Relocating to Germany? Here's Help on Choosing a School |

Relocating to Germany? Here's Help on Choosing a School

Looking at schooling is one of the main priorities for expats with children.

Posted on

16 November 2016

Last updated on 19 January 2020
Relocating to Germany? Here's Help on Choosing a School
If you’re considering moving to Germany with children, then you’re going to want to ensure that they will have the opportunity to attend some of the best schools in the country. Whether you’re looking for a permanent or a short term move to Germany, looking at schooling is one of the main priorities for expats with children.

The German schooling system is generally managed by individual states, and it will be noticed that education and schools in the country are considered to be very important. In some bigger cities, there is also an emphasis on higher education such as universities and colleges. No matter the age of your children, if they are in their schooling years, then the choice of schools can often be overwhelming.

Here at Santa Fe Relocation Services, we offer an extensive 

school search tool to help you when it comes to finding the perfect school for your children.

Public Schools

Public schools have a good standard of education but expats tend to opt for these if they’re planning on staying in the country for a long period of time, or if their children are young enough to learn the language from scratch without it having a negative impact on the way they learn. In Germany, children only attend school in the morning, go home for lunch and sometimes return in the afternoon for extra-curricular activities.
Relocating to Germany? Help on Choosing a School

There is an option of Kinderkrippe for toddlers and babies under the age of 3, and nursery or kindergarten known as between the ages of three and six is optional. Compulsory education begins from age seven until eighteen. Most children will attend primary school, Grundschule, from the age of six to twelve.
There are five types of schools that make up the secondary education system to help children to prepare for tertiary education or offer more vocational courses dependent on the children’s wants and needs. These schools include Gymnasium – which prepares students for tertiary education and finishes with a final examination, Realschule which offers broader education including vocational subjects for intermediate students, Hauptschule which offers vocational education, Gesamtschule which combines academic courses with vocational, and Sonderschule which prepare students for Hauptschule or Realschule.
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Private & International Schools

Because the standards of schooling in Germany are so high, some expats prefer to send their children to public schools in order to reduce costs. However, some expats also look at choosing a private school or international school in order to help their children to integrate into the language and curriculum a lot easier. Your child’s age and the length of time that you are planning to stay in Germany for will be some of the main factors that you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the schooling in Germany.

Private schools can cater to a variety of nationalities, and with international schools, expats can choose the school that offers their preferred language of learning and also the curriculum that is offered in their home country – ideal for a short-term move to the country. High-quality facilities, excellent levels of learning, smaller class sizes and extra-curricular activities are all factors that can be found in private and international schools.

Universities & Higher Education

There is an importance put upon universities and higher education in the country particularly in cities such as Berlin. Generally, students are expected to have passed the Abitur examination during their Gymnasium education, although there are other diplomas such as the Master Craftsman’s Diploma available to students who have attended Realschule, which allows them to apply for some university courses. There is also a form of apprenticeship program known as Duale Ausbildung which allows pupils who have studied vocational courses to do training at a company instead of heading to university.
If you’re considering moving to Germany with children, we can help you to find the perfect school no matter which part of Germany you are considering moving to. For more information, contact

Santa Fe Relocation
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