5 Interesting aspects of German Life you didn’t know

5 Interesting aspects of German Life you didn’t know

Germany is the second most popular country in the world for immigration. Every year thousands of migrants come to Germany for better life. People with different nationalities, religions, educations, and professions made Germany the cultural mosaic. Be it a student or a professional Germany can open up better avenues for education as well as quality lifestyle for family with security, health assurance, clean environment and lots of leisure time. Here is a list of 5 key German life aspects and reasons which could be a destination of your choice.

Germany is the second most popular country in the world for immigration. Every year thousands of migrants come to Germany for better life. People with different nationalities, religions, educations, and professions made Germany the cultural mosaic. Be it a student or a professional Germany can open up better avenues for education as well as quality lifestyle for family with security, health assurance, clean environment and lots of leisure time. Here is a list of 5 key reasons it could be a destination of your choice.

 1. Hanging lost items in trees

Germans are customarily friendly and helpful than other European nations where people usually keep to one. German people really tend to look out for one another and value them. If you happen to drop your hand glove in a cold winter and retrace your steps searching for it, or even after a week, you will very likely find it hung on a branch of a tree. It’s a common practice to hang lost items on trees or sign post where they will be easily visible when the owner comes backs. Most walkways and trails are decorated in this way and no one would dare take your stuff as their own. So when you find something, hang it up so it can be reunited with its owner.

2. Speak to the Government officials with utmost respect

It is always advisable to be polite when interacting with Police or Government officials in any country, when it comes to Germany, the laws get more specific with regards to the decorum of behavior. When speaking to Polizei, they have be addressed with a formal, ‘Sie’ and not informa , ‘Du’. If you fail to do so, it could result in criminal punishment and fines upto 600Euros as its illegal to do so. This policy applies for all German civil servants.

3. Free body Culture, an uncanny level of comfort with nudity

If you are in Germany and someone strikes a conversation with you in his or her birthday suit don’t be taken aback.  Germans are very comfortable with nudity and don’t think much of going au naturel. Germany, nudism is known as Freikoerperkultur (FKK), Free Body Culture. When you travel there, you’ll see that baring all is normal in saunas, swimming pools, and the park and on the beach.

Forget sausages and beer, the sign of true German-ness is publicly disrobing with absolutely zero self-consciousness. Summer in the parks of Berlin and Munich brings the chance of encountering a middle-aged, bronzed German wearing only a hat and performing hour long naked dance called the knackarschwiese in German, as a means of commemorating the start of summer each year.

4. No need to Queue but follow your place in a mass

In Germany, you will seldom find a machine that requests or gives out tokens for numbers neither you will find queues in which you need to stand and wait when at the bakery or butches shop. It’s strange but orderly as you just stand in a mass and know who is in front or you and who is behind you. You just have to go when the person ahead is done, in case you don’t know your place the rest of the crowd will surely let you know. If someone tries to barge in before his or her turn in front of you, just shout hallo and wave your hand in front of your face. This indicates that you saw the person cut, the rest of the mass will stare and look down on the offender, and it shames the person back into waiting for their turn.

5. No one is allowed to be hateful

Following the events of the Second World War, the country decided freedom of expression was less important than dealing with the harrowing events of the 1930s and 40s. As a result, flags of hateful, extremist ideologies like Nazis and Daesh are banned in Germany, and displaying them is punishable by up to three years in prison. Germany takes this kind of act seriously – understandably.

Conclusion

There is more to a country than the factors that influence quality of life, like political stability, a strong economy, environmental awareness, a good education system, seamless public transport and that is the culture, deeply rooted into the lives of the people. German way of life is special and if you are planning to move to Germany  this blog will help you open up to the quintessential ways of German lifestyle and adapt to them.

To understand the Germany culture better, do have a look here.

5 Good Reasons to move to Germany

5 Good Reasons to move to Germany

Germany is the second most popular country in the world for immigration. Every year thousands of migrants come to Germany for better life. People with different nationalities, religions, educations, and professions made Germany the cultural mosaic. Be it a student or a professional Germany can open up better avenues for education as well as quality lifestyle for family with security, health assurance, clean environment and lots of leisure time. Here is a list of 5 key reasons to move to Germany.

