The main orientation for all students will take place in Bonn during the first two weeks of the program. During this time students will be housed together in the orientation hotel in central Bonn. Orientation will include informational, cultural, and social activities to acquaint students with each other and with German life. All aspects of the program are covered in detail during orientation meetings. There is also a non-credit German course designed to help students become quickly effective in their internships. At the start of the second week, politics interns will depart for Berlin where they will have an additional orientation specific to Berlin and to the German political institutions. Later in the program, Bonn students will travel to Berlin for a seminar. This will give Bonn and Berlin students the chance to reunite and ensure that each group has the opportunity to learn about the other center.
Most students in Bonn live with host families, although short-term apartments and places in student dormitories are sometimes available. The program has a long-standing relationship with a number of families who enjoy having American students live with them and seek to maximize the students' cross-cultural experience. In Berlin, most students live in apartments.