Each year SAGSE and the German Australian Students' Society (GASS) welcome a group of German students to Australia in the middle of June for approximately 10 weeks. During this time, the students will live with Australian host families and attend school with their host brothers/sisters. It is with great pleasure that we invite you to host a German exchange student for this period of time.
SAGSE has resumed its exchange program.
Applications to host an exchange student from Germany are open now!
Download the Host Family Application Form and School Consent Form here.
The German students typically arrive in Australia in mid of June and stay for approximately ten weeks. During their time in Australia, the student will attend school and Wintercamp and also participate in five days free travel around Australia. It is preferable for host siblings to be in Years 10-12 at school as the Germany students will be 16-18 years of age. Whilst a basic knowledge of German is recommended for the host sibling, it is far more important for the host family to have a wide variety of interests and be prepared to welcome a student from another country. The German students already have a sound knowledge of English with one aim of their time in Australia being to extend their communication skills and knowledge of the English language.
Interested local students and families from all regions are considered equally. Whilst host families are asked to welcome and accept a German student into their home, the student must also adapt to the host family's routine. The host family is not expected to change its lifestyle during the student's time in Australia. Whilst many host families enjoy taking their German students to attractions locally or interstate, this is by no means obligatory.
Valuable and long lasting friendships are formed through our exchange program. Hosting an exchange student provides all participants the opportunity to broaden their understanding of current issues and everyday life in both Australia and Germany. Furthermore, communication between a German student and the Australian host family is not only beneficial and rewarding but promotes cultural understanding for all involved.
Students who have previously hosted a German student through the SAGSE program and are wishing to apply for the SAGSE scholarship will see their
application 'fast-tracked': Applications by students who have previously hosted will automatically be short listed in consideration for the
program, provided they meet the eligibility criteria and complete an application form.
Scholarships are awarded to students at the completion of Year 11 (as well as Year 12 in Victoria).
Each year approximately 20-25 students are short listed in each state to be interviewed for the scholarship. Students who have previously hosted automatically receive an entry into the final interview stage of the scholarship selection. This entitlement applies only for each time the student has hosted a German student so that if the student hosts once he or she is entitled to be short-listed only once. Please note that host students who are younger than year 11 may carry over their interview advantages until they reach the eligible age.
Past host students have found the interview advantages to be beneficial in assisting their prospects of winning a scholarship.
German students are required to attend school with their host brother or sister for the duration of their time in Australia. This provides students with the opportunity to meet Australian students of similar age and to gain a greater understanding of Australian schools and our education system. Each school is encouraged to provide the German student with a personal timetable and assign her or him to specific classes to ensure she or he receives the full benefits of the school experience with minimal disruption to classes. This, however, is at the discretion of the school. The German students’ experiences can be greatly enhanced if they are allowed to attend different classes at different levels to facilitate language development and a wider appreciation of Australian culture.
The German students are not required to complete homework. The German students are not required to further their academic qualifications during this period, rather it is intended that the experience will broaden the students' outlooks. The students are required to abide by all school rules, including wearing uniform if this is compulsory. As the length of the stay does not warrant the purchase of a school uniform, a loan from the school or friends is recommended.
It is usual for the German students to undertake at their own cost one short trip in small groups without their host families. The length of such trip is limited to 5 days. Students must obtain written permission from their families in Germany, as well as the written consent of their host families and SAGSE. Students will be provided with itinerary forms which they are required to complete, listing their intended location(s) and accommodation(s) on each of the 5 days and contact address(es) and telephone number(s). A copy of this form will be retained by the host family and a copy will be given to the Host Family Coordinators.
Host families will be responsible for the student during their stay. Board or fees of any description will not be paid by SAGSE or by the student. Students will carry a sum of spending money enabling them to meet extra costs, such as independent travel. All students will be fully insured upon their arrival in Australia. Health insurance is covered by Medibank Private and is coordinated by SAGSE.
There will be a camp (organised by GASS) for the German students and their host siblings, during the July school holidays. The German students will all have paid for this camp in advance.
Representatives of both SAGSE and GASS will be in contact with host families before and during the German student's stay. The SAGSE and GASS Host Family Coordinators will organise interviews with the families who have applied and be available to answer queries regarding the program. Host families will also receive the GASS newsletter, informing them of social and other events organised by GASS. The SAGSE Host Family Local Coordinators will be in touch with host families and host schools periodically by phone throughout the German student's stay to make sure everything is running smoothly and to provide further support or help which may be required.
Listen to a radio interview by SBS German Radio with a host family who recently hosted a German Exchange Student in Melbourne about their experience (in German):
The links to the information note as well as the Application Form for the Host Family and Consent Form from the School appear below. Representative of both SAGSE and GASS will interview all applicant families. Applications will close soon. Interviews and the selection process typically will take place in February and March.
The German students undertake an intense interview process before becoming one of the selected students from hundreds, based on their academic ability, interpersonal skills, cultural knowledge and interest and enthusiasm for Australia. German students and families are matched by the organisation to try and bring together those with similar interests.
If you are interested in hosting a German student, follow the link below to download the application form or head to our Forms & Documents page.
Hosting a German Exchange Student
2023 Host Family Application Form - VIC
2023 School Consent Form Host Family - VIC