“Voluntary Social Year” of High School Graduates in Germany



The research was to investigate the impact of a “Voluntary Social Year” on high school graduates in Germany during a voluntary social year when they provided social work at their selected locations in Germany or in foreign countries. The author employed qualitative research method collecting data from a convenient sample: (1) 14 German high school graduates who participated in a “Voluntary Social Year” and (2) the parents of some of the German high school graduates. Data analysis replied on coding and content analysis. The results indicated that the participants were in favour of a “Voluntary Social Year” and that the experiences made positive impacts on the high school graduates in Germany, for example, increasing their independence, selfconfidence, maturity, and knowledge of other cultures. The experience also helped them decide what they would do for their future study or career. Parents of the students who participated in a “Voluntary Social Year” also were in favour of a “Voluntary Social Year” mainly due to the changes they observed on their children after they returned from the social work conducted during their social year.


Social year, Social work, High school graduatesText


Full Text: