Reg­is­ter­ing your child with a school

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:

My child does­n’t speak Ger­man. Where can they go to school?

Pri­ma­ry 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.

Sec­ondary school
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.

Guten­bergschule (GWRS)
Goethes­traße 34
76135 Karl­sruhe
Tel.: +49 (0)721 (0)133 ‑4674

Pestalozzis­chule (GWRS)
Christof­s­traße 23
76227 Karl­sruhe
Tel.: +49 (0)721 (0)133 ‑4707

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:

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:

Tip: Karl­sruhe also has schools with bilin­gual class­es and a Euro­pean School with reg­u­lar class­es in Ger­man, Eng­lish or French.

What doc­u­ments should I take with me when I register?

  • The child’s birth certificate
  • The child’s passport
  • Your own passport
  • School reports (if avail­able) for reg­is­tra­tion at a sec­ondary school