How is high school in 2019

weltweiser study

Statistics, data & facts on student exchanges

9th edition, Weltweiser Verlag 2019
72 pages, free of charge

weltweiser study on student exchange

Weltweiser has been systematically collecting data on student exchanges since 2002 with the support of numerous exchange organizations. The representative weltweiser study deals with the following topics, among others:

  • Development of the number of participants in school exchanges
  • Popularity of the host countries among German exchange students
  • Distribution of exchange students to the individual federal states
  • Popularity of the school exchange program in the individual federal states
  • Overview of the exchange industry in Germany

Numerous analyzes and background information provide informative information on developments and tendencies in student exchanges.


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Press release on the study

School exchange: empirical study shows trends

Year abroad: popularity of host countries | Gender gap | Host family change | Ranking of the federal states | Price development

Bonn, June 11, 2019. The weltweiser study on school exchanges will also present the latest trends and developments in 2019 for stays abroad for several months during school time. The main results of the 40-page representative survey are:

Number of program participants
A total of around 15,900 students attended a school abroad for at least three months in the 2017/18 school year. The total number of participants has thus fallen for the seventh year in a row, which is almost exclusively due to the sharp decline in the USA program.

Popularity of host countries
The USA is still the most popular host country among guest students in Germany. Compared to the previous year, however, a drastic decrease of 20 percent can be observed. At the same time, Ireland is growing in popularity, while the number of exchange students for Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain has remained constant.

Comparison of federal states
In a comparison of the federal states, the student exchange in Hamburg is the most popular: 5.5 percent of young people in the Hanseatic city go abroad for a high school stay. This is followed by Berlin (2.9 percent), Schleswig-Holstein (2.1 percent) and Bremen (2.0 percent). The average value of those who go abroad via an exchange organization and attend a public school there for at least 3 months is 1.4 percent. If one adds private school stays and state programs, an average value of a good 2 percent of the relevant cohort can be assumed.

Gender ratio
The study shows an imbalance between the girls and boys among the program participants: with 65 percent of the young people, the vast majority of the exchange students are girls.

Exchange industry
There are around 100 organizations, agencies and associations on the German market that offer student exchange programs. More than 60 percent of the exchange organizations each look after less than 100 exchange students per year.

Private school and public school visits
Compared to the high school program, the private student exchange program plays a subordinate role in terms of numbers: While 83 percent of the departed students attended a public school, 17 percent spent their stay abroad at a private school.

The independent educational advisory service and publisher weltweiser has been systematically collecting data on student exchanges since 2002 and presents the results every year as part of the weltweiser study - student exchange, high school, year abroad. In addition to short-term trends, long-term developments in the industry can also be traced.
In addition, weltweiser has been touring Germany every year since 2003 with the youth education fair JuBi. The event will take place nationwide at over 50 locations in 2019 and is the largest special fair on the subject of "Education Abroad". More than 100 renowned exchange organizations and international education experts provide information on offers such as student exchanges, high schools, language and youth travel, volunteer work, au pairs, work & travel as well as internships and studies abroad.

additional Information
• Student exchange study by weltweiser, as of June 2019:
• Thomas Terbeck: Handbook Fernweh. The guide to student exchange, with clear price-performance tables of high school programs for 20 host countries, 19th, completely revised and expanded edition, weltweiser Verlag 2019, 488 pages, 18.50 euros, ISBN 978-3-935897-40- 2: www.
• JuBi - the youth education fair: The largest special fair on the subject of "stays abroad" for schoolchildren, young adults - and their parents:

Graphics for the study

Most popular host countries in student exchanges
15 most popular host countries in the 2018/19 school year

Share of exchange students among young people
Federal state comparison 2018/19

Number of exchange students who left the country
Development of the number of participants 2002-2019

Time of placement in a host family
Comparison USA and other countries 2018/2019

Other formats

All graphics in various formats and in print resolution can be found in our Dropbox for free download


Organizations involved

weltweiser would like to thank all exchange organizations that have been providing us with their data for the weltweiser study for years, especially the following exchange organizations that have provided us with extensive figures for the current study:

AMS Tours
Barnes Educational Services
Carl Duisberg Centers
Claudia Kipp Education
Culture XL
The exchange experts
DRK Volunta
Long-term goals
Global Youth Group
Hausch and Partner
Australia High School
international experience
Irish summer

Jump overseas
Köpp consulting
Ocean College
Open Door International
Partnership International
Petra Heinemann
Sarah Jochum's boarding school counseling
School and study advice Hauser
South Pacific Exchange
Southern Cross
ssb Nottebohm
Study Nelson
Swan College
Terre des Langues
Travelbee (into)
Placement agency for state boarding schools, Samira Bohn
World Wide Qualifications