Educating your expat kids in Germany

Educating your expat kids in Germany

Educating your expat kids in Germany

One of the most important aspect of emigration along with a young family is the quality and cost of education in your destination country.

If you’re heading for Germany, you’d expect high standards of education as well as being able to access it for free. You wouldn’t be disappointed, as all Germans are rightly proud of their country’s public schools, including the fact that all young people in the country can access them right up to university level, thus saving their parents’ having to pay. Obviously, there’s a language barrier, as every public school all across the country is German-speaking, but experts state that younger children adapt quickly.

For older students, it’s more difficult, but private lessons in German are usually successful. Should you be seriously worried about the language barrier, Germany has a good selection of English language international schools, all of which are found in or close by the country’s major cities. Another issue of concern to expat parents is the German system of streaming according to academic performance, starting at nine years of age. For those worried about entrusting their childrens’ future to a decision made early on, parents have their say at the time as regards teachers’ recommendations and feedback.

Schools in Germany are streamed into three sectors, with Hauptshcule for the less academic, Realschule as a middle-tier school and Gymnasium for children heading for a university degree. Once the stream is established, it’s unlikely to change. The process itself is comprehensive, taking into account interests as well as abilities and aptitudes, and it should be remembered that Germany is proud of the success of its system.

For those still unsure of the effect of a German education on their children, it should be remembered that homeschooling isn’t an option between the ages of six and 15 years as this popular expatriate alternative is actually illegal! As regards university education, undergraduates can study for free, even if they’re not German citizens, but parents should remember that undergrad programmes are in the German language.

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