Germany is the second most popular country in the world for immigration. Every year thousands of migrants come to Germany for better life. People with different nationalities, religions, educations, and professions made Germany the cultural mosaic. Be it a student or a professional Germany can open up better avenues for education as well as quality lifestyle for family with security, health assurance, clean environment and lots of leisure time. Here is a list of 5 key reasons it could be a destination of your choice.

Germany gives you good healthcare options

According to WHO Germany’s Healthcare system is ranked on number 5 in top 10 healthcare system rankings. Germany has a universal healthcare system, meaning that everyone can receive healthcare treatment. People in Germany live 2-3 years longer on an average as compared to people in the west. If you plan to move and start living in Germany, you have to get health insurance. You can choose to take it from the public health system that covers around 90%of German residents or with a private company.

Working hours in Germany are shorter than in any other developed nation.

In Germany Businesses and shops can stay open only unto legally permitted hours. Hence a working in Germany means spending fewer hours at your desk as compared to other countries. Average working week in Germany is less than 48 hours a week and paid leave of 25 days on an average per year is applicable for any employee across Germany. There are also 10-13 public holidays per year in Germany, depending on which state you choose to live. So get ready to spend more family, personal time and sweat fewer hours at your workplace.

46 World heritage sites that you can visit, all in one country.

Whenever you feel like taking a break from your everyday life, apart from multiple leisure activities, you can choose from over 46 world heritage sites to explore. From the Black Forest, the Alps, countless gorgeous towns and most beautiful beaches, Germany has more than 2500 castles and miles and miles of hiking trails. Listing a few of them: Messel Pit Fossil Site, Wadden Sea, Wartburg Castle, Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps, Town of Bramburg etc. If you like long drives, you will enjoy driving on Germanys Autobahn (Highway system) 75% of which has no speed limit.

Public Transport in Germany is more than just efficient.

Germany like many Western European countries has one of the best public transport systems. The fastest and vastly used is the Rapid transit system involving five U-Bahn systems covering the city center and thirteen S-Bahn systems that operate underground in the city center and over ground towards the suburbs. Most big cities like Munich and Berlin have integrated Buses, trams, U-Bahn (underground subway) trains and S-Bahn (suburban trains) into a single network. Fares are determined by zones or time travelled, sometimes by both. A day pass or mutli-ticket offers a better value and must be stamped upon boarding in order to be valid.

German food and drink culture will make you feel at home.

When in Germany you need not worry about familiarizing with the German cuisine as it pretty simple and satisfying. Indulge yourself in some good hearty meals such as pork, beef and poultry in that order, usually pot-roasted or as sausages. Breakfast usually comprises variety of breads, marmalades and spreads along with various cheeses. If you are a vegetarian, fresh vegetable along with potatoes is easy choice along with some good cheeses and sauerkraut, a national delicacy. Beer is very common throughout all parts of Germany, with many local and regional breweries producing a wide variety of beers. It is generally not very expensive and of good quality.

Conclusion

Germany is a beautiful and diverse country to work and stay. With good healthcare, work hours regulations, good infrastructure and food and drink culture, Germany has so much to offer. No matter what your interest is, you will be able to find something to do in Germany.

To understand how you can get a visa to Germany and what are the categories available, do have a look here.

 

Understanding the German culture better

Understanding the German culture better

Germany is one of the oldest countries in the world with a rich German culture. It was unified in 1871 and has been home to a beautiful culture, heritage, and history ever since then. The German way of life is exciting.

Everything from German art, literature, language and life itself has its uniqueness. It is one of the most powerful and influential European countries of the world both culturally and economically. Its influence is vast, and German culture is a fascinating study in itself.

 Language

German is the most commonly spoken language in Germany and is also the official language. Along with English and French, it is one of the three working languages of the European Union.

