How It Works – Teachers

Students      How it Works      Eligibility
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German teachers who are interested in signing their classes up for the NEW Virtual Friendship Connection can click on this link to fill out the Teacher Information Survey. The Friendship Connection, Inc. does not require administrative approval for the VFC.

There are TWO options for the VFC:
Option #1:  Intent to host/travel in 2022 = This is for students who were looking forward to The Friendship Connection exchange program this school year, however, due to COVID-19 we are unable to offer our travel program at this time. We will match these students exactly the same way we would normally make the pairings (based on age, interests and hobbies) in order to inspire lasting friendships! These pairings will have over a year to correspond and build a friendship before the actual exchange would take place in the spring and summer of 2022.

Option #2: Virtual exchange ONLY = This is for students who simply want to meet a new friend from Germany and who have no intention of hosting their German partner or traveling to Germany in the near future. We will also find these students their best possible match based on age, interests and hobbies in order to inspire lasting friendship!(These students ARE allowed to change their minds the following school year and sign up to host and travel with their “virtual” German partner!)

The cost for the VFC will be $75 per student. This will cover our matching procedures as well as monthly check-ins with the students for an entire year during school months. Once we put the students in contact with their partners at the end of February, Friendship Connection will send a monthly email to the participating students to encourage frequent correspondence as well as suggest a topic/project for that month and provide relevant vocabulary.

No paper! All forms should be emailed to:
No need for administrative permission slips for the Virtual Friendship Connection!
Students/Parents can pay the $75 participation fee by credit card!

How to enroll your school:
Step #1:  Fill out this “Teacher Information Survey” in order to be added to the 2020-2021 participation list. You will then receive subsequent emails regarding VFC updates and student participation lists throughout the year so you know who has signed up. Teacher Information Survey

Step #2:  Introduce the VFC option to your German classes! Click on the link “Forms” to find the two page flyer you can print and hand out to students as well as the link to the online student application form.

Step #3: You could also share our 11 minute informational video to your classes. Please email to request a copy of this video.

Step #4:  If you are interested in a live “Zoom presentation” in some, or all, of your German classes please email Krista Winzer-Lee at Students can ask questions in real time! In order to include parents, we could also set up an evening Zoom meeting time. Please let us know if you are interested and we can set up a date and time(s)!

What comes next?
We will begin the pairing process in January then put your students in contact with their German partners at the end of February, at which point they can begin communicating! They will have more than a year to correspond before the real exchange would take place in the spring and summer of 2022, if they opt to participate in the “Full” exchange. Each month during the virtual exchange, VFC will email “check-ins” to participants to encourage frequent correspondence and suggest topics to discuss and projects to do together.

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are unable to offer the travel program during the 2020-2021 school year. However, for future reference, below is the information for our travel program, which we hope to resume during the 2021-2022 school year.

German teachers should first obtain administrative approval before handing out any of our exchange program information to students.  Once the German teacher has received the signed “Administrator’s Permission Slip” and sent it in to us along with the “Teacher Information Sheet,” he/she can inform the students about this opportunity. Students can then fill out and send in their application forms directly to The Friendship Connection, Inc. or German teachers can choose to collect their students’ forms and send them in to us all at one time before the deadline of December 31st.

Around mid-February students find out who their German partners are and begin communicating with them

March 30th – April 27th, 2020 the Germans visit their U.S. partners.  These dates hopefully fall during your spring break, so the German visitors will only be observing in your school for about 13-15 days.

June 14th – July 12th, 2020 U.S. participants doing the “Full” exchange return the visit to their German partners.

June 21st – July 19th, 2020 these travel dates are for “Full” U.S. participants whose summer break begins after our normal June 14th departure

Note: We require that all “Full” participants have completed at least 2 years of German before their return visit, which better assures the academic integrity of the program. (Graduating seniors are also eligible!)

“Host Only” participants are those who only host in the spring and do not return the visit in the summer; these participants can be any of your German students, including German One students, and even students from your school who are not learning German.  There is no charge for “Host Only” participants!  However, it is our hope that your German students who simply host this academic school year would consider returning the visit to their German partner in the summer of 2021.


$1,850 for all “Full” participants

This price includes airfare, injury/illness insurance, teacher supervision and all administrative costs.

We do require that all “Full” participants have completed at least 2 years of German before their return visit.

Although there is no German language requirement for hosting a German exchange student in the spring, we do require that all “Full” participants have completed at least two years of German before their return visit, which better assures the academic integrity of the program. (Some exceptions can be made, please call us regarding special cases.)

Many teachers involved in GAPP and other exchange programs still use The Friendship Connection in the off years, if their German trips are planned every two years and one or several of their graduating seniors could otherwise not participate.

German teachers do not need to accompany their students to Germany.

German teachers are certainly encouraged to travel with the group if they have the time. This year the teachers will pay only $550 for airfare, minus $50 per “Full” participant; for example, a teacher with 11 students would pay $0 for his/her plane ticket! Since we only need one accompanying teacher from each airport, we can only extend this offer to the first German teacher from each airport who sends in his/her“Begleitlehrer Application form” along with a deposit of $150 which will indicate his/her willingness to accompany the group both to and from Germany.

If another teacher from the same airport signs up later, he/she would still be able to fly with the group, but for the actual cost of the “group rate” ticket, minus $50 per “full” participant from his/her high school. (We might still be able to offer the discounted $550 ticket to a teacher who signed up late if he/she were willing to fly out of a different US airport where we did not yet have a chaperon.)  Unfortunately, we can no longer provide spouses and family members with our “student group rated tickets,” however, we can provide the German teacher with the flight information and his/her family members can purchase their own ticket on the same flights.  Aside from “shepherding” the students to and from Germany, the accompanying German teachers have no responsibilities to the program once they arrive in Frankfurt!  For teachers who wish to stay with a German family, we can help arrange home stays for a week or two.