What do the different educational qualifications mean?
There are various school leaving certificates. The higher the school-leaving certificate, the more options you have when choosing a career. But you also have to go to school for longer. With a secondary Hauptschulabschluss (school leaving certificate – after the 9th grade) or a Mittlerer Bildungsabschluss (middle school leaving certificate – after the 10th grade) you can enter vocational training. You need the Abitur or university entrance qualification (after the 12th or 13 th grade) to study at a university. After passing each exam, you can continue your studies to get a higher level qualification. Even if you have dropped out of school, you can catch up on your qualification later. You can do this at a vocational school, for example. The Bildungsnavi Baden Württemberg shows the possibilities and explains the different school types: http://bildungsnavi-bw.de
My child doesn’t speak German. Where can they go to school?
Children who do not yet speak German are placed in a Vorbereitungsklasse (preparatory class) to learn the language. Your child will attend the local primary school. This depends on where you live:
Register your child directly with the school. Make a registration appointment with the school secretary’s office and take your child with you to the appointment in person.
If your child is between 11 and 15 years old but does not yet speak German, you can register them for a Vorbereitungsklasse (preparatory class, VKL) at a secondary school. To do this, please contact one of the schools below. Your child will then be registered with a suitable school.
Young people from 16 years
Young people from 16 years old can be registered – or register themselves – for a Vorbereitungsklasse (preparatory class,VABO) at a vocational college. VABO classes prepare young people for German language examinations at the levels A2 to B1. You can register for a VABO class online at: https://www.hhs.karlsruhe.de/vabo-schulen/
After the VABO class, you can prepare for a German school-leaving certificate. Vocational colleges offer school-leaving certificates in a variety of subjects.
My child already speaks German. Where can they go to school?
If your child speaks German and can attend a regular school, you can contact a school directly. You will be advised there by the school management. You can find a list of public and private schools in Karlsruhe: www.karlsruhe.de/schulen
Tip: Karlsruhe also has schools with bilingual classes and a European School with regular classes in German, English or French.