What’s so special about DSD schools?
Some 1,100 DSD schools making up the “Schools: Partners for the Future” (PASCH) network set up by the Federal Foreign Office teach the DSD German language diploma of the Conference of Culture Ministers to Levels I or II. This diploma is an internationally recognised certificate of a specific level of proficiency in German which qualifies the holder for admission to a preparatory course (“Studienkolleg”) or a university in Germany.
Unlike other language examinations, the DSD is an integral part of the German school curriculum. The special thing about DSD schools is that they are national schools which are supervised and supported by the Central Office for Schools Abroad (ZfA) in Germany. It has been possible to obtain the DSD German language diploma abroad since 1974. A total of more than 80,000 people in over 70 countries sit the DSD examination every year.
German language diploma (DSD)
The German language diploma is a widely acknowledged qualification and has a few unusual aspects. This German language certification programme does not simply place the emphasis on language skills; instead, the curriculum includes such things as knowledge of the country and its literature. No fees are charged to sit the final examination; the condition is that pupils must have followed a German-language course at one of the DSD schools for several years.
Pupils can sit the German language diploma (DSD) of the Conference of Culture Ministers at two different levels. Examinees obtaining the highest diploma level, DSD II, are certified as having the requisite German skills to undertake university studies in Germany. The DSD I certifies that the holder is proficient enough for admission to a preparatory course (“Studienkolleg”) in Germany. Here is a list of all the schools offering the German language diplomas DSD II and DSD I.
You can find out what other opportunities in Germany this language certification programme offers you here.
Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany: the German language diploma of the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs
Federal Office of Administration - Central Agency for Schools Abroad