How can I skip high school

Relocation: information and guidelines

What are the rules for students in the year abroad?


Relocation guidelines of the federal states

Each federal state defines its own promotion guidelines that are relevant for student exchanges. You should therefore find out about the regulations when planning your stay abroad while you are still at school.

The following information has been taken from the respective provisions of the countries or is based on correspondence with the responsible authorities. In order to avoid misunderstandings and inconvenience, the current transfer regulations must always be clarified with the school management when preparing for a stay abroad. This is particularly true because in numerous federal states, due to the shortening of the upper secondary school level, new transfer guidelines have been adopted which often give school administrators a relatively large amount of discretion.

Participation in a student exchange program should not be made dependent on the question of whether a school year can be skipped anyway. Of course, it will still be possible to repeat a school year in the future. Often this is or was a good option for Real, Overall and G9 students. After all, a school year abroad opens up enormous prospects on various levels, for which it is worthwhile to go to school for a year longer.


Relocation guidelines by state

Transfer guidelines for Baden-Württemberg

A pupil for whom no certificate will be issued at the end of grades 5 to 10 and therefore no transfer decision can be made because he has participated in a long-term individual student exchange with a foreign country and attended school there, at the request of the parent or guardian, will be admitted at the age of majority accepted his application without a decision on promotion (in accordance with Section 3 Paragraph 3 of the Promotion Regulations for Gymnasien or Realschulen and Section 5 for Werkrealschulen) in the next higher class or in grade 11. If it becomes apparent within the first eight weeks after the start of lessons that he is not up to the requirements of this class, he can move on to the next lower class. This does not count as a failure to transfer or repetition, as the class is considered not to have been attended.

Funding programs in Baden-Württemberg

Transfer guidelines Bavaria

Pupils for whom an advance decision cannot be made because they were on leave to attend school abroad will, upon request, be permitted to advance on probation to the next higher grade of the Gymnasium if a school abroad has been properly attended and about this as well as about the at the same time A confirmation of the school's achievements is presented. This does not apply to students who did not achieve the class goal in the school year preceding the leave of absence. Such students have to repeat the failed grade, unless the students of grades 6 to 11 (in G9) or grades 6 to 10 (in G8) successfully undergo the re-examination according to the relevant regulations after their return (for more details see p . § 35 in conjunction with §§ 31 and 33 GSO).

Funding programs in Bavaria

Transfer guidelines Berlin

In the case of a stay abroad of more than three months, the school principal decides on the placement in a grade. The classification depends on whether successful participation can be expected. After a leave of absence for the second half of the year or the entire time of grade 10, pupils can be admitted on probation to grade 11 of the upper level of the school they attended before the leave of absence. At the end of the first half of year 11, the class conference, the year conference or the senior level committee will decide whether the probationary period has been successfully completed. Those who have successfully completed the probationary period acquire a qualification that is equivalent to the middle school leaving certificate and continue their school career in the upper level of the gymnasium. If the probationary period is not successfully completed, the pupils withdraw to grade 10 of the school they attended.

If the qualification phase was spent at a school abroad that leads to a general higher education entrance qualification under German law, the achievements can be counted towards the overall qualification. Otherwise, after returning from a stay abroad, the headteacher can credit the first half of the course if, after admission exams in the examination subjects and assumption of the work performed abroad, a successful continuation of the school education can be expected.

Transfer guidelines Brandenburg

Schoolchildren can be given leave of absence to attend school abroad for a maximum of one year. The time spent at school abroad is not taken into account when calculating the maximum length of stay in lower secondary level. Transfers and the acquisition of qualifications and qualifications can take place on the basis of the achievements made and proven during school attendance abroad if these achievements and the achievements before school attendance abroad correspond to the achievements to be achieved according to the secondary level I regulation for a transfer or for the acquisition of degrees or qualifications are equivalent. The decision is made by the school management. The Upper School Ordinance and the administrative provisions relating to this Ordinance apply to information and advice on the school career in the upper level of the Gymnasium and to applying for school attendance abroad in the course of the 10th grade. In the course of grade 9, the pupils are to be informed about the regulations of the gymnasiale Oberstufe, in particular about the registration obligations in the introductory and qualification phase.

