Primary schools in Germany (2022)

Searching for a German primary school? We look at the education system, application process, and how state and private schools differ.

There are a variety of primary schools within the German education system that you can enroll your child in. For instance, you can choose from local state schools, state-subsidized private schools, or fully independent schools, including international and bilingual schools.

To help you understand your options, this guide to German primary schools includes information on the following:

  • The primary education system in Germany
  • State primary schools in Germany
  • Private German primary schools
  • International primary schools in Germany
  • Useful resources

Bavarian International School (BIS)

Looking for an international school in Bavaria? BIS is an English-language school with two campuses: in Haimhausen, Bavaria and Schwabing, Munich. Through its IB curriculum, the school aims to inspire and challenge young, curious minds from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Give your child the best start in life with Bavarian International School.

The primary education system in Germany

In Germany, children must attend primary school (Grundschule) from the age of six. In most German states (Länden), primary education lasts for four years, however, in Berlin and Brandenburg, it lasts for six. It is important to know that homeschooling is illegal in Germany. In fact, you can face strict fines or even imprisonment if you fail to enroll your child in a school.

Primary schools in Germany (2)

Parents can choose between state or private German primary schools, however, only around 5% of students in the country attend the latter. That said, this figure is higher among the expat population. This is because state schools only teach in German, whereas international schools offer sessions in foreign languages, such as English, with some providing bilingual classes.

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State primary schools in Germany

According to official statistics from 2020, there are 15,431 German primary schools in total. The vast majority of these are state schools and nearly 95% of children in Germany attend public primary schools.

State primary schools are free to attend in Germany and offer high-quality education. There are also state-subsidized private schools, including a number of religious and alternative schools, which usually receive public funds for each student. Each federal state is responsible for its own education including the curriculum and school calendar.

(Video) 🇩🇪 5 THINGS I REALLY LIKE ABOUT SCHOOL IN GERMANY (Grundschule/primary school)

Read more about the German education system

The breakdown of school years in German primary schools can be complicated if you are not used to the system. Generally, the primary school (Grundschule) years run from grades 1 to 4 in 14 federal states. However, in Berlin and Brandenburg, primary schools include grades 5 to 6.

Primary schools in Germany (3)

Across all states, except for Berlin and Brandenburg, grades 5 and 6 are an orientation phase that takes place in the first two years of secondary school. During this time, students, parents, and teachers collaborate to determine which schooling stream (and subjects) they will follow in the subsequent secondary school phase. It may even happen that students change school stream. You will find a detailed explanation of the streaming system in our guide to secondary schools in Germany.

According to the annual INSM Bildungsmonitor (which evaluates the education system in each state), the top-performing states in 2021 for primary education are Saxony, Bavaria, and Hamburg. The lowest-performing states, meanwhile, are Bremen, Brandenburg, and Saxony-Anhalt.

The curriculum in state primary schools in Germany

State primary schools generally teach around 20 to 30 hours per week. The school day typically starts around 08:00 or 09:00 and finishes around 13:00 or 14:00; although many schools now run until later in the afternoon. Term times and holiday dates vary from state to state. That said, the school year typically runs from mid-August or early September to the end of June or the start of July.

German school holidays include:

  • Autumn break (Herbstferien) – one to two weeks in mid-October
  • Christmas break (Weihnachtsferien) – two to three weeks in January/February
  • Easter break (Osterferien) – two to three weeks in March/April
  • Summer break (Sommerferien) – around six weeks in June/July

There are also several public and religious holidays that vary across the states. Some states also have an additional one to two-week break in February.

Typical primary school subjects

Subjects covered in German primary schools vary between states but generally include the following:

  • German
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Art
  • Social sciences (history, geography, economics)
  • Physical education (PE)
  • IT
  • Social studies
  • Foreign languages
  • Music
  • Religion or ethics
Primary schools in Germany (4)

Students are assessed from grade 2 and have to repeat a year if they don’t achieve minimum standards. The scoring system ranges from 1 (very good) to 6 (very poor). At the end of Grundschule, teachers assess the child’s abilities and interests and make a recommendation (Übergangsempfehlung) to parents about which type of secondary school would suit their child.

