To respond to the growing trend toward standardized international education, the German Cultural Ministry Conference in 2005 officially established the German International Abitur Exam and Diploma (DIA) for students studying abroad. Bilingualism and independent learning are an important part of this program. Beginning in the 5th Grade, History is taught in English, followed in the 7th Grade by Biology. Students in the Gymnasium branch also take U.S. History using U.S. textbooks.
The German International Abitur Exam diploma is received after completion of a multilingual scholastic program culminating in oral and written examinations in both German and English. In addition, students must undergo a review of scholastic projects by a teacher colloquium, in which special attention is paid to the student’s particular understanding of covered subject matter.
With a German International Abitur Exam Diploma (DIA), students are eligible to apply for admission to all U.S. and German universities as well as to universities around the world. The DIA diploma therefore offers students a unique advantage over those with just a “regular” Abitur diploma.
In 2017, the German International Abitur Exam diploma was awarded for the first time, parallel to the traditional Abitur diploma. Starting in 2020, the German International Abitur diploma (DIA) will be the standard diploma offered to graduates of the German International School Washington D.C.