Funding programs in Brandenburg

Transfer guidelines Bremen

Before applying for a leave of absence to attend school abroad, a counseling session will take place in the school attended before the stay abroad and, if the intention is to return to school after the stay abroad, in the new school. Pupils in the lower secondary level of a secondary school or a grammar school can, with the permission of the school principal, continue their education in Bremen without delay if they attend a school abroad for six months. In the case of a stay abroad in the second half of year 10, the examination to obtain a lower secondary degree cannot be taken. In the case of a stay abroad in the last six months before the transition to the upper secondary school (GyO), the pupils cannot be transferred to the GyO immediately after their return. The headmaster decides on exceptions at the request of the promotion conference. In the lower secondary level, the school initially provides advice for stays abroad of more than six months. The school management contacts the responsible technical supervisor to make a decision. Stays abroad in the upper secondary level should end at the beginning of the qualification phase. Attendance at school abroad must be documented by appropriate performance records (certificates, reports, etc.). The missed six months of the GyO can either be made up for or - under certain conditions - skipped. After returning from abroad, the legal guardians or adult pupils hold a counseling interview about the further school career in the GyO. More detailed information on stays abroad in secondary level I and II can be found in the relevant leaflets on stays abroad, which are available from the Senator for Children and Education in Bremen.

Transfer guidelines Hamburg

Pupils of the grammar school and the district school who were transferred to grade 10 in the twelve-year course after attending grade 9 or in the thirteen-year course after attending grade 10, move to the study level, taking into account the duration of school attendance abroad their school if they have regularly attended a comparable school abroad during the entire subsequent grade or during the second half of the subsequent grade and if it is to be expected that they will be able to meet the requirements of the study level. The decision is made by the school on the basis of the votes of the specialist teachers for the subjects German, mathematics, and the first and second foreign language as part of a pedagogical-technical discussion, which can be supplemented by tests in individual subjects. Pupils who meet the above-mentioned requirements will also receive income-related financial support on application, provided they continue their education in the home school, another school of the same type of school or another secondary school after their return. The maximum amount of funding is based on the teacher staff costs that would be incurred if the student were to attend classes in a state school and is around 2,500 euros for a half-year or around 5,000 euros per school year. The amount of the funding is determined on the basis of the income of the parents of the applicant and is granted proportionally up to a monthly income of the parents of 4,000 euros. From the income earned, 435 euros are deductible for each family member belonging to the household. Further information on financial support and on how to apply can be found at https://bildung-international.hamburg.de/finanzierung/.

Funding programs in Hamburg

Transfer guidelines Hessen

You can find the current provisions on school attendance abroad in the upper level in the upper level and Abitur ordinance of July 20, 2009, last amended by the ordinance of July 23, 2018 (OJ p. 605). In Section 4, Paragraph 1 it says “Stays in a foreign school as part of a student exchange or a corresponding program or internship for professional orientation should be promoted and the students should be able to continue their school education without wasting time. The decision on a review procedure in accordance with Section 2 (6) is made by the school principal. "

According to Section 2, Paragraph 6, the review procedure should determine whether the pupil can work successfully in the upper level of the gymnasium. The examination procedure is carried out in German, the first foreign language and mathematics in writing, each in the scope of a class test. In history or politics and economics as well as a natural science an oral examination has to be taken. When starting the school year, the requirements must correspond to those of the previous year for which the transition is planned.

Funding programs in Hessen

Transfer guidelines for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Upon request, the obligation to attend the introductory phase can be shortened by the time of documented, regular and equivalent school attendance abroad. If this school visit extends over the entire introductory phase or over the duration of the second half of the school year, the transfer to the qualification phase can take place on the basis of a suitable performance review in the form of exams and complex performances. It must be determined whether successful participation in lessons in the first half of the school year of the qualification phase can be expected. The decision is made by the class conference in a certain composition. The school principal can permit exceptions to the provisions regarding the choice of examination subjects with regard to the obligation to attend in the introductory phase. Attending the upper level of the gymnasium can only be shortened by the introductory phase if the successful participation in at least the following subjects can be proven: 1. Teaching in both compulsory foreign languages ​​from lower secondary level or continuing the first compulsory foreign language and starting a new foreign language, 2. Mathematics , 3. a natural science subject (chemistry, biology, physics), 4. a subject from the social science field. Those who enter the qualification phase without attending the introductory phase can only choose a foreign language in which they have attended at least compulsory or elective courses at levels 8 and 9 to fulfill their foreign language obligations.