Find out more about secondary schools in Germany

(Video) The German School System | Meet The Germans

Many state primary schools run after-school activities, such as afternoon clubs, homework workshops, and sports activities. Parents may have to pay monthly or annual fees for these or fund the purchase of equipment needed. However, those on low incomes may be able to get subsidies.

The pros and cons of state schools in Germany

State primary schools in Germany have advantages and disadvantages. Below, we list some considerations to factor in when deciding to send your child to a German primary school.

Pros

Benefits of sending your child to a state primary school in Germany include:

  • It’s free, so can be a great option, especially if your child already speaks German or is young enough to pick up the language easily
  • The standard of state education in Germany is high, although this does vary between states
  • It will help your child better integrate into the local area and make German friends

Cons

However, state schooling might not be the best choice for every family. As such, limitations include:

  • The German instruction language may be challenging for a slightly older child with no German language skills
  • Restricted choice; you generally have to send your child to the nearest school in your catchment area and will need a good reason if you want them to attend a different school
  • Some schools are only open until early afternoon, meaning that you may have to arrange childcare or pay for after school activities
  • They offer fewer extra-curricular activities and opportunities than most private schools

Applying to state primary schools in Germany

Enrollment for German primary schools starts quite early; usually between 6 to 11 months before the start of the school year. The state school in your catchment area will typically invite you to register. Most schools hold open days around late September, so you can check things out the year before your child is due to attend.

Primary schools in Germany (5)

A child typically starts school in the autumn term of the year they turn six, however, some German states have cut-off dates (such as 30 June). This means that if your child is born late in the year, they may have to wait until the following year or pass an entry test (Einschulungsuntersuchung) before they can start school.

Your local school should send you an application form which you will need to complete and either return to the school or send to the local registry office (Bürgeramt), depending on the procedures within your state.

Required documents

You will usually need to provide your child’s:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Proof of residency

Your child will then undergo a medical check to confirm that they are in good health and that they have the cognitive skills to attend the school without needing additional support.

If you want to send your child to another school, you have to apply for a place and will usually have to demonstrate sufficient ties to the catchment area. Typically, you will need to register at the assigned school and, after that, fill out an application form to change (Umschulungsantrag). You can make this application through your local authority.

Primary schools in Germany (6)

Interestingly, the German school tradition is to give a child alarge paper cone (Schultüte)filled with treats, school supplies, and small gifts on their first day of school.

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Private German primary schools

In Germany, private primary schools fall roughly into three categories: denominational or religious schools, international schools, and alternative schools. There is also a handful of subsidized non-denominational community schoolsknown as Gemeinschaftsschulen.

(Video) German public primary schools (topics in the description - age, type, subjects etc | with captions)

Search for international primary schools in our directory

In most states, private primary schools can only be established if they serve a special pedagogical interest and no state school of that type exists locally.

Denominational or religious schools

These schools are mostly state-subsidized and are similar to state primary schools. For example, the curriculum and term times are pretty much the same as public schools in each state. The main difference is that they are run by religious institutions rather than local state authorities. The state subsidizes around two-thirds of the costs per child at these schools, with parents paying the remainder in fees.

Most denominational schools in Germany are Roman Catholic or Lutheran. While pupils don’t necessarily have to follow the religion of the school, they are expected to respect its values and traditions. The religious education (RE) classes are more focused on the school’s religion, whereas, in state schools, they are more general or sometimes taught as ethics rather than religion.

Waldorf schools (Waldorfschulen)

Waldorf schools (Waldorfschulen) have existed in Germany since 1919. These are alternative or method schools that are founded by Rudolf Steiner. They are based on the philosophy of anthroposophy and primarily focus on a child’s creativity and the arts.

Primary schools in Germany (7)

There are 254 Waldorfschulen in Germany which are mostly state-subsidized. Their curriculum has to meet state requirements but differs substantially from conventional state schools. These schools place a greater emphasis on learning and development through arts and crafts, music, and storytelling alongside lessons in mathematics, science, and history.

Waldorf schools provide education at kindergarten, primary, and secondary stages, and is split into three curriculum levels:

  • Lower stage (elementary): grades 1–4
  • Intermediate stage: grades 5–8
  • High school stage: grades 9–12

Waldorf schools agree on fees with parents in advance, based on income or a fixed agreed contribution.

