The differences between the german and us school systems

Authored By:

Phillip G.

As an exchange student in the USA, I experience differences in the school system compared to Germany on a daily basis. The structure of the schools here is fundamentally different - while Germany has Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium, in the USA I encounter the uniform high school. Another striking difference is the choice of subjects. Here in America, students have a wider range of electives, which makes their education more individualized compared to the often predetermined German curriculum.

The emphasis on sports and extracurricular activities is also striking. American schools promote team spirit through a variety of sports opportunities and clubs, which is not as pronounced in Germany. The school atmosphere here is more open and relaxed. Breaks are more than just time between lessons - they allow students to move freely and socialize. This is in contrast to the more formal atmosphere I know from Germany.

Another aspect is the different grading systems. Whereas in the USA, grades range from A to F, in Germany the grades range from 1 to 6. An A in the USA is roughly equivalent to a very good A in Germany. Finally, I was impressed by the different graduation rituals. In the USA, high school graduation and associated events such as proms and prom nights are particularly formative. In Germany, there are comparable rituals such as the Abiball and the Abifeier, but with their own unique traditions.

These diverse differences make my time as an exchange student not only educational, but also incredibly exciting.