Moving to Germany for a year.
I will be moving to Germany for one year on a cultural exchange through the rotary youth exchange program. What are some things that I will need to know about Germany, and what are the do's and do not's?
You will have a great time, enjoy yourself and learn a lot. Be open to all this. The Rotary program is great!
Are you American? If so, be prepared that many Germany have strong feelings against your current president. They might want to know what you think about climate change, gun control, the border situation, free trade, the UN, the war in Syria etc. If you are into politics you might enjoy the discussions. If not, don't be put off. Germans are known to be direct in their opinions but that is (usually) not meant to be offensive but as an invitation to exchange ideas.
Germany is a diverse country and it might be a good idea to read a bit before-hand about the region you will be staying in, its history and local traditions.
The people in Germany are generally pretty cool with foreigners. I have a close friend currently on an exchange program in Germany, and, although he is much more fluent in German and other languages than I am (able to communicate easily in complex subjects), he told me that practically everyone there speaks English, so if you don't understand something someone says, don't be afraid to ask for it again in English. Just put yourself out there and don't be shy. Germans are excited to see American culture as well!
I've heard Germans are generally great at English too....though when I lived there for a year, not one person could or would speak to me in English. I had to get by in German which I spoke fairly well, luckily. I lived in Hamburg, so I was surprised! o_O I guess in the end, it depends where you go and who you talk to. ;-) Good luck!