Montessori schools

There are around 270 Montessori schools in Germany, including Tanus International Montessori School (TIMS) in Frankfurt. These are method schools based on the constructivist child development teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. Teaching focuses on allowing children to develop and follow their natural interests, with teachers playing a supportive rather than an instructional role.

Primary schools in Germany (8)

Similar to Waldorfschulen, Montessori schools run from early through to secondary years. Classrooms are often mixed-age and international, with many teaching in English as well as German. The curriculum is typically sensory-based and involves a lot of outdoor learning focused on self-expression. Subjects include languages, mathematics, science, social studies, and art.

Montessori schools can be state-subsidized or fully independent. Fees vary and depend on whether the schools receive a government subsidy, however, many of them charge income-based fees.

International schools in Germany

There are more than 100 international schools in Germany. Most of them are located in the bigger cities, such as Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt, where there are many international families, and they often offer schooling right through from kindergarten to the end of secondary education (ages 3 to 18). International schools are usually fully independent but offer an academic education that meets both German and international standards.

(Video) Munich Day 2 GrundSchule

Read more about international schools in Germany

They typically have high standards of education, smaller class sizes, and lots of extra-curricular activities, which makes them popular with expat families. Most are day schools, although some offer boarding facilities.

Many of these schools have been set up by UK or US organizations and teach primarily in English; however, some also teach in German. You will also find other international schools such as French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese throughout the country. They will typically belong to a body such as the Council of International Schools (CIS) or the Association of German International Schools (AGIS). Around half are International Baccalaureate (IB) schools that offer the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).

Primary schools in Germany (9)

Because international schools receive no state funding, fees are generally more expensive. While they vary significantly between schools and states, you can expect to pay in the region of €8,000 to €14,000 per year for primary education. That said, some schools offer discounts or scholarships for families that are unable to afford the full costs.

Discover how to choose a good international school

Admission requirements and procedures vary from school to school, so make sure to check the details with the individual schools. As a rule, places are limited, so it’s important to apply as early as possible before the beginning of a new school year.

The pros and cons of international schools in Germany

Like public primary schools, international schools also have advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when sending your child to one.

Pros

Benefits of sending your child to an international primary school include:

  • Better continuity of education for children who come to Germany after already starting school; students continue learning a familiar curriculum in their first language
  • Smaller class sizes mean that teachers can devote more time to each student
  • They offer more extra-curricular activities
  • The high quality of teaching gives students the opportunity to progress to qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or IGCSE
  • Students get to experience a multicultural learning environment with peers and teachers from around the world

Cons

Disadvantages of attending an international school include:

  • Higher costs; most international schools receive no state financial support so they charge more in annual fees
  • Less integration into German culture and society
  • Children at international schools won’t learn primarily in the German language, so their German won’t develop as much
  • Entry requirements; some schools are over-subscribed, so you typically have to apply earlier and meet stricter admissions criteria

Useful resources

FAQs

Primary schools in Germany? ›

School Organization. Primary school or elementary school in Germany is known as Grundschule. The very first term in German primary education starts around the beginning of September. From ages six to ten, children go through four years of school at a primary level.

Is primary school free in Germany? ›

German primary and secondary school fees

Public schools offering primary and secondary education are free. However, parents may be asked to contribute towards extra-curricular activities, such as school trips and excursions. There are usually subsidies and bursaries for families on lower incomes.

What is primary school like in Germany? ›

What Is Considered Primary Education in Germany? Grundschule (primary school) offer mandatory education through mixed-ability classes for children of age 6 until they complete grade 4 (or 6 in Berlin and Brandenburg) of school studies.

What age is primary school in Germany? ›

Children typically attend primary school from the ages of six to ten. This first stage is known as Grundschule: the first part of compulsory education in Germany.

Is English taught in German public schools? ›

Many German schools start with English language teaching in the first grade. In addition, there are many after school programs for kids to learn English, as well as school holiday intensives all so that German-speaking kids can get a leg up, headstart or jet propel into speaking fluent English.

Do schools in Germany speak English? ›

Are there English-speaking Universities in Germany? Yes! Germany has more than 400 universities which offer degree programs in all different types of subjects.

