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Class trip at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Class trip at the Brandenburg Gate © visitBerlin, Foto: Dirk Mathesius

School trips to Berlin: using subsidies and funding opportunities

Well prepared: financing your class trip

A school trip to Berlin is always associated with costs that not every family can easily meet. This is where the German government might help with subsidies. The organising teacher must complete the necessary applications.

Subsidies for class trips to Berlin

Berlin is a city full of history and the centre of German politics, so an ideal place for an exciting class trip that also serves the children's education. To make sure your plans are realised, there are different funding options available.

Useful information on funding opportunities for school groups

The German government will provide travel cost subsidies if certain conditions are met. [These subsidies are only available to German schools.] These include a political focus for the class trip as well as attendance at an information event at the Bundesrat and at least one other activity related to Germany's political system. Participation must be proven before payment is made.

Submit your application electronically using the form on the Bundesrat website. Applications for 2019 funding must be submitted between 18 September and 1 October 2018. The subsidies are calculated on the distance by road, regardless of the mode of transport used. Your group will be asked to contribute €10 per participant. The subsidy will only be issued based on the actual number of participants who attend.

A subsidy is available for teachers and other chaperones (one for every ten students). The subsidy will only be disbursed post facto once the actual travel costs are submitted with receipts and will only be disbursed to school or class accounts.

Key points

  • Subsidies to cover travel costs are available from the German Bundesrat if the class trip has a clear focus on Germany's political system.
  • Subsidies are available for a chaperone for every ten student participants.
  • If the application is not approved, there are alternative funding sources available from the Bundestag or for low-income earners or recipients of Hartz IV.

Alternative funding options

If your application is not selected for funding by the Bundesrat, there are other options for a class trip subsidy. For example, you can visit Berlin as guests of a member of the Bundestag. Each member has a budget that they can use for this purpose. To do this, search the Bundestag website to find your member and contact him or her for more information. You can also contact their local office.

If invited, you will be expected to meet with the member and to attend a plenary session of the Bundestag. If your MP's budget is already exhausted, pupils from low-income or Hartz IV recipient families can count on subsidies. These are available from ARGE (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Arbeitsagentur und der Kommune). In this case, parents have to apply for a reimbursement of the costs.