March 24-31, 2019
Current Programs

An Open Program for Students in Affiliation with Hillel Santa Barbara

This Germany Close Up program for students in affiliation with Hillel Santa Barbara will take place from March 24 to 31, 2019.


Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – American Jews Meet Modern Germany is an initiative created to enrich transatlantic dialogue and provide Jewish-North American students and young professionals in their twenties and thirties with an opportunity to experience modern Germany up close and personally. A generous government scholarship (a part of the ERP Special Assets of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) covers more than two thirds of participation costs, which leaves a participation fee of US$870 per person. At the same time, Germany Close Up is an independent body regarding the organization and content of its programs. The purpose of the program is to allow participants to gain their own perspective on Germany through individual experience.

Explore modern Germany with your own eyes and engage in exchange with your German peers, while remembering and commemorating the past.

The trips are designed to expose participants to a range of aspects that make up modern Germany, with both the past and present in focus. Every Germany Close Up trip includes a number of activities, tours, and meetings. All trips cover issues related to Germany’s reflection on its past and its efforts to deal with the memory of the Holocaust and the Nazi horror up to this very day. They also consider Germany’s transformation over the last decades into a modern, reunified, and democratic country in the heart of the European Union, home to the third-fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet are both possible on all Germany Close Up trips. Please note, however, that the program can not cater to very extreme forms of some allergies.

The eight day program between March 24 and 31 (start in the US will be March 23) will expose participants to Berlin’s multicultural life, allow them to visit sites such as a former concentration camp, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and to experience other key historical sites and cultural venues. They will meet with German opinion-makers from the academic and political spheres, representatives of grass roots movements and the Jewish community, as well as German contemporaries. The role of Jewish voices in transatlantic relations will be explored as participants actively contribute to German-American dialogue. 


The program will focus on the following topics:

  • Berlin and united Germany
  • The Holocaust and the Nazi Era (incl. a visit to a former Concentration Camp)
  • Transatlantic/German-American relations (incl. a meeting with officials of the German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Current German Politics
  • Jewish Life in Berlin, past and present
  • German-Israeli relations
  • Visit to a city outside Berlin




This fee includes airfare, hotel accommodation in double rooms (3 star), most meals, and ground expenses. The scholarship does not include tipping. Please keep in mind that you will need to pay around 50€ (roughly US$55) for tips.

Participants pay their participation fee indirectly to Germany Close Up by purchasing their round-trip airline ticket. After being accepted to the program, participants are expected to book their roundtrip airline ticket to Berlin with economy class and to provide proof of purchase to Germany Close Up. In most cases, a participant's airline ticket purchase will cover the US$870 fee, and nothing more is owed to Germany Close Up.

Flight reimbursement

If your airfare is lower than US$870, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up. If your airfare is more than US$870, you may be eligible for a flight reimbursement for some of your costs above this amount.

Please note that this amount is capped and depends on your point of departure in the United States or Canada. For participants departing from the New York or Washington D.C. greater metropolitan areas the maximum reimbursement available is US$30 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$900). For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is US$330 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1200). Only flight costs above the US$870 participation fee are considered for reimbursement. 

For example:

For flight costs from the West Coast of $1,100, you will be reimbursed $230.

For flight costs from the West Coast of $1,200, you will be reimbursed $330.

For flight costs from the West Coast of $1,250, you will be reimbursed $330.

Reimbursement will take place several weeks after the program’s conclusion and will be coordinated by Hillel Santa Barbara. Please note that the reimbursement process can take up to three months.


8 days. March 24-31, 2019.

Further information

Application documents

Cover letter


Statement of interest (500 words)

One letter of recommendation (Hillel external)

Application close

November 26, 2018.

Register for this program

Apply now!
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