Financing tips

In addition to funding from the federal states, there are also other financial aids: BAföG abroad, scholarships, foundations, associations, sponsored voluntary services and other options!

More info

Transfer guidelines Lower Saxony

For the thirteen-year course up to the general university entrance qualification, the pupils attend a school abroad, usually during the 11th grade. The introductory phase of the gymnasiale Oberstufe can be shortened on request if the successful participation in given subjects can be proven. As an exception, it is also possible to attend school abroad in the 10th grade; However, this should then be limited to the 1st half of the 10th grade. Further information can be found in a leaflet that can be found under the following link on the homepage of the Lower Saxony Ministry of Culture: www.mk.niedersachsen.de/startseite/schule/unsere_schulen/allgemein_bildende_schulen/gymnasium/gymnasium-6319.html. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice from the school in good time before going to school abroad about the effects on the duration of the schooling and qualifications.

Funding programs in Lower Saxony

Transfer guidelines for North Rhine-Westphalia

G8 pupils can skip grade 10 (EF) if they can demonstrate at least satisfactory grades, insufficient grades and, in subjects with written work, at most sufficient grades in the school year prior to the stay abroad. The conference of teachers teaching the pupil decides on exceptions.
The qualification associated with the certificate at the end of the introductory phase in accordance with APO-GOSt § 40 Paragraph 2 is acquired after successfully passing through the first year of the qualification phase. In the event of a change of school, the receiving school decides on the leave of absence and the continuation of the school career.

In the case of pupils from other types of school, the school career can be continued at the beginning of the qualification phase if a grade image is achieved on the certificate of class 10 / I or 10 / II that is one grade better in all subjects than that for the transition to the upper level required performance. The upper school supervisory authority decides on exceptions.

Proof of continuous participation in lessons at a school abroad must be provided.

Funding programs in North Rhine-Westphalia

Relocation guidelines for Rhineland-Palatinate

Pupils who were on leave of absence to attend a school abroad for the duration of the introductory phase can exceptionally enter grade 12 in the nine-year course, and as an exception into grade 11 in the eight-year course. After 10 weeks at the latest, the course teacher conference will decide whether the achievements shown up to then justify admission to the qualification phase. If you stay in grade 12, the grades from half year 12/2 will be counted twice. In the eight-year course of study, the following applies: In the case of a promotion from grade 10 to grade 11 of the Gymnasium, the qualified secondary qualification is only achieved with admission to grade 12 of the Gymnasium.

Funding programs in Rhineland-Palatinate

Transfer guidelines Saarland

Pupils are recommended to attend school at a foreign school in the lower secondary level or in the introductory phase of the upper secondary level. This gives them the opportunity to continue their school career without delay after their return. The school management decides whether the learning requirements are met. They can determine this in particular before entering the qualification phase by taking an entrance examination in the subjects German, mathematics, the compulsory foreign language and the compulsory social and natural science subjects.

Funding programs in Saarland

Transfer guidelines Saxony

At the request of the parents or the adult pupil, the school principal can approve that a pupil who does not have to repeat the grade or grade can be given leave of absence to attend school abroad for a maximum of one year. In the case of a leave of absence after grade 11, there is no entitlement to previous subjects being continued in grade 12. After the end of school attendance abroad, lessons are continued in the grade or grade in which the student was transferred before the leave of absence.Upon request, the school supervisory authority can approve that lessons can be continued in the next higher grade or, in the case of a leave of absence after grade 9, in grade 11 if a school abroad with comparable learning content was regularly attended and a confirmation of this and of the achievements achieved School is presented. After the end of school attendance abroad after the 11th grade, lessons are continued in the 12th grade.