Are schools free in Germany? ›

Everyone can study in Germany tuition-free!

That's right: Germans, Europeans, and all non-Europeans can study in Germany free of charge - without tuition fees. It does not matter if you are from the EU or EEA. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities.

How long is school day in Germany? ›

The School Day

Classes normally start between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and can end between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. Class periods are normally 45 minutes long with a short break in between. However, in recent years some schools (Ganztagsschule) have started offering longer days.

Does Germany pay kids to attend school? ›

It is in place to guarantee that every child's basic needs are covered. The Kindergeld is a fixed sum paid monthly per child by the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse), handled by the Federal Employment Agency in Germany (Arbeitsagentur für Arbeit).

Do German schools provide lunch? ›

These aren't surprises. German schools offer lunch most of the time before noon, so we might serve potato salad, or wurst or just plain sausages. Other healthful vegetables, fresh fruit, and bread may also be found in a school lunch.

Is preschool free in Germany? ›

The pre-school is free of charge (in both kindergarten or on the premises of the primary school). The concept had been followed by most states in Germany but was then abandoned after several years as it was found not necessary.

How long is summer break in Germany? ›

Germany. In Germany, summer vacation lasts six to six and a half weeks. The exact dates vary by state as well as from one to the next year, from the earliest (mid-June to late July) to the latest (late July to early September).

Are international schools in Germany free? ›

In contrast to local state-affiliated schools, international schools in Germany charge tuition fees. However, the cost of attending international schools in Germany turns to be significantly lower if we were to compare with other countries like France or the UK.

Is daycare free in Germany? ›

In some federal states, publicly-funded daycare centres are either partially or wholly subsidised by the state: Berlin and Hamburg: Free for all children from birth. Rhineland-Palatinate: Free for all children aged over 2. Hesse and Lower Saxony: Free for all children aged over 3.

What are the three types of German schools? ›

Realschule – for intermediary students; Gymnasium – for academic students; Gesamtschule – a comprehensive school combining all education types.

Is German education good? ›

Germany ranks high globally in terms of education. According to the 2018 OECD/PISA survey of educational standards among 15-year-olds, it ranks 16th in mathematics and reading and 12th in science. The PISA report also found that German students generally have good well-being.

Which country has the best education system? ›

  • United States. #1 in Education Rankings. No Change in Rank from 2020. ...
  • United Kingdom. #2 in Education Rankings. ...
  • Germany. #3 in Education Rankings. ...
  • Canada. #4 in Education Rankings. ...
  • France. #5 in Education Rankings. ...
  • Switzerland. #6 in Education Rankings. ...
  • Japan. #7 in Education Rankings. ...
  • Australia. #8 in Education Rankings.

Do German schools have uniforms? ›

There is no tradition of wearing school uniforms in Germany, and today, almost all students of state schools, private schools or universities do not wear school uniforms.

Is German hard to learn? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

Is German easy to learn? ›

Learning German can be a bit difficult, especially if you are a native of a language that doesn't belong to the Indo-European family of languages. But, no matter what your native language is, and even if German may seem tricky to you at first, don't get discouraged.

Is English taught in German primary schools? ›

Nationwide, a foreign language has been a compulsory subject in German primary schools since 2006/07. English is the first foreign language most often taught in primary school, followed by French and some other regional or minority languages (KMK 2013; cf.

What is Germany's cost of living? ›

On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 861 euros per month (around $1,002 US dollars) or 10,332 euros per year (around $12,024 US dollars). The prices for food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment are basically in line with the EU average.

Can you work in Germany with a student visa? ›

It is legal to work in Germany with a student visa, but students are restricted to the number of days they can work. This is 120 full days each year or 240 half days. (If you take a job as a student assistant or research assistant at your university, it's usually no problem to exceed the 120-day limit.

Is Germany education cheap? ›

Not only can you study for free in Germany, but it is also a pretty affordable country. The average costs of living for students range between 700 - 1,000 EUR/month, including accommodation. Find out more about expenses (including health insurance) for students in Germany.

