International schools near Nuremberg

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I was wondering if anyone knew of any school that are in English around Nuremberg, Germany? My bestfriend is going to tutor him for a year in German to get him introduced to it (which he is way above his age range, so no worries there) while he is going to the English school. Any comments or suggestions on what we should do or any ideas in this area. I thought that it would work out good if he was in an English school for a year then switched, or after he was doing well enough switch him. I am new to this and just am thinking a lot about things and asking questions before we try to make the move. He is just 7 as of April and his little brother just turned 4 this last week. So, I will be needing schooling for them both. I was wondering if it was even possible to have them go to a school where maybe they have both, I dont even know if thats a possible thing or not. But, anyways, I would love to hear from you all.

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You may want to consider German schools. They are very good. My four brothers and I went to German schools for four years and they were great preperation for college. As for your seven year old, he'll pick up German very quickly and may even forget English. My youngest brother was six when we arrived in Germany and he adjusted the best out of all of us. In any case good luck.

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Thanks. I was thinking of having them go ahead and get this little chorus and practice before we came. He is so smart, they tried to get him to teach his class phonics because he would get bored but he didnt do so good in front of others and under pressure. So, I was wondering if just putting him in a German school would be ok, I dont think he would mind, he is pretty easy going and always curious and asks lots of questions.

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Misty. Try the Franconian International School. It will be based in Erlangen for the new school year. FIS

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Yes the Franconian International School is the only one I've heard of in Nurnberg. It's pretty pricey by German standards, something like 10K a year but I could be wrong about that. Call to check. Your 4-year-old should not have much trouble catching up. My daughter's kindergarten offers a German tutor for all kids for whom German is not their first language. I believe this is pretty common.

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Well, thanks for sharing. I had really thought about putting both my sons in the German School in Postbauer-Heng but given the oldest cant read German I wasnt sure how that would really work out. That would be the biggest problem. Yes, I was wondering how easy it would be for my 4 year old, I do have a tutor lined up, since my bestfriend is German and speaks mulitple languages. That will come in really handy. She also tutors other Germans in English too.

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If your son is 7 has he already been in a school in the States? We had to put our (just) 7 yr old into the local German school when we came back to Germany. She had no German as her sisters had refused to speak German (Dad German but we lived overseas). Anyway, she had already been in school in the uk, so we put her into yr 1 with the idea that she could just "coast" the work and learn German along the way. She is now bilingual, no problem, except that later she didnt get on with the German school system so we moved her to an international school. But for the first years it wasnt a problem. Might be a bit for you with the homework - how is yr German? International school could be good, but v expensive. Good luck. :)

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Thanks for sharing. My German? Well, its called no German really. I had planned on going to this school, its for Turkish woman and its free, to learn German. I was in Germany already and heard of it and had my girlfriend call and (she told me about it) and I can go there for free and learn German, so I was hoping to put my sons in school and then go to school myself while my husband is working. That was the plan. I would really rather have them both in a German school. My oldest is so smart and keeps everything stored SO well that I feel he would catch on really quick. My 4 year old, well, I feel he is young enough and bullheaded enough that he may pick it up easily. He is always learning from my oldest son, whom also compliments his younger brother for doing so well, learning his school work. So, I have a 4 year old who is learning his brothers first and second grade work, which is funny to hear. But, they are really good boys and learn so fast. I sure hope Mom can do as well. I am a little nervous about learning it, but not enough that it would keep me from it. I also have a bestfriend there who tutors and she said she would be more than happy to assist me. Luckily she speaks multiple languages. So, I guess you can say we are a learning family and most definitaly go getters.

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Positive thinking is the best way of solving the problems! I´m sure you will manage - other parents are also good for helping out with the homework if there is a problem. One thing that always riled me though - German schools start early and the children do not always have a regular school day, ie 9 to 3.30 or whatever. They will start at about 7.45 (I think it was) and finish at different times, usually about 11.30 am, but it can vary from day to day, and of course it depends on how old they are. After being in the UK for a few ýears where I actually had time to do something during the school day, it was really a bit of a shock to find how little "me" time there was. ie if you want to go into town, there is not too much time to get anything done, unless you can "sell" your child to another parent to collect and take care of until you get back. There again, other parents can help a lot.