Funding programs in Saxony

Transfer guidelines for Saxony-Anhalt

A leave of absence to attend school abroad can be approved by the state school office on application for the period of documented attendance at school abroad for a maximum of one year, provided that regular school attendance in a comparable course of study as part of a student exchange can be proven. Attending school abroad can be credited to attending the introductory phase upon request. If this school attendance abroad also includes the second half of the introductory phase, entry into the qualification phase can take place without a decision to transfer, if in two foreign languages, mathematics, a natural science and a subject of social science. At least sufficient performance has been achieved in the field of activity. If the leave of absence takes place after completing the introductory phase and before entering the qualification phase, this time is not counted towards the length of stay in the upper level of the gymnasium. A leave of absence from attending the qualification phase to attend school abroad is not permitted. Achievements that have been achieved at a German school abroad or at a European school must be taken into account when you return during the introductory phase for the creation of the annual grades.

Transfer guidelines Schleswig-Holstein

Students in Schleswig-Holstein usually go abroad for a longer period of time in the introductory phase of the upper level of the gymnasium (in the eight-year course this is the 10th year, in the nine-year course the 11th year). In principle, however, the possibility also exists in the first year of the qualification phase and - after a justified application for a leave of absence in accordance with Section 15 SchulG - in the secondary level I. After the stay abroad, the school career is continued in the year in which the stay abroad began. Particularly high-performing pupils who were given leave of absence in the introductory phase for a half-year to full-year school stay abroad can apply to skip a half-year of the introductory period or the entire introductory period after their return. In the case of a leave of absence in the first year of the qualification phase within the framework of at least six months of school attendance abroad, results from the introductory phase can be counted towards the qualification phase upon request. Foreign certificates of achievement are not included in the calculation of the overall qualification. The school principals issue the permits.

Funding programs in Schleswig-Holstein

Transfer guidelines Thuringia

For students in the 12-year gymnasium course of study, there is the possibility for stays abroad in the first half of the year up to a maximum of one school half-year with transfer to the introductory phase of the gymnasiale upper level (grade 10) to continue their school career there after their return. Condition is the independent reworking of the subject matter (especially in the subjects of the special performance assessment [bLf]) as well as the provision of the required performance records. For stays abroad in the second half of the year up to a maximum of one school half year and for year-round stays, the student visits the introductory phase again after returning, with exceptions for high-performing students. For students in the 13 year old gymn. If you are admitted to the introductory phase, your school career is continued in the introductory phase for stays abroad during the year and the introductory phase is revisited for all-year stays abroad. With a transfer to the qualification phase for the duration of a school year (year-round stay abroad), the pupil attends grade 11 upon return. Stays abroad after the introductory phase of the gymn. Upper grades are only approved for the duration of a whole school year (more on this: www.thueringen.de/mam/th2/tmbwk/aktuell/medienservice/19.pdf).

numbers and facts

Many young people opt for a student exchange during the school year before the upper school level preparatory to the Abitur in the last two school years. In the eight-year grammar school this corresponds to the tenth grade, and in the nine-year grammar school to the eleventh grade. With this option, the exchange students accept the risk of being relegated one grade level back after their return if all the criteria of the promotion guidelines are not met. The alternative to this is the inserted school year immediately before the Abitur-relevant course phase. In this way, the returnees can be sure that they can advance to the next level, as the previous school year was already completed before the student exchange.

Due to the reform and the lack of an Abitur class, it can be assumed that students in the last G8 class want to avoid not being promoted to the next grade, as they would otherwise have to plan two additional years of school. In order to minimize this risk, it can be assumed that significantly fewer young people from Lower Saxony attend a school abroad in this year.

More info

You can find more reading material on stays abroad here:

Handbook of world explorers

The guide for stays abroad

With clear service tables for au pairs, voluntary services, becoming a host family, homestay, jobs, youth encounters & work camps, internships, student exchanges, language trips, studies, work & travel, youth trips, class trips, stays abroad for under 18-year-old school leavers, trainees and students and people over 50, 11th edition 2019

Handbook wanderlust

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The couch potato contains numerous experience reports and useful information on stays abroad, from student exchanges to cross-worlds. Let yourself be inspired by the testimonials!


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