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 VFC Teacher Information Sheet. The Friendship Connection, Inc. does not require administrative approval for the VFC.

The Virtual Friendship Connection (VFC):
This program 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 THIS school year. We will find these students their best possible match based on age, interests and hobbies in order to inspire lasting friendship!
Student application forms are due by January 31st, 2023 We will put the partners in touch in late February and their 6 month “VFC subscription” will begin the first week of March – August! At the beginning of each of these months, the participants will receive “VFC Partner Projects” to complete together with their German partners. These projects are designed to help encourage frequent correspondence, help them get to know one another better, to learn about each other’s cultures and to improve on their foreign language skills.

These VFC 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 2024, if the pairing chooses to participate in the “Full” exchange NEXT school year. This fact can help many students feel more comfortable hosting and traveling the following school year since they will know their partner so well by that time.

The cost for the VFC will be $75 per student. This will cover our matching process as well as the 6 month “VFC subscription” with monthly check-ins and “VFC Partner Projects” from March – August.

No papers to collect! All forms should be emailed directly to: 
No need for administrative permission slips for the Virtual Friendship Connection!
Students/Parents can pay the $75 participation fee online via PayPal!

How to enroll your school:
Step #1:  Fill out this “VFC Teacher Information Sheet” in order to be added to the 2022-2023 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.

Step #2:  Introduce the VFC option to your German classes! Click on the link “Forms” to find the VFC flyer, which 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 around late-January then put you in contact with your German partner at the end of February, at which point they can begin communicating  with their German partners! Your students will have more than a year to correspond before the real exchange would take place in the spring and summer of 2024, if you and your VFC partner opt to participate.


The Friendship Connection, Inc. Host/Travel Program

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 as well as filled out the “FC 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 January 31st.  Sooner is even better! DANKE!

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

March 27th – April 17th, 2023 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 1-2 weeks.

June 26th – July 17th, 2023 U.S. participants doing the “Full” exchange return the visit to their German partners.

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 2024.


$2,000 for all “Full” participants

This price includes airfare, injury/illness insurance, teacher supervision and all administrative costs. If the “Full” participant was a former VFC participant and is signing up to visit their original VFC partner, the $75 VFC fee they previously paid will be deducted from their travel price!

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 $650 for airfare, minus $50 per “Full” participant from their school! 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 $650 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.