Admission to the FIS in Erlangen

9 posts in this topic

Hello everybody,

 

We are currently living in Boston, USA and are looking at relocating to the Erlangen area next summer. Even though I am German our 10 year old daughter unfortunately does not speak any German and therefore will be going to the FIS in Erlangen. Well, I should be saying SHOULD be going.

 

How difficult is it to get accepted at the FIS?

 

I was all confident about this until somebody at my husbands company said that a few families had been rejected.

My daughter would find it rather traumatic to go to an all German school as the language is her only stumble stone in this move.

She is a hard worker and her grades are all A's and B's.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thank you!

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I forgot to mention that I have read the admission policy and there are no obvious reason for not being accepted. We seem to 'match the profile' of a FIS pupil/family.

But as they won't decide until June if you got in this of course is a great worry.

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How long will your family stay in Germany? If your stay is only temporary, then you might consider FIS for your daughter. If you plan on staying in Erlangen for a few years, she should make the effort of learning German and attend a regular German school. Kids learn incredibly fast.

As a German you should know that the Nuremberg/Erlangen area has a very small and limited international community, we are not in Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt and you don't want your daughter to be an outcast because she speaks poor German compared to the other local kids or, even worse, no German at all. A friend of mine from the US moved to Nuremberg three years ago to work at Adidas and he enrolled his 11 year old son at FIS. He told me he was absolutely disappointed with the school, the kids grow up in their own little bubble and don't have any chances to integrate with the German culture and lifestyle. He is now thinking about pulling his son out of FIS because he feels that the kid is becoming an outcast.

On a lighter note, I recently hired a cleaning lady to help me out with my new apartment. She's from Valencia in Spain, she ran away from the recession and moved to Nuremberg 6 months ago with her husband and two kids, a 9 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. The kids learned German in three months throughout the Summer and are now attending a regular German school. They absolutely love it, have many new friends and are already more integrated than their parents ;)

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Hi ChristineSh,

 

We moved to Erlangen last year and my daughter was also 10 when we moved. We had to wait for about 6 months before she got admission in the FIS. And we were not alone, many families had to wait ranging from a few months to a complete year. And the reason is their capacity constraint. I don't know of any family which was rejected due to any other reason. As you have written your daughter has all grads as A's and B's, other than capacity constraint I see no reason why she could be rejected. And the good news is that after the experience of last years and feedback from major sponsors like Siemens, they are now expanding and as far as I know from next session they will have more space.

My daughter attended a German school for 6 months and I must say, she picked up quite a lot in these 6 months ( she had absolute zero knowledge of German before and I and my wife are non Germans) . She was able to follow fairly everything in the class and was able to speak basic German. She even made a presentation to the class in German. We had put her in extra German classes also. I am sure if she had gone for full year in the German school, she would have become fluent. We know another girl who had to go a full year in a German school and she speaks fluent German with very little accent. So you being a German who can provide the support at home, can expect much quicker learning for your daughter. So for a long term stay in Germany, it is worth considering to put her in a German school which will also help in integrating quickly as Project-Manger mentioned.

Having said that, let me add that there are many German parents who are natives ( and of course who can afford FIS) put their kids in FIS for a more international and diverse experience and upbringing. It also keeps the options of higher studies in the US or UK open and easier as compared to kids going to German school who mostly are not fluent in English even if they study English as a second language. So it is a personal choice depending on what your priorities are.

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We were in Erlangen from 2009 to 2011 and my kids (6th grade and 10th grade) went to the FIS. There were openings in their grades and we had no problems getting in. My kids do well in school and have no special needs.

If you plan to stay a long time in Germany it may be worth it to go to a local school. But if this is a temporary assignment then the FIS is the way to go. The kids will make friends at school. For mom, check out the International Women's Group http://www.womensgroup.de/ to make friends.

 

What did you decide?

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We have decided that we will not move unless she gets a place at the FIS.

Our move will be permanent (or at least is supposed to be) but I think there is a huge difference between picking up the language quickly to watch TV and speak to other kids and writing German on a 6th grade school level. I am fairly certain that between the initial language training provided by a tutor (part of the relocation package), the German classes in school and me being German our daughter will pick up the language rather quickly.

I am not worried about having her not have any contact outside of school, as one side I don't think that would be that unusual and on the other there will be lots of people and activities outside of school to make 'other' friends.

Thank you for the womensgroup tip. Even though strictly speaking I am not an expad, I haven't live in Germany for nearly 20 years and I am sure there are moments when I need to have a big moan with some English speaking people. :)

 

We have visited the FIS back in February and had the impression that things are looking good for us. Of course we were not told anything, just a feeling.

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You would be surprised at how fast kids pick up a new language. My parents moved to Canada when i was 13 and i had to learn French and was thrown into an all French high school. Was extremely hard and the first year was just a learning process, but i managed and learned French within a few months. So 10 years is still good and chances are she will learn very fast.

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I have children at the FIS. Some classes are full, some are not. That's the only likely reason an application will be turned down. The school teaches an international curriculum with International Primary Curriculum in the elementary school, IGCSE from the UK for G9-10 and the International Baccalaureate for G11-12. There is, naturally, lots of German language teaching but the school does not have an Abitur programme; graduates can use their IB Diploma for Abitur equivalency and then apply for German university (if they meet government-set course and grade requirements.) Many graduates go to the UK, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Australia etc.

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If your child does well in school, it is really all about if they have slots in the grade. They may have to see who is not coming back.People come and go all the time, but there is a large % of students who do stay at the school.

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