After leaving school

Schülerin und Schüler

The time after completing school is often initially an orientation phase. School leavers are faced with the transition to work, or they may want to go to university after finishing school. You might still have a number of questions. What subject should I study? Or should I learn a trade first? Perhaps I want to gain experience in the working world, in social involvement or in foreign languages and cultures? There are many options.

If you want to first orient yourself after completing school, you will find numerous opportunities to make sensible use of the time before beginning your academic studies or work and to gain further qualifications in your desired subject or in the acquisition of languages or to gain important experience through voluntary involvement. But the direct route to a course of studies or vocational training is also an option.

The Federal Employment Agency offers all school graduates a wide range of information and orientation for the time between leaving school and beginning work.

Studying in Berlin or outside of it

With its four universities, eight universities of applied sciences, three art academies and eighteen private higher education institutions, Berlin offers one of the most creative, lively and diverse higher education landscapes in Europe.

The following links provide information about the course offerings throughout Germany:

Preparation for studies

If you want to start academic studies but are still unsure about the right choice of subject, you can use numerous preparation options for your studies. Information days at universities and universities of applied sciences, a “trial course” or a preparatory course in mathematics and other subjects offer prospective students information, insights and guidance on making the right choice.

Vocational training

After the general school leaving qualification, many students continue with vocational training.

Voluntary social year

Many young people between 16 and 27 years of age use a voluntary social year (FSJ), a voluntary ecological year (FÖJ) or a voluntary year of monument preservation (FJD) to get socially involved and at the same time to gain their first professional experience.

Federal Voluntary Service

Federal voluntary service has replaced civilian service. With the suspension of military service, the basis for civilian service no longer applies. Federal voluntary service is now being offered in its place. The Federal Office for Community Service has information about it.

Working abroad

Do you want to discover the world or get involved in social issues after completing school? Both aspects are not mutually exclusive. Many school graduates use the wide range of voluntary services abroad to work on development, social or ecological projects and at the same time to get to know foreign countries and cultures

Language trips and au pair

Getting to know a new language and foreign cultures – many students take the opportunity of a language trip to improve the language skills they have acquired in school or to learn a completely new language. You can gain this experience with little expenditure as an au pair in a family household abroad. The main tasks of an au pair are to look after children and help out in the household. In return, the host family pays for accommodation and meals.

The Federal Employment Agency offers information and links on these opportunities:


An internship after completing school is a good way of gaining initial experience in the world of work and experiencing various professional fields up close. Whether state institutions, private companies or non-profit organizations – there are many ways to do an internship after completing school.

Getting a job and earning money

Work for a few months after completing school. Many school leavers first want to do practical work and earn money independently. Whether work & travel or a mini job on a 450 euro basis – there are numerous options for this at home and abroad in work & travel programms: