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The Welcome Center will be happy to support you in finding an adequate school for your children. Especially if your children do not speak any or not sufficient German, it may turn out difficult to find a suitable place for them. It is very advisable to initiate all necessary steps while you are still in your home country.

General Information on the German School System

School attendance is compulsory for German and foreign children living in Germany between the age of 6 and 15 years. If you plan a longer stay in Germany, you are obliged to enroll your child at a school in Bonn or you must apply for exemption from compulsory education.

Attendance of public schools is free of charge in Germany. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the school year starts in August/September after six weeks of summer holidays.

The children's school education begins with Primary School ("Grundschule"; grades 1 to 4). At the end of the 4th grade, it is decided which secondary school the child will attend. In North Rhine-Westphalia, there are different types of public secondary schools:


The "Gymnasium" in North Rhine-Westphalia comprises grades 5 to 12/13. It offers a broad and in-depth education and prepares students to attend university afterwards.


The "Real­schule" comprises grades 5 to 10. Both practical skills as well as an interest in theoretical contexts are promoted here. The students acquire a brad education and work-orientated competencies. After leaving school, the may start an apprenticeship or switch to another school (e.g. "Gymnasium").


The "Hauptschule" emphasizes a special devotion for each student in small classes. Most subjects are taught by one teacher. All certificates up to grade 10 can be earned here. Students with extraordinary results may be considered for further education (e.g. at a "Gymnasium").


The "Gesamtschule" is - just like the other three school forms - one of the regular secondary school forms in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a comprehensive school form comprising all the other forms in only one school. This makes it easier for parents, who do not have to choose one of the other three school forms mentioned above already after "Grundschule". Sometimes, it is very difficult to assess the capabilities of a child being so young. At a "Gesamtschule", the child can switch school later on and much easier.

Schools in Bonn

You can get the best overview of all schools in Bonn from the Municipal School Authorities. When choosing a school, we advise you to consider the location and to contact the school secretariats of potential schools as early as possible.

International Schools in Bonn

In Bonn, there are several international or bilingual schools that offer their lessons in English, French or Spanish.

The schools mentioned on this website are known to our Welcome Center team. The Welcome Center guarantees neither for their quality nor for the completeness of the information given.

Primary Schools ("Grundschulen")

Secondary Schools ("Weiterführende Schulen")

Information Point

We recommend to contact the Municipal School Authorities ("Schulamt") before you come to Bonn. There is a special advice center for foreign children with not sufficient German skills. They will gladly support you in finding a so-called "integration class" at one of the many available schools.

Municipal School Authority ("Schulamt")
Ms Jennifer Martin
Sankt Augustiner Str. 86
53225 Bonn

  • Phone: +49 (0)228-778754
  • E-mail: ifk[at]
  • Website


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