December, 7-13, 2020
Current Programs

An Open Program for Students and Young Professionals

This Germany Close Up program for students and young professionals will run from December 7-13, 2020. The program will take place in Berlin and one other German city. During the program, participants will be immersed in contemporary German society, while exploring the past, present and future of Germany.


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$990 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.

©Gesi Schilling

Spend a week exploring and experiencing contemporary German society, its politics, efforts to deal with the memory of the past, and current expressions of Jewish life.

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 with a growing Jewish community. 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 seven day program between December 7 and 13 (start in the US will be December 6) 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




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 $600 fee, and nothing more is owed to Germany Close Up.

Flight reimbursement

If your air fare is lower than US$600, the remainder is due to Germany Close Up in cash in EUROS while you are in Berlin. If your air fare is more than US$600, you may be eligible for a flight reimbursement from Germany Close Up 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$300 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$900). For participants departing from elsewhere in the United States or Canada the maximum reimbursement is US$500 (max. flight costs for full reimbursement: US$1.100). Only flight costs above the US$600 participation fee are considered for reimbursement.

For example:

For flight costs from New York at US$950, you will be reimbursed US$300.
For flight costs from New York at US$900, you will be reimbursed US$300.
For flight costs from Los Angeles at US$1.050, you will be reimbursed US$450.
For flight costs from Los Angeles at US$1.100, you will be reimbursed US$500.

Reimbursement will be take place in EURO while you are in Germany.

Please note that miles, credit card points or trip insurances cannot be used for reimbursement purposes.


Seven days. December 7-13, 2020

Further information

Application documents

Cover letter


Statement of interest (500 words)

Two letters of recommendation

Application close

Application closes on September 17, 2020.

Register for this program

Apply now!
to top