Along with German, there are also several minority languages spoken in Germany. These include Danish, Sorbian, North Frisian, and Saterland Frisian. As far as immigrant languages, the most used ones are Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Polish, Russian, and Balkan languages. While German is the language most associated with German culture, part of Germany’s culture appreciates other languages.

German has around 100 million people who are native speakers around the world, plus 80 million non-native speakers, although this figure fluctuates.

History

Germany’s vibrant history has influenced German culture and shaped it. Germany was once as a vital part of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, it became one of the most stable economies in the world. Berlin is its capital, but Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne are also among the main cities of Germany.

The estimates read that the average woman in Germany lives for around 83 years. The average man lives 79 years. The main religion is Christianity.

Over 95% of the residents of Germany speak the German language and can include standard German or any of its other dialects. However, the German state has recognised four minority languages. These are the Upper and Lower Sorbian, Romani, Danish as well as North and Saterland Frisian.

The German history is also muddled up in the World wars and Germany fought two of them, World War I and World War II. As a result of the second world war, there were two parts of Germany; East Germany and West Germany.

Dressing

The average German dress is typically western. Both men and women wear dark simple suits and shirts in the business context. However, each region of the country has its traditional costumes, which differ a bit from one another. In the state of Bavaria, the traditional attire for men is leather trousers that end just above the knee.

For women, it is a dress that incorporates a bodice, blouse, full skirt, and an apron. You can see people wearing these costumes, especially during carnivals or festivals. The transitional dress is an integral part of German culture.

German history and culture have influenced German attire. Germany had been home to many socio-political movements. Much of the cultural attire is a result of these movements. For instance, the stereotype that Germans drink a lot of beer came out from the social-political meetings that they had.

Bavaria and Munich focus more on Germany’s famous alpine and beer culture. Here the beer is traditionally served in a 1-litre mug. Historically, both Munich and Bavaria were capitals of the socio-political movements that had begun. Munich was where the Weimar Republic in Germany ended.

Festivals

If you’ve been to Oktoberfest, which are celebrated all over the world, you’re familiar with lederhosen and dirndls. Lederhosen, which means “leather trousers” in German, is the short, leather pants worn by men. These are usually knee-length and historically worn by working-class German men. The dirndl is a ruffled apron dress worn by German women. It consists of a bodice, or blouse, and a skirt.

In the 19th century, the dirndl was the standard uniform of servant girls. Today it is mostly worn in Bavaria and Austria, and like lederhosen, usually for celebration. Each of these garments is a type of tract, which historically was used to help identify people as members of special status (social, political or otherwise). In German culture, festivals and dress style intertwine together.

The annual Oktoberfest is Europe’s most visited festival and the world’s largest fair. Germany’s south-western regions, however, are well known for their wine growing areas (e.g. Rheinhessen and Palatinate). Bad Dürkheim on the ‘German Wine Route’ (Deutsche Weinstraße) organises the most significant wine festival worldwide with over 600,000 visitors annually.

Please see our article here on some of the best fall festivals in Germany.

Social Norms

Germans place a high priority on structure, privacy, and punctuality. The German people embrace the values of thriftiness, hard work and industriousness. There is an excellent emphasis on making sure that “the trains run on time”.

Germans are stoic people who strive for perfectionism and precision in all aspects of their lives. They do not admit faults, even jokingly, and rarely hand out compliments. At first, their attitude may seem unfriendly, but there is a keen sense of community and social conscience and a desire to belong.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent German Reunification in 1990 are the most significant events of recent German history. “German Unification Day”, celebrated on 3 October is a national holiday.

The German symbols have changed through different phases in history alongside the events that have shaped its culture and traditions. The eagle was part of the Holy Roman Empire, which after Prussia’s victory over Austria in 1886 has been shared by two different states.

Martin Luther and luminaries as Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried von Herder, and Johann Wolfgang Goethe are also essential figures and very contentious symbols. Today the most known symbol of the country is it’s black, red and gold flag, symbolising the unification and the struggle of German history.

