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South Africans in Germany

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Travel during a school Term

The school rules in Germany are very strict and every student is obliged to attend classes and other school events. You therefore cannot take your child out of school before the term ends. They must attend school for the whole term, with only certain exemptions like ill-health, participation in sports competitions, or an important personal reason like the marriage of siblings, death in the family or serious illness in the family, see the next section on Beurlaubung.


Under certain circumstances, you can apply for special leave (Beurlaubung), for example, to return to your country of origin for a special event. Compulsory schooling applies throughout Germany, but the leave of absence is regulated by each Federal State (Bundesland).
Please make sure about the rules for where you live.

Example of an Important personal reason in Baden-Württemberg 
“An important personal reason is, in particular, the marriage of siblings, wedding anniversaries of the legal guardians, death in the family, change of residence, serious illness of family members belonging to the household, provided that the doctor certifies that the presence of the student is necessary to temporarily secure care.”
Special birthdays like the 80th Birthday of a grandparent (Familienfest) can also be given as a reason.


  • If you take your child out of school without written permission from the school you can get a hefty fine. In Stuttgart, it can be €150  per day. 
  • You have to submit a written application to the school, stating the dates and the reasons.
  • Applications must be submitted in a timely manner
  • Applications can only be submitted by the child’s legal guardians
  • Some Federal states specify a maximum period of time, others leave it open.
  •  What is seen as valid reasons are decided by the Federal states 
  • The final decision lies with the school, and there is no entitlement.