What is the hottest month in Germany? ›

Based on weather reports collected during 1985–2015.
...
Quick Climate Info
Hottest MonthJuly (66 °F avg)
Coldest MonthJanuary (33 °F avg)
Wettest MonthJuly (1.61" avg)
Windiest MonthFebruary (9 mph avg)
1 more row

How long is Christmas break in Germany? ›

Christmas holiday (Weihnachtsferien) - usually two weeks. Winter holiday (Winterferien) - between a few days and two weeks. Easter holiday (Osterferien) - two to three weeks.

What month does school end in Germany? ›

The school year

The official school year runs between the 1 August and 31 July, with start and finishing dates as well as half term and Christmas and Easter holidays staggered depending on the individual states. Some international schools have different holidays or may observe additional national holidays.

What is the safest city in Germany? ›

Munich is the safest city in Germany.

In 2019, Mercer Quality of Life Survey awarded Munich with the 3rd highest quality of life across the world, and joint 2nd for infrastructure.

Are there English schools in Germany for children? ›

Bavarian International School (BIS)

BIS is an English-language school with two campuses: in Haimhausen, Bavaria and Schwabing, Munich. Through its IB curriculum, the school aims to inspire and challenge young, curious minds from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Do I need German language to study in Germany? ›

1. Knowledge of German is not a must. There are a large number of international degree courses at German universities. As a result, you do not need to know German to study in Germany.

What are the benefits of a child born in Germany? ›

The child benefit is a monthly payment given to all parents in Germany, regardless of their income, to ensure that their children's basic needs are covered. The German child benefit is provided by the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) at the Federal Employment Agency.

What is child allowance in Germany? ›

Child allowance is paid up to a minimum age of 18 or, alternatively, up to the age of 25 if the dependent is undergoing schooling or training or higher education. As of January 2022, for the first and second child, child allowance is 219 euros per month. For the third child it is 225 euros.

How much it cost to raise a child in Germany? ›

Here's the good news: the more children that live in a household, the lower are the average costs per child. That said, parents of two children still face total costs of over 250,000 euros by age 18, while the costs of having three children amount to a whopping 365,000 euros.

Why does Germany not allow homeschooling? ›

Germany imposes mandatory school attendance, and while many European countries allow for homeschooling, Germany has explicitly made this form of education illegal—which has caused many families to flee the country in order to exercise the right to home educate.

How are German schools different to English schools? ›

In primary school, the average class size in German public schools is 21 students, while the average size in the UK is 27 and 22 in the US. In public secondary schools, Germany has a student-to-teaching-staff ratio of 14, while that ratio is 24 in the UK and 16 in the US.

Are German public schools free? ›

In Germany, all public higher education institutions are free, even the highest ranked universities in the country! Unlike other countries that charge crazy tuition fees due to the high demand of students who wish to attend them, the top-ranked German universities charge the same tuition price as the rest: nothing.

Is primary and secondary education free in Germany? ›

Full-time schooling is compulsory at primary and secondary levels for all children aged six to 15. However, German education generally lasts until the age of 18. The state runs most German schools and they are free to attend. However, parents can also opt for one of the many fee-paying private or international schools.

Is public education free in Germany? ›

In 2014, Germany's 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public German universities. This means that currently both domestic and international undergraduates at public universities in Germany can study for free, with just a small fee to cover administration and other costs per semester.

Is it true that education in Germany is free? ›

That's right: Germans, Europeans, and all non-Europeans can study in Germany free of charge - without tuition fees. It does not matter if you are from the EU or EEA. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities.

How long is a school day in Germany? ›

The School Day

German students at public schools normally attend school in the morning. Classes normally start between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. and can end between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. Class periods are normally 45 minutes long with a short break in between.

Is living in Germany expensive? ›

On average, to cover your living expenses in Germany you will need around 861 euros per month (around $1,002 US dollars) or 10,332 euros per year (around $12,024 US dollars). The prices for food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment are basically in line with the EU average.

Can you work in Germany with a student visa? ›

It is legal to work in Germany with a student visa, but students are restricted to the number of days they can work. This is 120 full days each year or 240 half days. (If you take a job as a student assistant or research assistant at your university, it's usually no problem to exceed the 120-day limit.

