School graduates have a range of options to choose from after finishing school: some take a year out to work on social or environmental projects, others start an apprenticeship or go to university. More information about a social or ecological gap year can be found here (Content only available in German).
Apprenticeships often operate on a dual system in Germany, which means that half of the apprenticeship is completed in a vocational college and the other half in a training company. An apprenticeship generally lasts for three years. The application for an apprenticeship normally has to be completed one year before the start of the apprenticeship.Information about apprenticeships can be found here (English).
Those who wish to study at a university after finishing school or an apprenticeship will need to have the general higher education entrance qualification, which is obtained at a ‘Gymnasium’ school. Universities have a variety of programmes and specialised courses. University applications depend on the respective start dates and degree programmes. Application deadlines and procedures can be found on the university websites. The following website provides an overview of universities in Germany: studieren.de (English).
A special feature that is offered more and more is the combination of apprenticeship and study. Many companies offer this so-called dual system (English). The application deadline is generally a year before the start of the degree programme.
In Germany, internships are a popular way to gain practical experience during or after school time, but especially during a degree. Internships can be found at numerous job fairs. Many companies or organisations also accept speculative applications.