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Greeting by the Head of School

It is with great joy that I assumed the position of the Head of School of the German International School Washington D.C. at the beginning of the 2015/16 school year. I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all members of our school community.  Our school is the largest German school in North America. It belongs to an association of more than 140 German Schools Abroad, which have been established around the world and are subsidized by the Federal Republic of Germany in order to promote learning of the German language worldwide and improve appreciation of German culture and the German way of life outside of Germany.

Our school offers an exceptionally varied program of teaching and learning for many ages. The youngest members of our school community come to the preschool at the tender age of two. Sixteen years later, after completing grades 1-12, they graduate, earning both a German International Abitur (DIA) and an American High School Diploma, which will allow them to study at leading universities in either Germany or in the U.S.. In the course of our academic program, we place special value on Science and Foreign Languages enabling our graduates to be well-prepared for the globally-networked society of knowledge that awaits them. We are proud that our alumni are studying at the best universities around the world, and with their university degrees, they are successful in many different professions.

On our premises we also offer German Language Courses for all levels of German proficiency for children starting at age 3 up to adults of all ages. The broad offerings include discussion groups about current political and cultural topics as well as preparatory courses for the German Deutsches Sprachdiplom I and II, university qualifications that are recognized around the world.

We are proud that the President of the Federal Republic of Germany has once again awarded us the quality seal "Excellent German School Abroad".

In order to get to know our school better, we invite you to make an appointment for a personal tour with our Outreach and Admissions Coordinator at We would also be delighted to welcome you at the school's open houses.

Petra Palenzatis
Head of School of the German International School Washington D.C.


Greeting by the Ambassador of Germany

For more than a half-century, the German International School Washington D.C. (GISW) has been a center of international encounter and intercultural dialogue.  It builds bridges across the Atlantic and is at the same time a living expression of our welcoming culture.  That is why it was especially important to me to become acquainted with GISW promptly upon assuming my duties.  I am impressed how committed the teachers and students are and how actively the parents and school society are engaged in the welfare of the GISW.

GISW students meet in an international and intercultural environment.  In times of globalization and political transformation, practiced tolerance and openness to the world, along with multilingualism, not only are enriching but also unlock good prospects for the personal and professional development of young people.

Through its challenging and diverse curriculum, GISW is creating important conditions for its students to succeed in the global university system and job market.  German is the most widely spoken native language in the European Union and Germany, as a location for pioneering business and science, is a power center of the global economy.

GISW is furthermore an outstanding place to establish good ties to the German business community and German institutions through one’s parents.  Networks thus develop on which children, parents, and the school can rely.

I wish all the best to the German International School Washington D.C. and all those who support this special institution!

Peter Wittig
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States


The German International School Washington D.C. stays in touch with its alumni around the globe and is very proud of their achievements.

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Founded in 1969 and run solely by parent volunteers, this group raises funds to benefit GISW. Learn more about the Friends