Does Germany pay kids to attend school? ›

It is in place to guarantee that every child's basic needs are covered. The Kindergeld is a fixed sum paid monthly per child by the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse), handled by the Federal Employment Agency in Germany (Arbeitsagentur für Arbeit).

Is kindergarten free in Germany? ›

Types of German daycare and preschools

It is not free and costs may vary according to region. Kindergarten: for children between three and six-years-old. It is not a part of the regular public school system and is neither necessary nor free. Tuition is normally means-tested; those with lower incomes may pay less.

Is German easy to learn? ›

Learning German can be a bit difficult, especially if you are a native of a language that doesn't belong to the Indo-European family of languages. But, no matter what your native language is, and even if German may seem tricky to you at first, don't get discouraged.

Are international schools in Germany free? ›

In contrast to local state-affiliated schools, international schools in Germany charge tuition fees. However, the cost of attending international schools in Germany turns to be significantly lower if we were to compare with other countries like France or the UK.

How much students earn in Germany? ›

You may earn up to 450 euros per month. With a minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour (as of Jan. 2021), you have to work a maximum of around eleven hours per week or around 47 hours per month for this amount. As a full-time student, you do not have to pay taxes or social security contributions on this amount.

Is German language compulsory to study in Germany? ›

To study in Germany, you need to prove that you speak English or German well enough to study in that language. This proof needs to be delivered by handing in an official language certificate, unless you are a native speaker or have graduated from an English or German speaking program.

Can international students work in Germany? ›

Student jobs and internships

Students from abroad can also work in Germany alongside their studies. Students from EU/EEA countries are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the semester, just like German students are. There is no limit to how much they can earn during semester breaks.

This is how the German school system works The German education system functions upon the rules and regulations of the Basic Law “Grundgesetz”. The Federal Ministries of Education, Cultural Affair and Science is the main authority for making education, science and arts policy guidelines, and for adopting related laws and administrative regulations. The ministry closely […]

With a university entrance qualification they can apply for further academic studies in any German higher education institution, or apply for a professional education and training study course.. German tertiary education in Germany provides higher education for qualifying individuals, who before all, have completed secondary education in Germany or abroad which entitles them to enter higher education studies.. Higher education studies (tertiary education providers) in Germany are named the recognized institutions providing higher education study courses leading to a profession that addresses needs of the local and international labour market.. Bachelor titles issued by higher education institutions offering studies in the education field: Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.. German Higher Education Programs Outside the Bachelor and Master Level Diplom Examination Some German study courses are completed by sitting a Diplom examination on a single study subject, leading to a Diplom degree, i.e. Diplom in Psychology or Engineering.. To get admitted in any study course in any higher education institution in Germany, applicants must possess either “ The Allgemeine Hochschulreife” commonly referred as “Abitur” or “Fachgebundene Hochschulreife” , or a foreign school-leaving certificate comparable to any of these two.German university entrance qualifications are obtained by successfully completing 12/13 years of schooling of a German secondary school, including passing the secondary school final examination.Abitur can also be taken by sitting the Abitur examination, by non-pupils or employed people of particular intellectual ability.Internationals whose foreign secondary school-leaving certificate isn’t recognized in Germany for academic studies, they’ve to follow a one year preparatory course and sit the examination for recognition.. German Higher Education Study Courses with Nationwide Quotas For some German higher education study courses there are quotas, if the number of applications exceeds the number of the offered study places.. German Higher Education Study Courses with Local Restrictions on Admissions For some other German higher education study courses exists a locally limited number of students for admission.

The German education system is famous for its rigorous and well-structured layers which guarantee the foundation for a successful career.

