At least six institutions and organizations offer opportunities for American journalists to work and/or study in Germany. Most of the programs do not require that you speak German in order to be eligible. Others offer German language classes to prepare you for your stay in Germany:
- American Council on Germany
- Arthur F. Burns Fellowship
- Fulbright Commission
- German Marshall Fund
- Rias Commission
- Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program
American Council on Germany
The American Council on Germany offers two distinct fellowships for promising American journalists to conduct interviews and research in Germany while pursuing stories of their own design: The McCloy Fellowships in Journalism and the ACG Journalism Fellowships for the Study of German Politics and Society. Print, broadcast, and new media journalists who are US citizens and who are based in the United States are eligible to apply. The two fellowship programs are similar in structure, both covering transatlantic travel to Germany and pre-approved inter-city travel while there and providing stipendiary support for up to 28 days. Applicants for the McCloy Fellowships are considered once a year in the spring, and they are selected by an external panel of distinguished American journalists. Applicants for the ACG Journalism Fellowships are considered on a rolling basis solely by the ACG to allow for greater flexibility when covering time-sensitive stories. Most McCloy Fellows travel for the fully allotted four weeks, while ACG Journalism Fellows are required to travel for a minimum of two weeks.
Length of Stay: McCloy Fellowship in Journalism: up to 28 days; ACG Journalism Fellowship: 14 to 28 days
German Language Skills: While fellows may find knowledge of the German language helpful, it is not a prerequisite for the program.
Deadlines: McCloy Fellowship in Journalism: April; ACG Journalism Fellowship: Rolling deadline
Arthur F. Burns Fellowship
The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship sends ten young American journalists to Germany each year where they work for papers or broadcasters for two months. Up to 50 percent of the work time may be devoted to work for the home outlet. Correspondingly, 10 German journalists also come to the United States as fellows.
Length of Stay: Two months, August -September
German language skills: No requirement, but helpful. The organization can help with language courses.
Deadline: March 1
The Fulbright Commission offers two journalism programs. The Beginning Professional Journalism Program offers five "junior research" awards in Germany for projects lasting up to 10 months. The Beginning Professional Program is intended for candidates with no more than seven years of professional experience in either print or broadcast media. Journalism students with appropriate background and some practical journalistic experience are also welcome to apply.
The Berlin Capital Program is an eight-day seminar program for young American journalists. The 15 American journalists selected to participate will learn about the German media through interaction with some of the country's top experts in the field, as well as through visits to a publishing house, a daily newspaper, and other institutions that play a critical role in shaping the German media landscape. Participants will also have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with their German counterparts. For the Berlin Capital Program, journalists must be a graduating senior or Masters degree student in the field of journalism or communications, OR a young professional journalist with fewer than 5 years of work experience in the field.
Length of Stay: Beginning Professional: 10 months beginning in September; Berlin Capital Program: Eight days
German language skills: Good to very good proficiency in German is essential for the Beginning Professional Program; for the Berlin Capital Program it is not required.
Deadline: The August 1 deadline for the Beginning Professional Program is usually extended for several months; Berlin Capital Program: July
German Marshall Fund
The German Marshall Fund's journalism program is designed to promote coverage of transatlantic issues by both American and European journalists. GMF offers an annual journalism prize for excellence in the coverage of European or transatlantic issues in the American print media, the Peter R. Weitz Prize. GMF also coordinates several study tours for American and European journalists to explore issues of transatlantic concern, e.g. on the occasion of critical elections. Journalists are regularly invited to GMF's public events and conferences, and GMF creates opportunities for journalists from both sides of the Atlantic to compare notes and get to know each other. The GMF accepts applications on a rolling basis for their exchange program.
Length of Stay: Varies
German language skills: Not required
Deadline: Peter R. Weitz Prize: annually, February 28 (for work published in the previous year) Exchange: rolling
The Rias Berlin Commission offers two-week information programs in Germany for US radio, television and online journalists in the spring and in fall each year. The US participants stay one week in Berlin and visit other German cities like Dresden/Leipzig/ Frankfurt/Cologne in the second program week. A trip to Brussels (EU/NATO) is also part of the program. These programs can be individually extended by up to two weeks for specified research and radio/tv productions. Every other year, the Rias Berlin Commission offers an additional one-week Berlin program in September for US news directors, managing producers and senior radio and TV journalists. Travel and hotel expenses are fully covered, many meals provided. German language skills not required.
In addition to the German information programs for US broadcast journalists, the Rias Berlin Commission provides financial support and awards annual prizes to radio, television and new media productions which contribute to German-American understanding.
Length of Stay: Two weeks; one week
German language skills: Not required
Deadline: March and June
Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program
The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program is a distinguished transatlantic initiative that each year offers twenty accomplished young Americans the opportunity to complete a comprehensive 9-to-12 month professional development program in Germany.
Bosch Fellows participate in an intensive German language training program (as needed), complete two customized work phases at leading German institutions in the public and private sectors, and meet with leaders across Germany and Europe while traveling on three professional seminar programs.
Fellows are recruited from business administration, journalism, law, public policy and closely related fields. No German language skills are required at the time of application, however, a strong willingness and commitment to learn the language are essential.
The program is fully funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, one of the largest foundations in Germany, with the goal of fostering a community of American leaders who have firsthand experience in the political, economic and cultural environment of Germany and the European Union.
Length of Stay: Nine-to-twelve months, September through May
German language skills: German language fluency is not required at time of application. Intensive language training will be provided as needed before the start of the program.