The careers and study guidance team, consisting of teachers of the ESM, offers pupils high quality study and careers consultation.

There are two official careers programmes approved by the Board of Governors of the European Schools. These form the main component of careers and study guidance at the ESM.

Year 5 programme

  • October: AOK job application training
  • December: Option choice seminar
  • January: Individual pupil option advice
  • June: Work experience

Year 6 programme
A seminar over three to four days takes place in July and includes the following topics:

  • Baccalaureate information
  • Higher Education advice
  • Study skills, interview techniques
  • Talks on various jobs.

Individual consultations in year 6 and 7 concerning Higher Education and career opportunities are also offered.

Careers teachers offer information to parents about subject choices. There is one session for parents of year 1/2/3 pupils and this takes place immediately after the corresponding teacher/parent evening. The Year 5 evening takes place separately in January and considers subject choices, the Baccalaureate and Higher Education requirements.

Duration and participation
All pupils in year 5 must take part in the scheme, which lasts two weeks. It is now arranged after the June written examinations and includes the week of the Oral Baccalaureate examinations.


  • To provide an experience in a pupil’s chosen work environment
  • To form attitudes as a support to career choice and to enhance personal development
  • To develop language (frequently LII) and communication skills outside the school
  • To develop observation and social skills
  • To stimulate the process of career choice and introspection
  • To support the development of personal attributes such as reliability, punctuality, initiative, willingness, flexibility and tolerance

Shortly before the Christmas holidays pupils are given:

  • A letter to parents informing them of the objectives of the week, dates, etc including a consent form
  • A letter for placements explaining the scheme (in German or English)
  • A confirmation form from the placement

Pupils are then given guidelines about finding a place. It is their responsibility and to find a work experience placement of their own choice. As part of the experience, this will involve telephoning and personal visits, which may be unsuccessful. Pupils are neither allowed to work with a parent nor to receive payment.

Pupils then inform the careers and study teachers where they will be during the two weeks, and he or she will keep a record of the address, telephone number and contact person. Pupils who have problems with finding a place (starting late in searching, inappropriate expectations) are helped by a year 5 teacher.

A briefing session is held in May/June before the pupils start the experience. A check is made that the placement details are correct. An explanation of what to look for during the experience is given and pupil’s questions can be answered.

Execution During the two weeks, pupils follow the working hours of their work experience place and, consequently, do not attend school. It is important that they have a “help line” for emergencies.

Pupils are required to keep a diary of the week's activities. It is added to their careers file at the end of the experience. Employer’s reports are also collected and added to pupil’s files for reference. Both should be handed to the class teacher or careers teacher in the first week back to school in Year 6.

This takes place at a meeting between the pupils in Year 6 and the new Year 5 group during the autumn. A short account is given of the experience and careers teachers can also comment on the experience and ask questions.

Placement details
A comprehensive list is impossible to be provided but pupils have been placed at: European Patent Office, European Southern Observatory, Vidal Sassoon, Raychem chemicals, Eurocopter, Institute for Pharmacology, Strahlungs Institute, Intel, Motorola, Munich Zoo, Munich Hilton, Munich Vier Jahreszeiten, local cafes, Dehner Garden centre, Dr. Keudel (paediatrician), Bavaria film studios, Bavarian Television, Bavarian Travel agency, Douglas perfume shops, Benetton, Sport Scheck, Riem animal home, various Munich Kindergartens, various Old People's homes, Siemens, supermarkets, Peugeot garages, photo laboratories, advertising agencies, Elle/ Bunte magazines, theatres, Neumann sound engineers, legal practices, Hypovereinsbank, etc.

Our view is that this process is most profitable for pupils and contributes, in many ways, to their personal development. Their self-confidence seems to improve, as does their motivation towards academic studies. Working alongside adults as 'colleagues' contributes to pupil's social development, provides opportunities to develop relationships and aids learning about decision making in an adult environment. Work is a central feature of most people's lives. It imposes order, regulates the use of time, and hopefully, provides satisfaction, interest and purpose.

To understand what is meant by “work” is to understand the structure of society and why it is organised the way it is, and how economies operate. Although two weeks is too short a time to pursue wide-ranging goals adequately, it does enable thought processes of our young people to be boosted.