Architecture

The country has gone through a tumultuous history, the signs of which are evident in its rich and diverse architecture. Its palaces, castles, cathedrals, and monuments best tell the story of Germany. Amphitheatres, spas and Roman bridges are part of the ancient architecture and the civilisation that bloomed in the territory that today is Germany.

The pre-romanesque architecture consists of churches as the Abbey Church of Saint Michael’s that dates back to the beginning of the 10th century. Whereas, during the Romanesque period, a lot of cathedrals were built, which have survived through time until today.

Germans have a strong tradition of printmaking by woodcut and engraving. There is also a strong representation of all phases of architecture — including Romanesque, Gothic, Classicist, Baroque, Rococo and Renaissance — represented in cathedrals, castles and public buildings.

Cuisine

Germans love sumptuous, hearty cuisine. Each area of Germany has its definition of what a traditional meal is supposed to look. Pork is the most consumed meat, and Saumagen (pork stomach) are a couple of traditional pork dishes.

Cabbage, beets, and turnips are commonly incorporated into meals, as they are native to the region. Potatoes and sauerkraut are also stars of German cuisine. One of the most important aspects of German culture is their food, and they sure love to eat it.

Pork, beef, and poultry are the most common types of meat eaten in Germany. Throughout all of Germany, sausage form is the most common way of consuming meat. There are more than 1500 different types of sausage produced in Germany. Organic food is also becoming popular.

In Germany, breakfast is usually the most important meal, and dinner is the smallest meal. Breakfast is typically different pieces of bread and rolls with toppings like sweet jams or honey. Breakfast can also be cold cuts and cheese.

Because Germany is home to many immigrants, ethnic foods are also popular. Germany has adopted foreign dishes into its usual fare. International food chains are also common in larger cities.

Music

Germans have made tremendous contributions to classical music. The traditions of famous German and Austrian composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, and Gustav Mahler live on today. This rich history of musical excellence is still an essential part of German culture today.

Germany is also home to more modern music as well. The country has had a strong influence on techno and rock music, and trance music pioneers in Germany. Many German bands are famous around the world, like Tokio Hotel, Rammstein, and Nena. Famous international film composer Hans Zimmer was also born in Germany.

Germany hosts many music festivals every year. These include the Rock am Ring festival, M’era Luna Festival, and Wacken Open Air.

Movies

Cinema has been an essential staple of German culture for many years. The German studio Babelsberg Film Studio is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, having been founded in 1912. The very first major German sound film was The Blue Angel in 1930, directed by Josef von Sternberg and brought world fame to actress Marlene Dietrich.

The Nazi era even had its share of filmmaking, as Nazi propaganda films were incredibly popular. During the 1070s and 1980s, West German film became popular due to directors such as Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders.

Religion

Just over half of Germany’s population adheres to some form of Christianity. 30% are Roman Catholic, and another 29% are Protestant. Protestantism is more prevalent in the north and east, while the south and west are majority Catholic. Some cities have a non-religious majority.

After the Holocaust, the Jewish population dropped significantly but is steadily increasing. The German Jewish community now has about 100,000 members. There is also a substantial Muslim minority, primarily from Turkey.

Sports

Sports are incredibly popular in Germany. 27,000,000 Germans are members of a sports club. Football (called soccer in the United States) is the most popular sport.

The German Football Association is the largest sports organisation of it’s kind worldwide. The Bundesliga is Germany’s professional football league. Other popular sports are handball, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, and tennis.

Motorsports are also very popular in Germany. Many racers and winning teams come from Germany. Germany’s auto industry also participates heavily in German car racing. Germany has also historically been a contender in many different Olympic Games events.

Conclusion

One article could not possibly wholly educate you about German culture. However, this article has armed you with the basics you need to know. The best way to learn about a culture is by immersing yourself in it.

Go out into Germany, wherever you live, and breathe in the culture however you can. Join a sports club, delve deeper into the language, or attend a music festival. These vast experiences will help shape your fantastic experience in Germany.

Cost of education in Germany: the influencer

Cost of education in Germany: the influencer

Germany is a hotspot for education for both domestic and foreign students. It is one of the most popular locations in all of Europe for students. Germany also has a staggering number of more than three hundred universities. These include both technical and applied sciences universities.

