Education in Germany - a Multi-Faceted System

A Professional Development Seminar for U.S. High School Teachers to Germany, June 18 - July 2, 2016

Program Description

The seminar is administered by the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin.
The Fulbright Commission cooperates closely with the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Teacher Training Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

This professional development seminar will offer the participants the opportunity to gain 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 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.
The seminar will cover specific topics which are currently being discussed in Germany and Europe, such as a growing diversity of the student population and inclusion developments as well school governance, the contribution of students’ and parents’ associations and special educational tools such as the ‘high achievement tracks’. The role and importance for the vocational training and education will be demonstrated. Other features will be 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.
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.

Program Dates and Partners
The seminar begins with the departure from the U.S. on June 18 (arrival in Germany on June 19) and ends with the departure from Germany on July 2. 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 program. Mainz is a perfect example of a town with Roman roots; an important religious, historical and now a modern capital with a high-caliber secondary and higher education system.

Grant Benefits

The Fulbright Commission in Berlin will pay for your travel-related expenses (airfare and potential airport transfers) with a lump-sum of $ 1,400 which we will transfer to your bank account at home upon your arrival in Germany. We will also cover costs of the program in Germany (including accommodation and some meals) and organize the seminar as described. Participants may extend their stay in Germany at their own expense.


•    The seminar is open to high school teachers of all subjects and
      from all public and private high schools. The program will be
      conducted in English.
•    American citizenship and a valid American passport are
      prerequisites; teachers with dual (German-American)
      citizenship are not eligible to apply.
•    Applicants need to be employed as a teacher full-time and
      must have a minimum of three years of work experience.

Application Procedure

The application should include
•    Application form
•    Curriculum Vitae
•    Copy of your Passport
•    Letter of recommendation from your department head
      or principal
•    Please clarify if you need an official leave of absence from your
      school authority.

You can download the application form here.
Please fill out the application form on the computer, sign it, attach your CV and scan the documents (to receive one single PDF File!) and send this file via e-mail to the Fulbright Commission in Berlin exclusively:
The signed letter of recommendation needs to be scanned and sent separately by the application deadline by your department head or principal via e-mail to:
Please note that incomplete applications and illegible files cannot be considered.

Important Dates

•    All documents must be received by the Fulbright Commission
      by December 16, 2015
•    Selection of participants and notification is expected
      by mid-February 2016.


Special Programs
Email contact
Lützowufer 26
10787 Berlin