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Last night at home ... until next February; Son leaving for Japan
Topic Started: Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:24 am (2,067 Views)
l_o_g

The Austrian school system is quite complex, but here's a very quick breakdown:
Basically, youth aged ~16 years in Austria can either
- be working as an apprentice in a company (in Austria, the earliest you can leave school is at age 15, after 9 years of school; obviously this option isn't available to exchange students)
- go to some form of "AHS" (= Gymnasium), which provides a general education and gives you the right to enter university (this option usually means staying in the school system for a total of 12 years)
- go to some form of "BHS", which provides more of a vocational training focused on economics or technical subjects (this option usually means staying in the school system for a total of 13 years)

Exchange students are most likely to be placed in a Gymnasium, unless they specifically make arrangements to attend a different type of school. A lot of Gymnasiums also provide the option to focus on different subjects, like music or arts. Often several of these options are offered in the same school. For example, in the Gymnasium I attended, I could choose between music, arts or natural sciences. I attended the music one, which meant that besides the normal schedule I had extra music classes, sang in the school choir and played an instrument that was also taught at school. There were also several musical events every year that we participated in.

Of course I can't promise anything, but I would say chances aren't too bad that he will be able to attend a musical Gymnasium. If music is important to him, don't forget to mention it in the application, as it could also have an influence on which host family he ends up with and/or whether he will be placed in an area where there is good access to such a school. Does your son play an instrument?
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spinningplates

Cluz, how are you doing with your son being away? :) Has he let you know how he's doing?
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Cluz

L_o_g, thanks for explaining. I will pass your information to my son as well. He plays guitar and loves music. I am not sure he mentioned that in the application. I hope he did and hopefully he will be able to go to one of those Gymnasium.

Spinningplate, my older son is missing home of course but he seems he is adjusting very well. He says the family is very nice, the mother is very sweet and the whole family is not as strict and seriuos as he was expecting. He says they are as loud and funny as we are. Of course that observation made me smile and was very reassuring ;)
He will start school in one week and he is very lookinf forward to it.
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Matsunoki
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Cluz
Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:43 pm
L_o_g, thanks for explaining. I will pass your information to my son as well. He plays guitar and loves music. I am not sure he mentioned that in the application. I hope he did and hopefully he will be able to go to one of those Gymnasium.

Spinningplate, my older son is missing home of course but he seems he is adjusting very well. He says the family is very nice, the mother is very sweet and the whole family is not as strict and seriuos as he was expecting. He says they are as loud and funny as we are. Of course that observation made me smile and was very reassuring ;)
He will start school in one week and he is very lookinf forward to it.
That's great to hear! I hope school goes as well for him as his host family placement! And lots of luck to your other son as he prepares for his own exchange. If you all have any questions about preparations, people here will be happy to help :)
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