The universities offer courses in both German and English and some are even considered to rank well in the list of world university.

The proportion of German language institutions is significantly more than English language ones. This has not stopped students from learning German and benefiting from the cheap education offered in Germany. Compared to the rest of the world, the cost of education in German is incredibly low. One should understand about the cost of education in Germany to have a more informed decision.

The number of international students choosing to receive their higher education in Germany is rising. In 2015, China was the country sending the most students to German universities, followed closely by India and Russia. People the world over choose to come to Germany for a world-quality education at a low price. Around 12 percent of students in German universities come from foreign countries, so you will certainly not be alone.

One of the reasons that school is so inexpensive in Germany is that Germany is trying to attract foreign workers due to their labor shortages. Workers trained and educated in Germany will be a great addition to the German workforce.

University tuition fees

There are two types of universities in Germany: state sponsored or private universities. State sponsored universities are very cheap. Depending on the region, these may be free of charge. There may be an obligatory student registration fee which may cost between 100 and 500 euros depending on the intuition.The cost of education in Germany is staggeringly low, as you can see.

Even when the state sponsored universities are not free, their tuition is nominal, ranging from 200 to 1500 euros per semester. If you compare that to tuition fee costs in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, this is close to a fraction of the cost of universities there. So, if you’re interested in receiving a world class education without falling into debt, Germany might be a good idea for you, as it is almost that you study for free.

The price of attending a state university falls to almost half if you’re doing a second degree. If you were originally charge 1500 euros per semester for your first degree, you will be delighted to know that the price falls to 700 euros per semester for your second degree. However, there can be administrative fees involved which depends from universities and different German state. Some universities in the state of Baden Württemberg have been known to charge tuition fees.

Compared to state sponsored universities, private universities are significantly more expensive. This is because, unlike state universities, they do not get any funding from the government. They have to bear the costs of research, paying staff, and maintenance all by themselves.

The average cost of attending a private university is 20,000 euros a year. However, unlike state universities, there are many scholarships available in some private universities, so you can apply for those as well.

Other cost of education in Germany

Some German universities also offer on-campus housing. This is the cheapest form of accommodation you can get at around 200 euros per month. If you’re a student on a budget, then this might be perfect for you. As with the actual cost of education, the extra expenses are also very low.

Aside from that, the total cost of books, photocopies of lectures and other materials make up for a cost of 50 to 100 euros per semester. Again, this is very cheap compared to the rest of the world where books may cost around 1000 euros. Additionally, cafeteria services are available for students. You can get a great meal between classes for less than 3 euros. But one should always take care of the living costs in Germany.

Health care for students in Germany is also incredibly cheap. Health insurance for students in Germany is around 80 euros per month. This is much cheaper than what it would cost in the United States to add someone to health insurance coverage.

The tuition fee for university also usually includes a public transportation ticket. This enables students to travel freely around their city of choice. This enables students to breath in the culture and language of Germany, and get to know the country. Some students live in an academic bubble, but it is important to also have a life outside of school.

In addition to cheap tuition and insurance, it is also possible to receive a scholarship. Though the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Council), international students could receive enough money per month to cover living expenses. These include transportation, housing, and healthcare.

Many universities in Germany offer subsidised language programs, so you can learn German as you pursue your degree. Most degrees are standardised throughout the European Union. With your German degree, you can move freely throughout the EU to work.

With all these extra perks, the cost of education in Germany seems to be even lower overall.

To start your journey to an education in Germany, visit the DAAD website.

Cost of primary and secondary education

If you’re living in Germany with family, then you will be happy to know that state schools on a primary and secondary level are completely free. Even if you’re not in university, the cost of education is incredibly low for your children as well.

In fact, many Germans send their children to state schools specifically because of the high standards. However, the medium of education is in German. If you and your children don’t speak the language than it might not be very feasible to send your child to such a school.

Expats often prefer to send their children to international schools. This ensures a continuity of education. It also allows children to continue studying in English and also pick up German along the way.

