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That's the thing. German unis aren't schools; in fact the whole point (or at least original point before we got degree inflation) of our "high school" (Gymnasium) degree is to prepare students to be able to go on with a higher education on their own.

If you want a more school-like experience, there are Fachhochschulen (more technical schools, "FH") instead of universities. Even in Germany many students complain that unis are too technical and don't provide enough handholding, and I always think WTH don't they just go to an FH then?

Often the FH offers very similar degrees, and while some employers care about the difference, many don't mind (many even don't care if you have a BSc or a MSc/Diploma, at least in IT). So there is a "Diploma in computer science" and a "diploma in computer science (FH)", in addition to the nowadays more common BSc/MSc.

Sounds similar to the Dutch situation. No handholding in university. Lots of opportunity to fuck up all by yourself. I never understand people who call it "school", because it really isn't. If that's what you want, there's also the "hogeschool" which also counts as higher education, but practical, professional education, whereas university is called "scientific education". The actual level of science varies a lot of course, but mainly you've got to do more yourself.

I spent a month in exchange at a Gymnasium in Germany. It is hard to express how different it is from a US high school. The main criticism I've heard is that the Gymnasien are good at the expense of the Hauptshchulen.

For those not familiar, the Gymnaisien are college-prep schools that start around 4th grade, and roughly the top 1/3 of academic performers qualify; the rest of the students go to Realschule or Hauptschule which are more of a vocational track and end around 10th grade.

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