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Yes, I will keep the positive attitude, its one of my self requirements! I know about different times with the schools after being there and visiting. I had thought if I wanted any me time it would be in the morning when the boys went to school, but I also try to make me time after they go to bed also. I think being determined is something that will help all of us, I have to little guys just as determined as me...I hope they stay that way...wait, they will be teenagers one day...I wonder how that will work out. Hmmmm, well, I will hope for the best and that I have done my best between now and then. But, in all seriousness I really want to be there and I want to try the German school first with my boys and see how they do. I am really curious about that. I am also excited for them to try it. I feel really good about it and I know they will feel some of what I am feeling so I try to keep it positive for them.

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I live near Nurnberg, and we came with four kids. The oldest two were in 1st and 3rd grade when we came, and the third was 4 years old, so this is a familiar thing to me!

 

First of all, the 4-year-old won't be in school. That starts with 1st grade (age 6). Kindergarten is not school, not required, does have a fee (small), and just about every kid goes to it. It's mornings but can be longer, depending on what you sign up for. I would DEFINITELY put your 4-year-old in kindergarten! It's not academic, but they do learn a lot of important things that they will later need for school--most prominently, of course, the language. My daughter is just finishing her kindergarten experience and it's been great.

 

The school didn't know what to do with my completely non-German-speaking older kids at first, and did suggest the Franconian school. Um, it's 11,000 euros a year per child, and it would have had to come out of our own pockets! We said no. But in Bavaria the school is actually required to give your kid language help. Once the teachers realized this and stopped freaking out, things went a lot better. Our boys got something like four hours a week of extra help last year (their first year), and if you started school in another country, the first year's grades don't count. (This was especially important for the older boy, since during 4th grade is when the teacher decides which level of schooling your kid will attend from 5th grade on, which ultimately determines things like if your kid is allowed to go to college, and what kind of job they can get.) The older boy had a bit of a harder time at first, but in the end he qualified for Gymnasium (university track) with no extra help. The younger boy had done a year of American kindergarten and could read some in English already. He learned to read German EXTREMELY quickly. (Okay, so it took a while before he knew what the words meant. :) ) Reading German is a lot easier than English--it's pretty much phonetic. First grade is the very first time the kids are getting any kind of graphic education (letters, etc.) so I don't think your son will be behind. There is a lot of emphasis on handwriting in German schools (starting in 2nd/3rd grade they have to write with fountain pens). Reading isn't emphasized as much as in the States. So be prepared for the balance of reading/writing to shift. Also, the math is conceptualized a little differently--yes, it's still numbers, but they learn to do a lot more mental math in German schools as opposed to writing it all out the American way.

 

I have to say that there's no way they'd know so much language if they hadn't just dived in to the German school. Yes, it was really hard and painful for at least the first six months (the older boy had a harder time breaking in socially as well--the classes stay together all through elementary school). But now my kids are feeling anxiety about leaving and going back to school in English. I'd say it was definitely worth it. Good luck with whatever you do!

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We've just arrived in Nuremberg, and my 11-year-old daughter will be attending the 6th grade at Peter-Vischer-Schule (Realschule/Gymnasium) in the fall. She has actually spent the past several weeks there as a "guest student" in the 5th grade, since her school year in the US was over the first of June.

 

You mentioned that the schools in Bavaria are required to give German language help to students? Can you tell me how to find out more about this? She's picking up language fairly well now, but I know the fall will be difficult for her. We are looking for ways to improve her German over the holiday.

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Techgirl, we heard this from friends (he's German, she's American; their son whose strongest language is German was put in language classes because of his American mother, not because he had a problem speaking), but our experience with the Grundschule in Erlangen bears that out. At the Grundschule, anyway, they told us that the first year they didn't have to give official grades if the student was coming from somewhere outside of Germany. And then the school provided a few hours a week to do some German language instruction. We also have a kindergartener who has been a Vorschulkind this year. Last year we paid a little extra (5.50 for a semester!) for an optional language class, but this year, they said that all preschoolers have a class that is paid for by the state of Bavaria to make sure they can speak when they start school. So I guess I can't give you a specific law or edict, but I'd talk to the school and see what they can do as far as Foerderunterricht in German.

