchange. Furthermore, the program intends to provide new perspectives in education and cultural understanding, including a comparative look at both the U.S. and the German educational system and society. Based on the participants' experience in Germany, their school communities will hopefully be able to strengthen their own global awareness and become a prominent member of the world-wide Fulbright network.

The Seminar in Detail

The seminar begins with the departure from the U.S. on June 27 (arrival in Germany on June 28) and ends with the departure from Germany on July 11 (arrival in the U.S. on July 11). The seminar will take place in Mainz in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, close to Frankfurt. The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz will be our host for the 14 program days.

The participants will receive an overview of the German school and post-secondary education system. The seminar also discusses the transition to a modern educational model in Germany and Europe on the high school and university level and the resulting responses and opportunities for German schools, teachers and students. Emphasis will be placed on the internationalization efforts of German schools through bilingual teaching and exchange activities. The seminar intends to compare and contrast these issues with structures and developments in the U.S.

These and other topics and issues of interest for the work of American teachers in all relevant fields will be complemented by visits to German schools of all types in and around Mainz. The participants will get to know German schools “in practice”, become familiar with their day-to-day routines and learn about the schools’ interaction with the community. The American participants are invited to represent their own schools and districts and to actively share their own teaching experiences with German colleagues, students, and program partners.

Professional Development Aspects

The seminar will cover specific topics which are currently being discussed in Germany and Europe, such as the assurance of quality standards and school governance, the contribution of students' and parents' associations, the impact of early childhood education, special educational tools such as the 'high achievement tracks', and the relevance and importance of secondary education for the vocational training and education. It also describes the opportunities and challenges with regard to the European higher  education 'Bologna' process, and the latest OECD results of the PISA studies. Lastly, the importance of German-American relations with regard to education (secondary and post-secondary), economy and politics will be addressed.

Target Group

The seminar is open to high school teachers of all subjects, including the sciences, arts, music and humanities, from public and private high schools. The program will be conducted in English.


The Fulbright Commission in Berlin offers a grant including international travel expenses (up to 1.400 USD) and costs of the program in Germany (including accommodation and some group meals) and organizes the seminar as described.

Program Perspective

This special program for American teachers has been offered since 2011.
If you are interested, please check your school calendar carefully to avoid a conflict with other obligations.

German Program Partners

The Fulbright Commission closely cooperates with the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Teacher Training Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Conditions for Application

  • American citizenship and a valid American passport; people with dual (German-American) citizenship are not eligible to apply
  • Full-time position as a high school teacher and a minimum of three years of work experience


The application should include 

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of your Passport
  • Reference letter from your department head or principal
  • Please clarify if you need an official leave of absence from your school authority.

Application Submission

You can download the information and the application form here.

Please fill out the application form on the computer, sign it, attach the CV, attach the signed reference letter and leave of absence, scan the documents (to receive one single PDF File!) and send this file via e-mail to the Fulbright Commission in Berlin exclusively. Please find the contact e-mail on the application form.

Please note that incomplete applications and illegible files cannot be considered.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Further Planning

  • Selection of participants and notification is expected by mid-February.
  • Program start: departure to Germany on June 27, 2015 (arrival on June 28)
  • Program end: departure to the U.S. on July 11, 2015 (arrival on July 11)
  • Participants may be able to extend their stay in Germany at their own expense.


Special Programs
Email contact
Lützowufer 26
10787 Berlin