High School

German International School graduates are multilingual global citizens with advanced knowledge in science and mathematics. GISB’s small classes and individualized attention allow each student to grow and thrive.

The high school at German International School Boston offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum leading to two degrees: the internationally acclaimed German International Abitur as well as the GISB High School diploma. GISB graduates attend colleges and universities worldwide, ranging from Harvard to TU München, from UC Los Angeles to ETH Zurich.

Our close-knit community of students and faculty loves to learn from each other, cheer for each other, and laugh together. Whether working in the science lab, hiking in New Hampshire, or exploring Boston, high school is a time to connect, reflect, and decide who you want to be.

Curriculum

The preparatory curriculum for taking the German International Abitur exams at the end of grade 12 focuses on language proficiency in German and English and offers a strong science curriculum, including compulsory biology, chemistry, and physics classes. In addition, students can take computer science as an elective.

Curricula for subjects taught in German align with the school curriculum in Germany and are approved by the German Kultusministerkonferenz (State Secretaries of Education). Curricula for subjects taught in English combine German requirements with Massachusetts’ high state standards. Learn more about the German International Abitur.

High school classes typically have not more than 18 students enrolled and provide an opportunity for each student to form close relationships with teachers and peers. Teachers know each student personally and provide individualized feedback on a regular basis and encourage students to reflect on their evolving abilities, strengths, growth areas, and interests.

Students are assigned to a homeroom teacher who is their primary contact point. While teachers are always happy to discuss a student’s progress with the parents, we encourage students to be self-advocates, independent learners, and dependable liaisons between school and home.

Additionally, conferences with students and parents, which take place in the fall and spring, provide an opportunity to discuss and reflect on each student’s progress.

Students entering high school at German International School are fluent in German and English and are taking lessons in Spanish or French since middle school. Students who have taken French in middle school have the option to select Spanish as an additional world language in grade 9. To learn more about language requirements for our high school program, please visit the Admissions FAQs.

GISB offers a wide range of learning and team-building opportunities outside the traditional classroom:

Grade 9 students start the school year with an overnight trip to the White Mountains to promote team-building. In grade 10, students take biology classes in cooperation with Havard Medical School and embark on a trip to New York. In partnership with Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, 11th and 12th graders serve as docents and explain artworks to dazzled younger students.

The physical education curriculum includes:

  • Outings to Harvard University’s athletic facilities
  • Swimming at Boston University
  • Rock-climbing at a local indoor climbing gym

GISB high school students are invited to apply to the GISB Merit Award, an annual award honoring academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and community service.

All students participate in the class council to address concerns, resolve conflicts, and promote new ideas within the middle school. At regular assemblies, the middle and high school students come together to share ideas, discuss current events, or be inspired by others.

Overview of subjects taught per week (starting with the Class of 2024):

Languages

SubjectLanguage of InstructionPeriods in grades 9 & 10Periods in grades 11 & 12
German Language & LiteratureGerman44
English Language & LiteratureEnglish44
French or Spanish (elective starting in grade 6)French / Spanish34
Spanish (elective starting in grade 9)* Spanish44

Mathematics and Sciences

SubjectLanguage of InstructionPeriods in grades 9 & 10Periods in grades 11 & 12
MathematicsGerman44
Biology (taught bilingually in grades 11 & 12)German/English23
ChemistryGerman23
Physics German23
Computer Science*German43

Social Sciences

SubjectLanguage of InstructionPeriods in grades 9 & 10Periods in grades 11 & 12
EthicsGerman23
HistoryGerman23
Social StudiesGerman21

Arts

SubjectLanguage of InstructionPeriods in grades 9 & 10Periods in grades 11 & 12
MusicGerman10
Visual Arts English22
Physical EducationGerman22

*Students can take Computer Science in grade 9 instead of Spanish.

Hours

TimeActivity
8:30 am – 3:00 pm; once a week until 3:45 pmRegular School Day
3:00 pm – 6:00 pmAfter-School Program

Study Abroad

Students in grade 9 have the opportunity to participate in a student exchange with the German-Norwegian School in Oslo, Norway. The three-month-long stay emerges students in a new culture while staying on track with their studies since both schools adhere to the same German curriculum. GISB is currently exploring other international destinations to be added to our roster of exchange programs.

In grade 11, students travel to Germany in the spring. They spend time with their peers at our partner school, the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium in Konstanz. From there, they take a tour of German universities and learn more about the German higher education system. Each trip is unique but typically includes renowned universities, such as TU München, the University of Freiburg, or the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

Career and Mentor Program

GISB’s traditional college counseling program is supplemented by an internship and mentor program that offers students the opportunity to explore career options and learn more about their interests and strengths.

The GISB career orientation program starts in grade 8 and includes resume writing, research about career options, and much more. A career orientation week takes place each year for students in grade 10. This week of practical work experience at a local company, non-profit organization, or laboratory acquaints students with a real-world workplace and helps them identify their interests and abilities.

A special resource at GISB is our parents. As part of the mentoring program “1 to 1”, many parents who work in science, finance, education, and many other fields make themselves available as mentors and meet with interested students to discuss career choices and options.