How The Program Works – Students

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Virtual Friendship Connection (VFC)
The Friendship Connection, Inc. exchange program

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!
We will put the partners in touch in February and their 6 month “VFC subscription” will begin! At the beginning of each month, from March until August, 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 procedures as well as the 6 month “VFC subscription” with monthly check-ins from March – August with organized discussions and projects for the pairings to complete together.

How to get involved:
If you are interested in being connected with a new German friend this school year who is around your age and has many similar interests and hobbies, please click on the link “Forms” at the top of the page and there you will you find the “VFC application form.” Then please follow these steps:

1. Fill out the form online with as much detail as possible. The more detail you add, the better match we can find you! Forms will be accepted between now and January 31st, 2023.

2. Then print the form, attach a picture of yourself to the form and have a parent or guardian sign and date the form.

3. Scan the form and email it to:  or take a clear picture of your form and text to Krista Winzer-Lee: 330-618-6127

4. Once you receive an email confirmation and invoice from VFC that your form has been processed, please pay the $75 participation fee via PayPal or by mailing in a check.

What comes next?
We will begin the pairing process at the end of January then put you in contact with your German partner at the end of February, at which point you can begin communicating and working on your “VFC Partner Projects!” You 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. If you choose to travel in 2024 to visit your VFC partner, the $75 VFC fee you paid this year will be deducted from your travel program costs!

The Friendship Connection, Inc. Host/Travel Program

Fill out either a “Host Only” or “Full” application form, which you can receive from your German teacher or print one off our website from our Forms.

Send in your application form as soon as possible! (Deadline Jan. 31st)

Send to:
The Friendship Connection, Inc.
Krista Winzer-Lee, Coordinator
P.O. Box 1444, Hudson, OH 44236

Or scan and email to: 

The total cost for “Full” participants is $2,000.  Please send in your first deposit of $700 along with your application form by January 31st. The balance of $1,300 will be due by February 25th, 2023.
Important: Participant’s full name and high school must appear in the lower left corner of the check!
PayPal option is also available for an additional fee. Please email Krista Winzer-Lee for more information:

“Full” participants and parents must read and sign the addendum to our application form, which is an integral part of the “Full” application form on pages 3-4 of the form.

We will pair you off with a student from Germany based on you age, gender, interests and hobbies.

Around mid-February you will receive your German partner’s application form with his/her picture, contact information, interests and hobbies. In turn, your German partner will receive your application form. At that time you can begin communicating before your partner’s arrival in the spring.

When your German partner visits you in the spring, he/she will attend your classes, and after several days, should be given a chance to substitute at least a few classes for ones of greater interest to him/her.

Although it is expected that the host families will make an effort to show their guest the local points of interest and do some limited sightseeing, the primary purpose of this program is to provide the participants with an opportunity to live with a family in the host country; consequently, the daily routine of the family need not be disrupted.

Our main goal is to find the most compatible German exchange student for each American; however, if two American participants request to be placed in the same school in Germany, we will try to honor that request, even though it limits our search for the best possible German partner for those Americans.

While in Germany, the American students will attend a few weeks of school but will take no tests, receive no grades, nor be required to do homework. Most of our participating German schools will begin their summer vacation during our three week visit. Some Americans will experience only one week of school, others will experience three, it all depends on when their host school begins their summer break.

Krista Winzer-Lee, Coordinator of the exchange program, along with other chaperoning teachers, will be in Germany overseeing the program and will be accessible to students and parents alike. In addition, each German school has an assigned English teacher, who serves as a “Big Brother/Sister” to the Americans during their stay.


$2,000 for all “Full” participants

This price includes airfare, injury/illness insurance, teacher supervision and all administrative costs.  Room and board is provided by the German host family in exchange for similar accommodations when the German participant visits you in the spring.  Students should plan to bring along spending money for incidentals, souvenirs, gifts, etc.
NOTE: 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!


If the hosting parents feel that the presence of the German student in their home proves to be disruptive or undesirable, that student will be removed and “relocated” with a “back-up” host family in a different school district within 24-48 hours.  If the exchange student breaks the law (stealing, alcohol, drugs, etc.), that student will be sent home at his/her parents’ expense!  After the Germans return home, the American participants and their parents have an opportunity to request a new partner for the summer exchange, if there was a personality conflict or some other problem. Once in Germany, we either visit or call these participants within the first few days to make sure all are happy with their new partners.


The overwhelming majority of participants consider The Friendship Connection to be a most unique and rewarding experience.  The feedback from host parents and participating teachers has also been very supportive of the program. (Please refer to our “Testimonials” page on this website.) We have found that college admissions officers are impressed with applicants who have participated in such a unique total-immersion program.