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Education in Germany – Expat Guide

This highly developed industrial state urgently needs highly qualified specialists. The government is interested in the quality training of professional personnel in various scientific fields. Large amounts are allocated annually from the German budget for the development of the education system. Education in this country is free for all its citizens and foreigners. The education system in Germany involves training in public and private educational institutions.

The governing bodies of the education system are represented by the Conference of Ministers of Education, as well as the Conference of Rectors of Germany. The management of the educational process at the land level is carried out by specialized ministries. An own law on education was adopted in each of the lands, but it was drafted on the basis of a single federal law.

Pre-primary education

Germany life

According to many foreigners, the system of preschool institutions in Germany is not very convenient for them. This is due to the working hours of kindergartens. For example, they most often work from 7 am to 12 pm. But you may be asked to pick up your child for lunch, and then bring them back. If the kindergarten is open until four in the evening, you will not be able to pick up your child before. In Germany there are no pre-school classes for children. Kindergartens are not controlled by the Ministry of Education; therefore, a corresponding program has not been developed for them. Relatives are engaged in the education of children directly or send the kids to developing camps.

Education in German schools

German schools are public and free. According to the law citizens of the country must undergo 10-year training and receive an appropriate document confirming their educational degree.

School education in Germany starts at age 6 with elementary school. The curriculum in elementary grades is designed for 4 years. During this time students learn to read, write, develop memory and mathematical abilities, and also learn the basics of the interaction of nature and man. Having successfully mastered the primary school curriculum, students move to the first-level secondary school.

Students receive secondary education at the first level in several types of schools:

  • Hauptschule – basic school. Such educational institutions specialize in providing students with a basic level of knowledge and prepare them for admission to professional colleges or technical schools. The educational course here lasts 5 years.
  • Realschule – six-year real school. The peculiarity of this educational institution is that students receive a sufficient level of knowledge to go to the 2nd level of secondary school.
  • Gesamtschule – a general school that combines the features of different educational programs and allows you to study technical and humanities at the same time.

After the student graduates from the 1st level secondary school, he can continue his studies in the 2nd level secondary school, in other words – in the gymnasium. At the finish of training in a specialized gymnasium, a graduate receives an Abitur certificate, it is an analog of our educational document on secondary education. Without Abitur certificate, a graduate cannot enter German universities.

Not all native Germans have intentions to get the higher educational level, many graduate from colleges or technical schools and get to work.


Higher Education in Germany 

The higher education system in Germany is designed in such way that a student can get an educational degree from a bachelor to a doctor of science at the university. The country offers tuition free of charge for both indigenous people and foreign students.

A notable difference between the German education system is that students are given full academic freedom, they can independently plan their attendance at classes and choose the time for internships. The student must adhere to the basic requirements of the educational program according to which he is studying. This approach fosters responsibility and self-discipline in students.

There are several types of universities in Germany:

  • universities;
  • specialized institutes (medical, technical, etc.);
  • higher schools (arts, applied sciences);
  • professional academies.

The main difference between the different types of educational institutions in Germany is their specialization. For example, in university, students can study in different areas, while higher schools and specialized institutes specialize in specific industries.

In specialized academies, students not only gain knowledge in theory, but also simultaneously work in their specialty. Such educational institutions receive education for building a business career or further work in the industry.

Thinking about where to get a quality education, be sure to pay attention to German education system. In this country, you will undoubtedly receive the desired profession, and besides this, you will open your own path to the best countries in the world. After all, German universities graduate true professionals in their field.

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