this last year of school is very important to me, not only because i am graduating, but also because it is about time for me to figure out what to do after that! so come with me on this crazy adventure of figuring out my future ;-)
if you want to know about the degree i am gonna get, here is how wikipedia describes it:
Abitur (from Latin abire = go away, go off) is a designation used in Germany and Finland for final exams that young adults take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling. The official term in Germany for this certificate of education is Allgemeine Hochschulreife; the contraction Abi is common in colloquial usage. The Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife (often referred to as Abiturzeugnis), issued after candidates have passed their final exams, is the document which contains their grades and which formally enables them to attend university. This means it includes the functions of a school leaving (high school graduation) certificate and a university entrance exam. In 2005, a total of 400,000 students passed the Abitur exam in Germany.
Even though the Abitur is often compared to a high school diploma in the United States, it is closer to the associate degree of a US college, as it in many states requires 13 years of study and enables the recipient to earn a Bachelor's degree in three years. However, the academic level of the Abitur is more comparable to the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement tests — indeed, the study requirements for the International Baccalaureate differ little from the Finnish exam requirements. It is the only school-leaving certificate in all states of Germany that allows the graduate (or Abiturient) to directly commence studies at the university. The other school leaving certificates, the Hauptschulabschluss and the Realschulabschluss, do not allow their holders to matriculate at a university. Those granted certificates of "Hauptschulabschluss" or "Realschulabschluss" can gain a specialized "Fachabitur" or an Abitur if they graduate from a "Berufsschule" and then attend "Berufsoberschule".
The importance of the Abitur has grown beyond admission to the university, however, in that it has increasingly become a prerequisite to start an apprenticeship in some professions (e.g. banking). Therefore, career opportunities for Hauptschule or Realschule graduates who do not have the Abitur have almost universally seen a downturn in recent years. More than just being a leaving certificate, the Abitur is widely regarded as a matter of personal prestige as well. According to the Statistisches Bundesamt in 2003/2004 about 23% of all students leaving school graduated with an Abitur (Fachabitur [1.2%], Realschulabschluss [42.6%], Hauptschulabschluss [25.0%], without any degree [8.3%])
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