Most days start with a group breakfast and warm-up meeting, prepping for the day ahead. During evening discussions and activities we'll delve deeper into the challenges and solutions we observe on site visits.
Day 1: Welcome to Germany and train to Ploen!
- Arrive in Hamburg where your German peers will be waiting to welcome you for a group lunch.
- Take a train to the scenic town of Ploen, a great place to ease into the program for the next two days.
Day 2: Ploen
- Explore the town, including its beautiful lake and castle and other points of interest. Enjoy a hike or a canoe outing.
- Participate in orientation activities and introductions to the week's sustainability topics.
- Get your first tastes of authentic German cuisine.
- Participate in group activities, get to know your American and German peers, and prepare for the week ahead.
- Visit a local food bank, one local approach to alleviating hunger.
Days 3 – 5: Hamburg
- Get into city mode! After breakfast, we'll take the train to Hamburg and settle into the Auf dem Stintfang youth hostel, our local leaping off point.
- Visit several local NGOs and learn about their approaches to issues including clean water and climate change, in some cases through hands on activities.
- Explore Hamburg, including its history and culture. Your German peers will be able to offer personal insight along the way.
- Attend exclusive meetings with NGOs working towards solutions to a number of development challenges. Learn about their efforts and debrief as a group during evening activities.
Days 6 – 8: Berlin
- Transfer to the fascinating city of Berlin, where we'll stay at the Berlin International Hostel to wrap up our time in Germany.
- Interact with new Berliners at an NGO supporting refugees.
- Explore Berlin through a sustainability walking tour.
- Meet with a local organization committed to preserving biodiversity, resource and climate protection, and sustainable development.
- Visit German Parliament.
- Learn how Berlin transitioned from a turbulent and divided city in the 20th century, to a modern and dynamic metropolis with a great art scene.
Day 9: Group flight to NYC
- Travel day! American and German participants will fly together to NYC for the final leg of our journey.
- Settle into Hostelling International New York City on the Upper West Side, a short walk from Central Park. This will be our base during our time in the city.
Days 10 – 14: New York City
- Experience landmarks including Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Freedom Tower, and some lesser known highlights as well.
- Offer your own perspectives on U.S. culture to your German friends and explore German cultural influences in New York.
- Visit the United Nations for a first-hand experience with the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Visit, and in some cases volunteer, with local NGOs.
- Develop connections and comparisons between our experiences in Germany, New York City, and your hometown.
- Close out the program with a farewell group dinner.
After the travel component of the program, you'll have access to the InterExchange and Hostelling International USA communities and events, InterExchange's Language Partner program, and other ways to connect with international and U.S. peers. We remain available to you as a personal resource leading into the next chapter of your life's journey.
Note: Itineraries are subject to change.