However, international schools are expensive. On the primary level, the tuition fees can be around 15,000 euros per year. At the secondary level, it can go up to 25,000 euros each year. Furthermore, the monthly cost of a private, full day Kindergarten or Preschool maybe around 500 euros per child.

Of course, the kind of school you pick out for your child will largely depend on what you can afford. There are many quality language training centres in Germany. Both you and your child can attend these to learn German. Learning German can help make life easier in Germany for you.

Please read our article on the German school system for a better view of how your child’s life will be in Germany.

Conclusion

If you are an international student looking for an affordable, quality education, look no further. Germany is the country for you. Their degree will take you across the European Union, and they are affordable. You can avail the financial support from various banks or similar financial institutions in your home country.

German students are at a financial advantage, and you can be too. As you can see, the cost of education in Germany is extremely affordable for everyone. There are a lot of international students in Germany and you can always connect with them to get more information.

Your children will also benefit from a low-cost, quality education in Germany. Even the public schools are extremely high-quality, and they’re free. Everyone should take advantage of this amazing opportunity for a low-cost, quality education.

Read about how the German school system works and about the International schools in Germany so that you can find the best education for your child.

 

German school system – dont get anxious

German school system – dont get anxious

Do you remember your school days? What’s your favourite school memory? For instance, sharing lunches during recess, or playing in the school ground in the afternoon? Some even cherish getting punished for not doing the homework as a fond school memory. The excellent German school system provides a rich framework for creating such memories.

The multi-layered German school system provides children with a rich treasure trove of memories. Read on to find out about the richness of the German school system. Study it before gifting your children with a world of knowledge, love, intellectual stimulation, and memories.

The school system in Germany educates highly advanced students up to the university level. It does not depend on the financial status of the student’s family. The German public school system is different in many aspects from the ones in other nations — it creates highly advanced students. However, many students in Germany attend the government-funded public schools. The entire framework of the education system is accessible to the wards of bona fide expats in Germany. It includes including the colleges and universities.

Above all, the classes in the school happen in German. It is a basic aspect and suitable for German school beginners. However, it can be more of an issue as the students get older and go to higher classes. There are many private institutions and schools too along with public schools. School education is a part of the federal state. However, there are quite a few differences between one state and another.

German School System: In a Nutshell

The kindergarten class in the German school system is for children between the ages of three and six. After kindergarten, it is compulsory to attend school for the next nine or ten years. From the first grade to the fourth, children attend Grundschule or elementary school. They teach the same subjects to every student. Students are separated after the fourth grade by academic abilities and the guardian’s wishes.

After the fourth grade, the children can opt for three different kinds of high school in Germany. They are Hauptschule, Gymnasium, and Realschule. The teachers from Grundschule recommend a particular school to the students. However, it depends on their ability to work independently. Their academic achievement and self-confidence also matter. In most states of Germany, the guardian or parents of the students make the final call. They decide which school to send the student to after fourth grade.

The Different Framework of the German School System

Hauptschule

According to the International Standard Classification of Examination, the Hauptschule provides a lower secondary level of education. Hauptschule is the lowermost secondary school in Germany. It is the objective of Hauptschule to provide students with a general education. It can be for average grades or below average.

The fifth grade to the ninth grade forms the Hauptschule of the German school system. The Hauptschule gives knowledge in the same subjects as Gymnasium and Realschule. But it happens at a slow and steady speed, with other vocational-related subjects.

The curriculum at Hauptschule includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, history, and geography. Also, religion, art, music, sports, politics, and language are also a part of it. Every student learns English from the first year at Hauptschule.

Above all, the course also includes a part-time enrolment of the student in a vocational school. It comes along with training in apprenticeship up to the age of eighteen.

The state government spends more money on the education of students that go to public Hauptschule. Also, the Hauptschule has a better ratio of students to teachers compared to others in the German school system.

The school has many students who belong to different groups. It can be a mix of ethnicity, religion, language, ability, and social class. Also, Hauptschule teaches students of average academic skills, in addition to students with special needs and learning difficulties.

