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Old 17.04.2008, 13:09
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Re: Evaluation of US high school diploma

I can only give you my expierences here. . . . and they have not been good. The Matura is an extreamly advanced degree that is to some extent specialized and from what I have heard, it is far more advanced in content and intensity than a high school diploma from the US.

As I came here I had finished my bachelors studies in a top tier school in the US. As I went to get my diploma recognized by a university in Switzerland they said that I would have to start again at the bachelors level because the difference was so great. Basically saying that a matura is equal to high school + 4 years of college. While this is not the case, it is still difficult to get things to work here the way that you want them.

At the moment they are doing a lot of reforms in the university system (Bologna reform). I was lucky enough to find another university to that would take my qualifications and I am doing fantastically. So there is hope that you can "haggle" qualifications as it were. The thing that I had going for me that your son does not have was that I was completely finished with my studies and was not trying to start them in the middle.

My advice:
1) If you son is offered something much lower than you think he deserves then fight for it. Don t take no for an answer. Offer to have him take whatever tests or assessments necessary to prove his level of education in a certain subject.
2) Ask around. Don t go to one school go to many. They are not so standardized here and many principals can make their own decisions regarding child placement.
3) Look for an international school in your area. They are likely to take his qualifications from the States with little or no problem.

I hope that helps and good luck.
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