Welcome Centre – Schools


In Germany children ages 6 to 18 years old are required to attend school. The exact age limits and enrollment periods vary from state to state. Furthermore, the offered school forms and descriptions vary as well.

School forms

Basically, all children start with primary school (Grundschule) (1st to 4th school year). In Hesse, the following school forms are offered in addition to the primary school:


5th to 9th or 10th school year => concludes with a Hauptschulabschluss or a Realschulabschluss


5th to 10th school year => concludes with a Realschulabschluss


5th to 9th or10th school year => concludes with a Hauptschulabschluss or a Realschulabschluss; Emphasis is on vocational training


5th to 12th or 13th school year => can be completed with different diplomas


5th to 12th or 13th school year => concludes with the Abitur (General university entrance qualification)

The choice of the right type of school for a child depends greatly on the child’s educational performance. But the future professional goals can also be integrated into the decision. While a Haupt- or Realschulabschluss is more qualified for a vocational training programme, the Abitur provides the ability and formal requirements to study at a university.

General information

It is free of charge to attend the state schools in Germany. For private schools fees may apply.

Information about the schools for which your child may qualify can be received at the service center for families of the university (Familienservice der Universität) or at the education authority of Darmstadt (Schulamt Darmstadt). Generally, schools are selected by parents after a personal visit and a meeting with the school administration.

The new school year starts after the summer holidays between August and September, however the holiday periods vary from state to state. For alternative care options for children during the school holidays, there are many different options. Information can be found on the website of the service center for families of the university.

Day care for school children

In recent years the offerings of all-day schools in Germany has gradually expanded. Many schools now offer a comprehensive service with lunch, homework and sports programmes. However, the exact service periods vary from facility to facility

If a school cannot offer full-time care, younger children can take part in an after-school care scheme (Hort).

In order to attend a full-day care facility the parents will be charged a fee, which depends on the family’s income, by the school. Additionally, costs may be incurred for the lunch.

Schuldorf Bergstraße – State International School

At the Schuldorf Bergstraße, the International School offers a curriculum in English from Kindergarten to the 12th grade. The public school does not charge tuition fees, but charges do apply for the full-day care. The state international school is located in Seeheim-Jugenheim, just a few kilometers away from Darmstadt. Children from highly mobile, international families will be given preference when it comes to receiving a seat. More information about the school can be found here.


This website is for information purposes only and the statements are not legally binding. Please contact the authorities to clarify which regulations apply in your case.