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Academic Year and Language of Instruction

Academic Year

An academic year refers to the length of time an academic institution/university is offering classes during  twelve months.

Primary level (Grundschule)
: The duration is 4 years.

Secondary Level

Schools: The school year in Germany begins between late July and early September, and ends from mid-June to July.  There are longer breaks at Christmas and in the summer. The Christmas break is usually 2 weeks and the summer break is about 6 weeks. The school year is divided into two parts- September to February & February to July.

Higher Education: The German academic year is split into two semesters: the summer semester starts in April and ends in September and the winter semester runs from October to March.

Universities :German universities run two semesters with the start and end dates depending on the university. The winter semester (WiSe), often goes from the 1st of October till the 31st of March, with lectures starting around the 15th of October and lasting 14 weeks. While the summer semester (SoSe) goes from the 1st of April till the 30th of September with lectures starting some time after Easter and lasting 12 weeks.

Universities for Applied Sciences: Universities for Applied Sciences start both semesters one month earlier than other universities.

Vocational-cooperative universities: Vocational universities have four quarters, January to March and so on. In alternating quarters the students attend the university and intern at the employer.

Language of Instruction: The language of instruction in Germany is either English or German , so the student has to take tests like TOEFL or IELTS to show the proficiency in English.

Proficiency of German language is not a bar for entrance to the universities; however, it is imperative that students have at least a basic knowledge of German language for living & socializing.
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