Primary and secondary education are obligatory stages in Germany which all children must undertake since the age of 6 and until they fulfill 9 years of education at Gymnasium or 10 years for other forms of general schools.. The private secondary education system in Germany comprises: The Ersatzschulen, or alternative schools, which offer the same classes as public schools.. In Germany, the tertiary education stage is dedicated to students who have completed the secondary education stage either in Germany or abroad, which, in turn, allows them to attend higher education classes.. Germany’s tertiary education providers are institutions which offer higher education classes which help individuals attain a profession on the local on the foreign labour market.. Universities, known as Universitäten and other equivalent bodies; Technical Universities, known as Technische Universitäten or Technische Hochschulen ; The educational colleges or Pädagogische Hochschulen; The colleges of theological studies; The universities for applied sciences study, or Fachhochschulen; Music and Art colleges; The Federal Armed Forces Higher Education Institutions; Dual Studies Higher Education Institutions, or Berufsakademie ; Institutions offering Vocational Education, known as Fachschulen or Fachakademien which you can find in Berlin.. The universities of applied sciences, or Fachhochschulen, represent independent institutions for higher education which offer practical classes, responsive teaching and research courses developed around the needs of the labour market.. The Berufsakademien , known as the professional academies, are tertiary education institutions which offer education to qualifying students who’ve completed the upper secondary education stage and can attend university to train for a certain profession.

More often than not international schools are a better choice for expats compared to state schools because they offer several advantages. Besides that teaching is of high standards, international schools offer your kids a unique international experience. If you’re an expat who has just landed Germany or you’re planning to do so in the near […]

In contrast to local state-affiliated schools, international schools in Germany charge tuition fees.. There’s a wide range of fees applied from international schools in Germany.. On average, tuition fees for kids attending school from grade 1 to 8 is €15,000 per academic year.. An important note: International schools in Germany are aware that despite their huge desire, not all parents can afford the cost of sending their kids into such schools.. Below we present you a list with some of the best international schools in Germany and fees they currently charge to enable you to make informed decisions about the future of your kid.. Here are some of the best international schools in Germany and their average fees:

The German education system explained: primary education & secondary education in Germany and types of German schools (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium).

Attending primary and secondary school is compulsory ( Schulpflicht ) in Germany, from the age of six to 15, although many students continue attending school until age 18 or 19.. While the structure of primary education in Germany is very simple, the separation of secondary education into multiple types of schools and qualifications can make it seem confusing to expats.. These three types of German schools ( Hauptschulen , Realschulen and Gymnasien ) prepare students for vocational training, vocational higher education or university, respectively.. Upon entering secondary education at age 10 (or 12), students are split into three different streams, which offer different qualifications and pathways to higher education (either academic or vocational).. Pupils usually attend for five years (grades 5-9) and graduate with a qualification known as the Erster allgemeinbildender Schulabschluss or Hauptschulabschluss , which is needed for admission into upper secondary education and training in either the “dual system” or a Berufsfachschule (see below).. With this qualification, students can complete their upper secondary education at a Gymnasium , if they wish to go to university, or pursue vocational qualifications in the Dual System, a Berufsfachschule or a Fachoberschule (see below).. Providing an alternative to the academic instruction given at the upper secondary level in Gymnasien , there are several institutions in the German school system that offer apprenticeships, vocational education and on-the-job training for pupils in grades 10-13:. Dual system ( Duales System ) The “dual system” is a term used to refer to a system of training that lasts two, three or three and a half years, combining vocational education and training.. Upper vocational school ( Berufsoberschule ) Some German states also have Berufsoberschulen , specialised vocational schools which enable anyone with a Realschulabschluss to gain the necessary qualifications to enter higher education.

Read the InterNations guide on the education system and international schools in Germany. An overview to help you choose the best school for your kids.

This section explains the education system in Germany, as well as the process of enrolling your child in a public, private, or international school.. Ask other international parents about schools in Germany. These private schools, many of which are focused on vocational study, provide a curriculum which is different in some way to public schools in the country.. Schools in Germany are organized by the federal states, and there are several different types of schools to choose from.. Over 80% of children between three and six years old attend kindergarten in Germany.. If your children are expats and do not speak German fluently, they might be able to attend German classes at a Gymnasium , alongside their primary studies.. The Munich International School, for example, offers the International Baccalaureate, as does the Berlin International School.. Attending a bilingual institution or an international school in Germany can help your child during an early stage of relocation, whereas attending a German public school will foster integration.. Many private or international schools may even have higher standards.. While public universities are almost all free, studying at a private university in Germany can cost more than 20,000 EUR (22,800 USD) per year.. To help you integrate into life in Germany, you might be able to take German language classes for free or around 2 EUR (2 USD) per lesson.

