Bring Your child to Work Day

Today, 25. April 2024 is Bring Your Child to Work Day. The name has several iterations and you may have heard the day referred to as Bring Your Daughter or Son to Work Day. Here we refer to this day as Zukunftstag. When working in the States, colleagues would bring a child to work and that child would often perform small tasks around the office or work on a project. Truth be told-it seemed quite stressful for working parents.

Locally Zukunftstag appears to play a part of the larger German educational system. You would hear the term Bildungssystem being used. Typically, students in sixth or seventh grade (depending on where you live you might be thinking Forum or Year-so kids typically around the age of 12 or 13), begin to think more in depth about their future job field or prospects.

I want to digress for a moment-for those who are not as familiar with the German childcare and educational systems, many children attend Krippe from ages 0-3 (voluntary) and Kindergarten from 3-6 years old (voluntary); children around the age of 6 or 7 would then be required to attend elementary or primary school from grades 1-4, in the fourth grade (think typically ages 9-10) students would then be placed into or assigned to a secondary school for fifth grade. The secondary school is often referred to as a weiterführende Schule, where kids attend one of the following: a Hauptschule or Realschule from grades 5 through 9 or 10; some students may attend a Gesamtschule from grades 5 through 12 or 13; or a Gymnasium which can also be referred to as an academic secondary school for grades 5 through 12 or 13. Students attending grades 12 or 13 will likely complete an Abitur or set of final exams prior to applying for college or university.

Many of the students who attend school till 9 or 10 grade, will then go on to participate in what is known as an Ausbildung or a vocational training program over 2-3 years with theoretical and practical training. I do want to note that I am oversimplifying this process and the nuances of the German school system, and that the school system can vary based on the federal state (known as a Bundesland). However, I did want to provide an overview for context. If I have piqued your interest, I promise to revisit this topic again in the coming months.

As part of Zukunftstag, students select either a job to shadow or program to participate for the day in conjunction with their teacher or advisor. Here in Bremen, there are a number of official offerings including working at a local radio station or in production, with an energy provider, at the consumer advice center (something similar to a better business bureau or purchaser protection agency), hospital, town hall, in waste management, regional train system, a bakery and the list goes on. At the end of this experience students can reflect, if they are interested in exploring an internship in this field known as a Praktikum.

Many of the clients we work with host international students, who are required as a part of their studies to complete an internship. For visa purposes, these students need to be officially enrolled in a university program and have completed 2 years of study. If you are looking to sponsor a student from abroad, let us know how Local Worldwide Relocation can support your team.

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