Situated in the very centre of Giessen, a medium sized university town in Germany (population approx. 80,000 plus 24,000 university and 7,000 college students), the Wirtschaftsschule am Oswaldsgarten looks back on nearly 100 years of successful teaching.
In total we have about 1,500 students, who are taught by 100 staff members. In Germany this makes us a medium sized vocational school.
We offer a variety of courses leading to different qualifications. Each training course is taught in what we in Germany call a “Schulform” which in English could be called an individual internal school type.
Two of the internal schools offer full-time school courses leading to general school qualifications with a focus on economics, either for an intermediate school leaving certificate (10th and 11th grade) or as a university entry qualification (11th to 13th grade).
A further three school types provide specific vocational training on a full-time basis over a two year period (intermediate vocational schools). We offer state recognised qualifications in Office Management and Administration, Information Technology with a commercial focus, and for Foreign Language Secretaries.
Other students train at the Wirtschaftsschule am Oswaldsgarten in our part-time vocational school. The students train under the “Dual System”, which is typical for Germany. Here the students come to school for theoretical commercial and foreign language training on 2 days each week and they take part in practical “training-on-the-job” in selected local companies on the other three days. Two different school types offer three dual system training courses, either as Wholesale and Import/Export Professionals or as Warehouse Logistics Specialists or as Skilled Employees for Warehousing.
With such a variety of courses available our students are of very different ages, but within our secondary program students are generally aged between 17 and about 22 years.
Each course has a commercial focus and features subjects related to economics and administration as well as the usual school subjects. All courses include periods of practical training which take place under supervision in local companies. Many of our students learn about the processes involved in office work in our “Learning Office”, where they get a first taste of office life. We are keen to give our students the best possible start to their working lives and so we not only offer courses in typing, data processing and other office relevant skills, but also provide them with training for job interviews and job applications, and other life skills such as teamwork and communication.