 

Good luck--the first several months are HARD, but eventually your child will start speaking German and things will be much easier.

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I find all this talk about the German lessons that are supposed to be provided very interesting. We live just outside of Erlangen and there are no extra lessons provided for my kids. We arrived in Germany last April and so have been here 9 months. My daughter is now in Grade 4 and obviously not performing well enough to move on. The teachers have told us to put her into the Hauptschule even though her marks are normally 3 for HSU, Maths and German. I think that a 3 is extremely good, given the time we have spent here and no extra help with the language. It is a pity there is not a rule about the schools providing extra lessons for foreign kids. When I enquired I was told simply that there are not enough foreign kids here and, so therefore no help.

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I would like to do a follow up after being in Germany now for 4 years. When we moved and got settled we had a bit of time, the kids were on holidays here for a bit so it had given my kids some time to meet the neighbor kids. They seemed to find their own way of communicating with each other and also taught each other their mother tongue. They seemed alright jumping on board, playing and learning along the way. I had every intention to put my kids right into the German schools and did that very thing. The woman that helped us with the transition had informed me that I should expect my older son to have some sort of emotional crises after about a month or two. She had informed me that he would be alright up to a point but at some point he will crash. Well after a month and nothing happened, I felt lucky to have bypassed this emotional trauma that I had been informed about. I didnt want him to have to go through any of that and surely he didnt. BUT...after another half a month, it hit, as she said. He had a break down and was mad, angry, wished we hadnt moved, wanted to go back, he was having headaches of trying to do so much that I hadnt even took into complete consideration what he was going through. In putting them right into the school it all became a reality to him and I what it was that was taking place. He was feeling overwhelmed, stressed, he was hearing things he didnt understand, was expected to do work in which he wasnt knowing the instructions to, couldnt read. It was tough for him and it hurt me seeing him go through it. I will admit I dont know why something so obvious slipped my mind, as in doing so, he would have to figure out what they were saying somehow, translate it into English, then put it back into German. He was doing this each day and for the whole school time. He came home and was very upset, overwhelmed, wasnt getting his work done, didnt want to look at his school work but needed a break from it. I will say its hard on them and the parents that have to figure out how to help them cope with it and still keeping your wits about you. We didnt have any help from the school in working the boys into the whole cycle and we had asked but it just wasnt available. They now have been in the schools for some time, but my older son went from being at the top of his class in the states to struggling to get by here, that has been hard for him and me to watch. I do wonder if I have done him an injustice in bringing him here to some degree though my reasons were totally honorable. Its been hard to see him struggle when I know how brilliant of a boy he is. I have struggled with learning the language so its been tough to help them with school work, which is so frustrating for me and makes me feel so very little, ashamed, embarrassed even. My youngest son however has adapted great and seems to be a total and complete mix of American/German. When the boys get excited about something and want to share it with each other, they jump onto speaking some very fast German. Its cute really as they will start speaking to each other in English but soon drop it to continue their joyful exchanges all in German. I dont know why exactly, but they do. The whole experience carries a big mix of thoughts, ideas, feelings in it and no one really knows how it will be till they do it.

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I am so glad you took the time to post an update on your situation, but it breaks my heart to read about the difficulties you have encountered.

 

We are moving to Erlangen in the summer and even though I am German, my 11 year old daughter only speaks English. When I first asked around about the schooling situation the majority of people would tell us not to worry about getting her a place at the FIS but put her in a German school ... she would adapt.

Now I know my daughter and I know that this would never work for her, even given the fact that I could obviously provide a lot of help on the language side. So we made the decision that the FIS is a must.

Your story has now given the last proof 'needed' to show that we made the right decision and that it isn't all that easy, at least not for everybody.

 

I hope things are improving and you and your boys are enjoying your time in your new home.

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It was the right thing to do indeed, my older son still hasn't got caught up and he was doing so well state side that he was about to get advanced in grades and now he is barley getting by in his main subjects. Its been tough! My youngest son, he started school here so its all he knows.

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