High school in Germany

International pupils aged between 14 to 16 can join a number of private high schools and boarding schools in Germany to obtain an international or German high school education. Pupils who do not live with their families in Germany and in the vicinity of the school need a guardian. This is made possible in boarding schools. By enrolling in boarding schools, the dormitory takes over pupil’s custody. By attending a boarding school, non-EU pupils can obtain a study visa. There are a set of educational and recreational amenities at boarding schools to provide international teenagers a home away from home. Most of the boarding schools in Germany are nonprofit institutions that not only offer a much higher quality of education than public schools but also provide an international setting which has proven very pivotal for the global integration of youth.

Which study programs are available in a high school in Germany?

Abitur: is a regular German high school degree, consisting of two years of study at the end of high school. Abitur usually refers to the degree that you receive after the 11th and 12th grades (sometimes 13th). Abitur enables you to enter any German university provided that you have good grades and the right set of course combinations. Teaching language: German Offered in Private and Public high schools

International programs (IB, A-Levels, etc.): The IB (international baccalaureate) or A-Levels are internationally recognized high school degrees that enable you to enter almost any international university around the world or a German university. Upon receiving your IB or A-Levels Diploma, you can also enter German universities (certain conditions apply).


Language Level: Depending on whether you opt for an Abitur or an IB Diploma, a German or English language level of at least B1-B2 is necessary. This is the least required level, but a higher German or English level is usually recommended.

Tuition fees: Public high schools usually have no tuition fees. However, entering a public high school in Germany requires a very high level of German and a very good academic background. Furthermore, the applicant needs to have a German residence permit.  The tuition fee of private high schools in Germany is between 12.000 € – 25.000 € per year. The boarding fees (accommodation, food, etc.) usually costs an additional 12.000 – 25.000 € per year. Thus, attending a private school including the boarding facilities costs around 25.000-50.000 € a year.

Academic Background: Academic results and your personality traits are taken into account by the schools during the application process. This is usually done over an online video interview for international applicants.

Visa: If you are an EU/EEA citizen you do not need a study visa. You can attend both public and private schools to receive the Abitur degree. For that, you need to attend the last 2 years of high school and successfully pass the Abitur exams. Afterward, you are allowed to apply for Bachelor’s programs in Germany. You are also able to enroll in a private school to receive your IB diploma. If you are a non-EU pupil and would like to enter a high school in Germany, you need a study visa. Attending a public high school does not entitle you to a study visa. You will only receive a study visa if you join a private high school.

Take a look at some of the best international schools in Germany

International School Owl

  • Program: A-Levels
  • Location: Paderborn
  • Tuition and boarding fee: 36.000€ per year
  • Scholarship: up to 17.000€ per year
  • Language of instruction: English

Berlin-Brandenburg International School (BBIS)

  • Program: IB
  • Location: Kleinmachnow (Brandenburg)
  • Tuition and boarding fee: ca. 40.000€ per year
  • Scholarship: none
  • Language of instruction: English

Schule Schloss Salem

  • Programs: IB / German Abitur
  • Location: campuses in Salem and Überlingen in Baden-Württemberg
  • Tuition and boarding fee: 40.000€-50.000€ per year
  • Scholarship: 6.000€ per year
  • Language of instruction: English (IB) /German (Abitur)

Does it make sense to finish high school in my home country and then come to Germany to enter university?

Finishing your high school at home and then coming to Germany will save you a lot of money and also you do not need a guardian in Germany afterwards (above 18 years of age). Thus, for some of you it might make more sense to prepare yourself right now but make the move at a later stage, once you finish the high school. The good news is that you can attend public foundation year (Studienkolleg) in some public German universities, depending on your study background and your choice of study at the university. We have put together abundant information about Studienkollegs here:

Have you been convinced about studying at a high school in Germany?

Please make sure your family is ready to support you financially as studying at a private high school in Germany and living in the boarding facility costs usually around 40.000€ to 50.000€  per year. If your family is ready to spend this amount on your high school education in Germany, then we can help you with your application. Please get in touch with us via sending an email to info@stuwoli.com.