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Education issues in Germany are within the competence of the federal states. The only thing is the general obligation to attend school, as well as the knowledge assessment system.

State system of school education

Education issues in Germany are within the competence of the federal states. Within each of the 16 federal states, there are many regional differences in the types of schools and curricula. The only thing is the general obligation to attend school, as well as the knowledge assessment system. In Germany, attendance at primary and secondary school is compulsory (Schulpflicht). Please note, homeschooling is illegal in Germany. If you live legally in Germany, your children must go to school between the ages of 6 and 15, although many students continue to attend school until they are 18 or 19. Usually, you have to register your child a few months before school starts. Please note that parents who do not ensure that their child goes to school will have to pay a large monetary fine.

Information for Ukrainians 2022

Germany has more than 32,000 schools located throughout the country, all of which guarantee the same minimum standard. In Germany, 16 Länder are responsible for school education. Since the beginning of the war, all countries have been preparing to provide a non-bureaucratic reception to refugee students in their numerous schools and to guarantee school places for their education.

Current information for Ukrainians and clarifications on each of the feudal lands:

School duty for children and teenagers from Ukraine begins to operate mainly when they receive a residence permit. Local immigration authorities (Ausländerbehörden) issue a permit to those arriving from Ukraine. After agreement with the local school education authority (Schulamt) and the educational institution itself, children can start school even before obtaining a permit. The coordination point for those arriving from Ukraine is the local school education department (Schulamt). There, families are provided with advice on which schools are suitable for a specific child or teenager. Counseling is mainly provided by teachers.

How to choose a school?

As a rule, children enter primary school at their place of residence. You cannot choose which public primary school your child attends. However, under certain circumstances (moving and similar reasons) you may request to attend another school. After finishing primary school and based on the results of educational achievements, the teacher advises parents on which type of school is best for their child. However, in most countries, parents have the final say on which school their child attends after the fourth (or sixth) grade.

List of documents

The list of documents required for school admission will be provided by the school administration. As a rule, you need:

  • a photocopy of the student's passport;

  • certificates;

  • report cards;

  • transcripts of grades for the previous 2-3 academic years (copy of the original and translation into English or German).

Some schools ask for a letter of motivation written by the student (in English or German) and a letter of recommendation from at least one teacher (in English or German).

Features of private schools

Along with public schools, there are also private schools in Germany. The organization of the work of these schools is not carried out by the state, but, for example, by a private company, church or public organization. Such schools very often adhere to their own special philosophy and teaching methods and are almost always paid. If you are considering sending your child to a private school, check with the school of your choice. You will find a list of all schools in the section on the school education system of your federal state. You can find a private school or a boarding school for your child using the website https: //

Language of instruction, availability of integration classes


Children and teenagers who do not yet speak or speak a little German first attend special classes in which they learn the German language and get to know German culture. These classes are called "Willkommensklassen", "Vorbereitungsklassen" or "Übergangsklassen (Ü-Klassen)". Students are then gradually transferred to a regular education class that corresponds to their age, school experience and level of German language proficiency.

Visa, visa issues

In connection with Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the governments of the EU, Georgia, Canada and the USA provide Ukrainians with war protection programs. Ukrainians seeking refuge from the war on the territory of these countries will receive residence and employment permits, and their children will be given the opportunity to continue their education in local schools.

If you intend to go to Germany outside of the war protection program, you need a National Visa to attend school and live

Documents for obtaining a visa for the purpose of attending school:

  • passport;

  • student's birth certificate;

  • completed visa application form;

  • photographs;

  • confirmation of financing;

  • confirmation of stay for the purpose of attending school;

  • proof of medical insurance.

Details at the link:

Important links

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