International schools in Germany
If you're living in Germany, here is a list of international schools in Germany to enrol your child into the education system in Germany.
If you're moving to Germany with children in tow, you'll find many quality local German schools as well as a number of private and international schools in Germany catering to the needs of expat children and international education.
Most international schools in Germany have small class sizes, excellent facilities and very high educational standards. They follow internationally recognised programmes leading to qualifications that are accepted by universities worldwide. They may be nursery, primary and secondary. They are mostly day schools although some offer boarding, and use various teaching methods including Montessori.
Lessons in most German international schools are taught in English but some schools are bilingual, most commonly English/German and French/German but there are also schools that are bilingual Italian/German, Spanish/German, Czech/German and Japanese/German.
The best schools are affiliated with the Association of German International Schools or accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) or the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC).
This guide answers some FAQs about international schools in Germany:
- What you need to know about international schools in Germany:
- Should you enrol your child in an international school?
- International qualifications and education on offer.
- How to enrol into an international school.
- List of top international schools in Germany.
Should you choose an international school in Germany?
International schools can be an excellent option for children who have already started school back home so they can continue with a familiar curriculum taught in a language they understand. This can be particularly important for older children who have difficult classes. International schools are also great for expats who move around a lot as standards at international schools are similar across the world which allows a smooth transition from a school in one country to another. Going to an international school also gives students the opportunity to meet and make friends with people of many different cultures and nationalities. This includes Germans, as many international schools in Germany have a substantial number of native students wanting an English language education.
Admission procedures vary from school to school but it is advised to apply as soon as possible as there are often waiting lists, although you might be able to gain admission part way through a year as the student population in international schools can be transient. For more information on choosing and applying to international schools in Germany, see Expatica's complete guide to schools in Germany: local, private, bilingual and international schools in Germany.
International education on offer at Germany’s schools: Exams and diplomas
Most of the international schools in Germany offer one or more of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes: Primary Years, Middle Years, Career-related and most commonly the IB Diploma. Some offer the UK-based International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), the US-based High School Diploma/Advanced Placement (AP) and occasionally the German Abitur.
A common combination is the IGCSE followed by the IB Diploma. A few international schools are regulated by foreign education systems, for example the French school Lycée Jean Renoir in Munich and the Japanese school in Hamburg.
The International Baccalaureate diploma (IB)
Some 3,000 schools in more than 143 countries offer the IB diploma, which is aimed at students aged 16–19 years and recognised internationally. The diploma requires students to study six subjects over two years, as well as take an additional course in philosophy (‘theory of knowledge’ or TOK), contribute to a creativity, activity and service (CAS) programme, and write an extended 4,000-word essay.
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and GCE A Levels
The IGCSE is an UK-based qualification administered by different exam boards such as London (Edexcel) or Cambridge. It is equivalent to school years 10 and 11. IGCSE requires students to study and take exams across a range of subjects including maths, English, sciences and humanities.
High School Diploma and Advanced Placement courses
Some schools offer US-based program leading to the High School Diploma, include preparation for the College Board SAT exams and students can choose from a selection of Advanced Placement classes for university entrance.
Top international schools in Germany
- Berlin Brandenburg International School
- Berlin British School
- Berlin International School
- Berlin Metropolitan School
- International School Braunschweig-Wolfsburg
- International School Villa Amalienhof
- Schule Schloss Salem
- Frankfurt International School
- ISF Internationale Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main
- Metropolitan School Frankfurt
- Strothoff International School
- Taunus International Montessori School
- Accadis International School Bad Homburg (ISB)
- International School Mainfranken (Kolitzheim)
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Updated: 2011; September 2015.
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