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European Degrees and Licenses

What Do These Common European Degrees Mean?


  • Pediatric Nurse (Kinderkrankenpflegerin) During three years of training at nursing schools, students learn how to care for newborns, infants and children up to 18 years old, how to handle emergencies, preventive health care, illness care and how to administer medication.
  • Child Care Giver (Kinderpflegerin) This degree is two to three years of training at vocational schools specializing in child care. A mandatory curriculum provides practical experience in kindergartens or homes with newborns.
  • Educator (Erzieherin) The three to five years of training as an educator includes theoretical lessons followed by a year of on-the-job training. Subjects are: psychology, pedagogy, didactics, hygiene, literature and media education, play and leisure time activities, arts, music, health and physical education. (The training includes around 1,200 hours of practical training and 2,880 hours of theoretical training)
  • Occupational Therapist (Ergotherapeut) This specialist has either 3 years of vocational training or 4 years of school with a BA degree. Occupational therapists work with children and adults with motor disabilities. Occupational therapists use careful analysis of physical, environmental, psychosocial, mental, spiritual, political and cultural factors to identify barriers to occupation (2,700 hours of theoretical and 1,700 hours of practical training)
  • Physical Therapist (Physiotherapeut) After three years of vocational training, a physical therapist can train people with motor or any kind of physical disabilities. They help by working on the physical growth of the patient and are also trained to communicate with trauma patients for example. (This specialist has 1,600 hours of practical training and 2,900 hours of theoretical training)
  • Speech- and Language Therapist (Logopäde) After 3 years of vocational training a speech therapist can work with every individual and help them to get over their speech problems. (This specialist has 2,100 hours of practical training and 1,740 hours of theoretical training)
  • Health Care Provider (Heilerziehungspfleger) This specialization has three years of training in how to assist, care, educate and help people /children with disabilities. They work with them in a hospital or in the patient’s private home.
  • Social Pedagogue (Sozialpädagoge) After four years, the social pedagogues have their BA degree and are able to work with children, young adults, adults or even entire families. They are referred to colloquially as “street workers” because of their work helping troubled kids get back on track and assisting families with living together.
  • Social Assistant (Sozialassistent) After two years of schooling, students will get their degree as social assistant which is like an associates degree and is the basic education for all social careers such preschool/kindergarten teaching. They learn how to work, help and care for children, young adults, adults, the elderly and people with disabilities.


    • Diploma in Kindergarten Teaching (Kindergartenpädagoge) This five-year degree is conferred at the Academy of Kindergarten Pedagogy. It is a nationally recognized degree for those who will teach in a preschool or kindergarten with children ages three to six years old, or work in a crêche with children from infant to up to three years old.
    • Diploma in Educating (Sozialpädagogik) The curriculum is nearly identical to the diploma in Kindergarten Teaching, but specializes with the needs of children ages six and older.
    • Diploma in Pediatric and Youth Nursing (Kinder- und Jugendlichenpfelge) The degree is conferred after completing a three-year, full-time course at a nursing school. The training includes all the necessary medical and psychological knowledge to take care of children with physical or cognitive disabilities, healthy newborn babies, and those who are handicapped or seriously ill.


      • BA in Kindergarten Teaching (Óvodapedagógus) This is a three-year course taught at a college or university concluding with a BA degree. The program includes a practical training in a childcare institution and focuses on children ages 3-6 years old.
      • BA in Infant and Toddler Teaching ( Csecsemö- és Kisgyermeknevelö) This three-year course taught at a college or university is completed with a BA degree and will have included practical training in a childcare institution. The focus of this program is on ages 0-3 years old.

What Does the European Driver’s License Mean?

The process of obtaining a driver’s license in the European Union is much more difficult and expensive than the same process in the United States. Every license holder begins by training only at a certified driving school.

Minimum Requirements:

      • Must be at least 18 years of age
      • Must pass standards of being mentally and physically fit
      • Must pass vision exam
      • Must pass First Aid training

Driving School Curriculum:

      • Practical (at least 12 hours/usually more) and theoretical (14 classes which are 90-minutes)
      • The practical training includes in-car training on the Autobahn (in Germany) and at night.
      • In the theoretical class, students are well versed on the differences of rural versus congested city setting driving. (The study book is 400-500 pages in length)

During the practical work with the instructor, the student learns how to operate a manual transmission; practices parking (parallel, back-in, and pull-in); reviews the principles of passing; practices driving in reverse and turning; review the rules of traversing an intersection; and learns how to drive by anticipating.


      • The costs vary by state and city with a typical range of $2,000-$3,500.

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