In some German states, like Bavaria, Hauptschule offers different classes to the students. For instance, the school provides P-classes of the students with difficulties and M-classes for the advanced students.

About 54.4% of students graduated from Hauptschule in the year 2004. But, the young jobholders are much less likely to hold Hauptschule degrees.

Realschule

In most German states, the Realschule has part-time and advanced vocational schools for the students. Established by Johann Joachim Becher, Realschule helps to educate students along with giving them insight into the organised structure of the state.

Realschule lies between the Gymnasium (ranked the highest) and Hauptschule (ranked the lowest) in the German school system. Students with excellent academic performance in Realschuleget a choice to switch to Gymnasium upon graduation from Realschule. The good students of Realschule can also attend Beruffsschule or pursue an apprenticeship.

In many of the states of Germany, students begin Realschule at the age of 10-11. They complete the course at around 16-17. For some students, Sekundarschule or Oberschulehas replace Realschule. About 1.320 million students graduated from Realschule in the year 2006 (1).

In Realschule, every student gets a continuing education and learn at least one foreign language, primarily English. However, in Baden-Wurttemberg, the student has choices. They can choose from home economics, technology, and a second foreign language (that is generally French). This happens after finishing the sixth grade in the German school system.

The other subjects at Realschule include history, economics, religion, social sciences, geography, and physical education. After the eighth grade at Realschule, the student must choose between music and art.

In the year 2011, the Berlin government put an end to the Realschule. Also, they integrated the same with Hauptschule and old Gesamtschule to form a new kind of comprehensive school. It is called as the Sekundarschule in Berlin and Staftteilschule in Hamburg.

Gymnasium

The gymnasium is the most advanced form of the German school system. It has a strong focus on academic learning. Therefore, the admission criterion for Gymnasium is the completion of four years of Grundschule. It has an age limit of 10-12 years in the German school system.

The student pursues a diploma course at the Gymnasium stage of the German school system. It prepares them for studying in the university or for a dual vocational and academic credential.

The curriculum of the Gymnasium course varies from one school to the next. The subjects include German language, computer science, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, art, geography, and history. They also have music, civics, philosophy, social studies, and foreign languages.

However, all the subjects are compulsory for younger students in the German school system. But the older students can choose from the elective subjects. The academic standards are very high as the Gymnasium only caters to first 25-35% of the range of able students (2).

Why are Gymnasium schools different?

The Gymnasium schools are the schools for gifted students. Admission depends upon several factors. States like Bavaria selects through entrance examination score or grades of the elementary school. Also, parents cannot decide whether their children will attend Gymnasium or not. The academic performance of the student at the elementary school is the deciding factor.

The language of instruction at Gymnasium is French and English in some specialised schools. Most classes happen in high standard German language. It is the same even in those parts of Germany where advanced German language is not common.

The most common types of Gymnasium include Humanistisches Gymnasium, Neusprachliches Gymnasium, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliches Gymnasium. Some other kinds of Gymnasium include Sportgymnasium, Musikgymnasium, Europäisches Gymnasium, and Gymnasium for advanced students.

Traditionally, it takes 13 grades to acquire Abi (Abitur, or the qualification granted by German prep schools). In the last few years, many states transformed the curriculum for students to get Abi by 12th grade. The states who have not adopted this change are on the road to adopting it.

Gesamtschule

Also known as the comprehensive school, the Gesamtschule is only in a few states of Germany. In other words, it is in place of both the Realschule and Hauptschule as per the German school system. Gesamtschule makes up the 5th grade through the 10th grade and includes students of every academic ability.

The students who finish the 9th grade of Gesamtschule get the Hauptschule certificate. Similarly, the students who finish the 10th grade of Gesamptschule get the Realschule certificate.

Beruffsschule

Beruffsschule is what comes after Realschule and Hauptschule. It combines apprenticeship and part-time academic studying. After the apprenticeship program, the student gets a certificate on a specific field of work or trade.

The Beruffsschule is different from others. The control of Beruffsschule rests with the federal government, trade and industry unions. It is not with the regional and local school authority.

