International schools in Berlin

272 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello!

I have three children and will be moving to Berlin in two years. At that time, they will be 5,9, and 13. The older children attend a Waldorf school here in America, and I am in the information gathering phase. I know what the options are - Waldorf, International - but could use some real advice from those who have been down this road before. Many thanks in advance!

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Posted

Hi Adelle, we are going through the same now with our kids. Our boys are 6 & 8, currently in first & second grade in Michigan. We're looking at the Berlin International School and the Berlin Brandenburg International School. In fact, we will be having interviews there in about 3 weeks as we are going on a househunting/school look-see trip. So look me up in a few weeks and I'll be happy to share our experiences with you! :)

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Posted

Jonathan,

I'll be very interested in hearing about your experience in Berlin! Best wishes for your trip!

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Posted

Hi

I was in the same situation last year and had no other option but the berlin international school as the british school was way too expensive. B.I.S is ok although it does cost alot specially if you got a few kids.

why dont you guys try the John .F Kennedy school as they do give preference to americans and its very good from what ive heard...being australian we didnt qualify!!!

As its state and embassy supported it doesnt cost that much and from what i hear the education standard is pretty good and compatible with the US system.

Good luck and do pm when you get here if you need any help.

cheers

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Posted

John .F Kennedy forget about it... your kid will never get into college. Its got a bad name.

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Posted

Places at JFK go very fast because the fees are state supported. Might be worth looking at for your kids Adelle - we were told no way as (a) they are already over-subscribed this year and (B) we are British (this apparently overruled the fact that our kids were born in America and are American citizens - go figure!).

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Posted

Only those who go to college come to learn that the period comes before the initial.

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Posted

The Nelson Mandela school is a state funded school (i.e. not private) and is excellent - my daughter is there. Getting in is not always easy, but they have a well defined acceptance process (outlined on their web site) and it is applied very fairly.

From what I hear JFK is not a good school, and it seems to be an American enclave in Berlin - so your kids will not benefit form the wonderful multi-cultural experience that can be growing up in Berlin.

Colin

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Posted

Lolo,

Are you kidding about college, or serious? I'm interested in your perspective. Thanks!

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Posted

JFK school has a unique history in Berlin. And to understand the school you have to understand its history. It was set up in the 1960's as a free, German public school governed under the Berlin House of Representatives for the purpose of promoting "intercultural understanding" between the German and Americans. That's their charter and that's why they are not international in scope.

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Posted

And thus my comment on the JFK school being an "American enclave in Berlin" - not an international school but one that focusses on maintaining very American values for the kids. If that's what you want for your kids thats your choice. However I believe in that case that your kids are missing out on one of the great aspects of growing up in Berlin, which is the open multi-cultural environment that exists here.

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Posted

Is there a French international school in Berlin?

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Posted

Not sure I would call it an "American enclave" - a large percentage of the teachers and student body are German. Students study in both languages and they have the option to write the Abitur or get an American style High School diploma.

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Posted

Well in my daughter's class in Nelson Mandela school, there are children form Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Senegal, USA, Canada (maybe some that I missed!), black, white, yellow and brown, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic. For me this means that as well as getting a good education in a bi-lingual school that is state run and not private, my daughter is experiencing different cultures first hand every day.

For me, this is one of the great things about bring up children in Germany, and that is one of the main reasons we came back to berlin last year, so that our 18 month old son can also grow up in this environment.

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Posted

John .F Kennedy forget about it... your kid will never get into college. Its got a bad name.

Can you provide some evidence of that?

Or do simply have some connection with one of the fee-charging international schools in Berlin?

Looks like lots of folks got into college last year:

http://www.jfks.de/index.php?id=46

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Posted

There is also the Berlin Metropolitan School - not a defined 'international' school per se, but instruction is in English and all the teachers are native speakers. The website is http://www.berlinmetropolitanschool.com

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Posted

That list of school on the JFK site is not very overwhelming... saying that many of these schools are in the top 10% of colleges is being rather generous. Though of course it does seem some students were waitlisted at better schools-- not the same as actually getting in, though, is it?

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Posted

Well, the statement I was responding to was "will never get into college".

I do think it's a bit disingenuous to include waitlisted schools in the same list as accepted schools.

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Posted

I must say, I was unprepared for bickering online. I have little respect personally for supposedly great american universities. At the point my children are ready, I would encourage them to find experts in their field and find opportunities to learn. It may or may not be in university. Of more interest to me is the learning environment of the various schools, the possibilities and people's personal experiences. I went to a small and unremarkable Canadian university myself and received just what I needed. Please, can we stick to the point of my question?

A little grouchy,

Adelle

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Posted

you call this bickering? I think the discussion here is very interesting and helpful.

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Posted

I have one daughter in the Charles Dickens school and another daughter starting in September. The class is mixed both racially and in language, a definite plus. She receives classes in both English and German and we are very happy with the teachers and their teaching techniques..

I have to admit that her English is almost perfect now and she seems to be enjoying herself. My only problem is that I find the system here in Germany starts children far to late in learning. Many children of my friends back in Canada are at least 1-2 years ahead of their German counterparts in reading, math and spelling abilities (I was told that at some point they catch up through more intensive learning). Also, if a child is experiencing difficulties in learning (restless or bored children) they immediately suggest that the child be taken for ADD tests .

All I did was adjust the way I taught my restless daughter at home and now she is acing every test, whereas a friend of mine took the advice of their (German) school and her daughter now has ADD in her permanent record.

I also wish the extra curricular activities were better organized.

So, like everything else in this world, some pluses and some negatives.

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Posted

My 9 year daughter is at Nelson Mandela, and as mentioned earlier we are really happy with that school. I was also a bit concerned that they start reading and writing so late in Germany, but now at 9 years old she has caught up and passed the kids of similar age I know in the UK and Ireland - and even better she is doing this on English and German. So don't worry, the catch up does really happen, and fairly quicky.

Colin

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Posted

Hello--I'm new to this discussion, but am deeply interested in it. I am just about to move to Berlin for a year with my two children, ages 15 and 10. Both are native English speakers, but both have studied German. While they are naturally leery about attending monolingual German public school, we are very interested in their learning as much German as possible (without, of course, being traumatized). They have been admitted to both the Kennedy and Mandela Schools. I'd be interested in any thoughts about which of these two options (or others?) might be best for them. Thanks!

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Posted

As I've said earlier, my daughter is in Nelson Mandela and I find it excellent, both from an education and social perspective. My take on your choice would be that if you want your kids to grow up in a very American environment here in Berlin, and do all things in a very American way, then you can got got JKF. However I'd hope you'd want your kids to experience the wide variety of cultures and people who live here in Berlin, and go to a school that is fundamentally based around a multi-cultural experience, then you can't beat Nelson Mandela school.

Welcome to Berlin, and I hope you enjoy living in this great city.

Colin

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