Underage youth in Germany are obligated to attend school, usually between the age of (ca.) 6 and 16. After elementary school, secondary schooling is split into two phases:
- the Sekundarstufe I (lower secondary schooling) which usually comprises grade 5-10,
- and the Sekundarstufe II (upper secondary schooling) where pupils can (but are not required to) continue schooling for 2 or 3 years.
Pupils can visit different types of schools and obtain different kinds of school-leaving qualifications.
- Successfully finishing Sekundarstufe I (lower secondary schooling) will qualify them for more practical professional qualification paths such as vocational training.
- In order to study at university they need to complete the upper secondary qualification (Sekundarstufe II) and attain a high enough score on tests at the end to qualify for university entrance.
Find out more about what comes after leaving secondary school in the Orientation Flow for the Kiron Campus Application Checklist.
How can I complete my schooling?
If you did not complete your schooling in your home country or if the school-leaving qualification from your home country is not recognized as equivalent to the German qualification, you have several options to complete your upper secondary schooling in Germany:
If you are under the age of 21, we strongly recommend that you go to a German high school and finish the years you have left (you could also attend an evening school; Abendgymnasium; or a Kolleg, a preparatory school).
If you are older than 21, you can go to:
- Evening schools (Abendschule): institutions for adults to catch up on school-leaving certificates;
- Adult education centers (Volkshochschule): there you can take courses on all kinds of topics but also catch up on school certificates. If you are interested in going to a Volkshochschule, we suggest you get in contact directly. Find the closest one to you here.
As for the lower secondary schooling, you may also complete it at evening schools, adult education centers or in correspondence schools. Find information on this at the Ausbildung info page.