Students must complete nine years of school education successfully in the German school system (3), irrespective of which school the student attends. For instance, if a student drops out of Gymnasium, he must get admission in Hauptschule or Realschule. It is mandatory for every student to study at least one foreign language for a minimum of five years. A student of the Gymnasium must consider a second foreign language.

Life at the school in Germany

A day in school life

For the students of the German school system, classes begin in the morning. The first class starts at around 7:30 am to 8:15 am. It ends at an hour between 12 noon and 1:30 pm. Every class period is about 45 minutes with a small break in between. However, in the last few years, some of the schools or Ganztagsschule have longer hours. The extra hours are for doing homework and taking part in extra-curricular activities.

The extra time is also for hot lunch for the students at the school cafeteria. The school especially focuses upon the three Rs or the three pillars of education. It includes reading, aRithmetic, and wRiting. With increasing grades, expansion takes place in the curriculum. This expansion is based upon the three secondary schools that the students attend.

A Year in school life

Every school year has two semesters and generally begins around the middle or towards the end of August. The school breaks are longer during summer and Christmas vacation and are shorter during autumn and Easter vacation. The school gets shut down on public holidays. Christmas vacation lasts for a couple of weeks, and the summer vacation goes on six long weeks. However, the Lander decides the specific dates for the variety of holidays.

“Special needs” students of Germany

German school system looks after the students with special needs in an ethical manner. The schools for students who have special needs are Forderschule or Sonderschule. The student can attend only one of these schools, depending upon the needs of the student and the available schools.

The schools for students with special needs have staffs of highly-trained mentors and teachers. They usually have a small ratio of students to teachers as compared to the regular public schools of Germany. A few of the students with special needs do not attend the Fonderschule schools, but instead go to Gesamtschule or Hauptschule.

Private schools in Germany

There are several private schools across Germany. Unlike public schools, the private schools charge the students with tuition fee. They offer many courses that lead to the German Abitur as per the German school system. They provide diplomas and other certificates at the end of graduation.

Boarding schools in Germany

Germans call their boarding schools Internat. There are hundreds of boarding schools in Germany that offer an extensive variety of study courses. Most of the boarding schools offer the German Abitur. They also have many special subjects and classes in a variety of areas and topics.

There are boarding schools for music, sports, and other different fields. There are also some boarding schools in Germany that are either only for boys or for girls.

International schools and bilingual schools of Germany

Several international schools in Germany generally offer courses and subjects in English. It helps the student for achieving an IB (International Baccalaureate) or another certificate or diploma. This allows the students to get higher education at a university or college. International schools are mostly in places with a higher concentration of expats in Germany. These places are Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin. Feel free to read our detailed post on this topic here.

Bilingual school is an alternative to international school. At a bilingual school, the classes take place in German. Among the other languages are English, Italian, French, and Spanish.

Parochial schools of Germany

The Parochial schools of Germany include Catholic and Protestant private schools. They offer the standard certificate of the German Abitur.

Homeschooling in Germany

Homeschooling is an illegal practice in Germany and is yet to get recognised. It is compulsory by the law for students to attend public schools in the German school system, or they can opt for the approved private schools and receive mandatory education.

Higher education in Germany

There are different varieties of schools at the university level in Germany for advanced training of students. The excellent universities of Germany give a broad general education.

The students attend university for six years. Recently, some changes have happened in the curriculum. Now they allow a student of the university to achieve a Bachelor’s degree after four years.

The Technische Hochschule or the Technical Universities train the students specifically for certain careers. Students attend them for four years. Higher education also happens in the fields of music and art at specific Hochschulen dedicated to these courses.

Many private schools in Germany offer degree programs in a wide range of subjects. Many of the private schools conduct classes in English.

Conclusion

You must be feeling proud of your child, as he or she will be getting the most excellent education in the world. Excellence in education is itself part of the framework of Germany’s school system. Consider keeping a checklist of your requirements ready before deciding on a school. Your child deserves the best of everything, especially education. No gift can be better in the world than a good education.

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