The quality of German education is world-renowned for a reason. It's well-organized and designed to be highly accessible to all students allowing them to continue studying up to the university level regardless of a family's finances. All German states offer the same school systems and education system. German public schools - no matter if they are elementary schools, secondary schools, or vocational schools - generally do not require any tuition fees. This article will give you an overview of the German standards of education, the organization of the school system, the subjects taught, grading systems, and more.

See our page about the German school system to learn more about the different kinds of pre-schools as well as the primary, secondary and upper secondary studies as well as the tertiary education and professional study options available in Germany.. Primary school and secondary schools in Germany. There are five types of academic secondary school in the German secondary education system, including:. For example, students at the Realschule level will study a range of subjects (computer science, mathematics, a foreign language, etc.). The German education system requires that all children attend a school, whether it is a primary school, a secondary school, an international school, or a private school.

Virtually every parent wants what's best for their child's education. But choosing a secondary school is tricky business in Germany, as DW's Louisa Schaefer personally experienced. Here's everything you need to know.

In most German states, your child moves on from primary to secondary school (called "weiterführende Schule" in German) beginning in the fifth grade; Berlin and Brandenburg are exceptions, allowing that to happen two years later.. You spend most Saturdays visiting a range of schools in an "open house" kind of setting where the schools show themselves off, you and your kid sit in on classes, tour schoolrooms and talk to teachers and pupils to see whether it's a good fit.. I grew up in the US, where we'd progressively go through middle school (grades 6 through 8), junior high (grades 7 and 8), before moving on to high school (grades 9 through 12).. Born from educational reforms during the 1960s, the comprehensive school aims to be more inclusive, melding the traditional, separate school systems into just one school.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Even though it doesn't work for all moms for a number of reasons, breastfeeding is a widespread practice in Germany.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Speaking of getting back to work, organizing childcare is another stressful topic for new parents.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Some parents openly reject vaccines; they are not obligatory in Germany.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about A universal phenomenon: Babies wake up many times a night and parents are exhausted.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Those who are against the sleep training method are likely influenced by attachment parenting, a philosophy promoted by US pediatrician William Sears.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Diapers are another universal parenting issue.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about You'll recognize the parents who care about this dedication contest (and naturally, about their above-average extraordinary child) by the way they lovingly prepare their baby's food.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about In the 1960s and 1970s, Germans reflected a lot on education and came up with concepts such as "antiautoritäre Erziehung," or anti-authoritarian education, which aims to promote a child's freedom of thought.. Parenting debates most Germans have a strong opinion about Another way some Germans measure how "good" a parent they are is by the number of years their child has never been put in contact with sweets - and that in a country where ice cream is an almost-daily ritual for older children in the summer.

You may feel like the German school system will be a labyrinth to navigate, but it’s quite straightforward once you understand the main elements. Moreover, a high quality of education makes it worth investing the time to explore the opportunities especially if you're planning to move to Germany with children who are of school age. Consider this article your introductory guide with the overview of the school system in Germany, covering everything from early childhood schooling to higher and adult education.

Early childhood education in Germany is entirely optional.. Kinderkrippe Intended for babies and children before (and up to) three years of age.. Vorschule This is preschool for children aged two to three, which offers a relatively relaxed, playful vibe in which children can start to learn concepts in mathematics, literacy and other subjects.. It's mandatory for German students to attend school from six years old.. Children typically attend primary school from the ages of six to ten.. Once children have started school at the age of six,they remain in Grundschule until they are ten.. Primary school age varies as well.. Gymnasium Aimed at students who plan to go for tertiary or university-level education, Gymnasium schools typically offer rigorous levels of academic education.. Here, students study from the ages of 10 to 18 years, which spans the 5th to 13th grade of education.. Although not considered as prestigious, maybe, as the Gymnasium schools, Realschule still offers a highly academic environment with a range of subjects including one to two foreign languages.. High school years in Germany vary by which stream or level you choose to study at.. Most schools take students until 15 or 16 years of age.. Germany "tertiary" education or post-secondary education is what students do after secondary school.There is a variety of universities and university "types" that make up tertiary education, and a student's secondary school grades will determine which is the most appropriate for them.. There are several different kinds of German tertiary education institutions, including:

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