Did anyone arrive in Germany with a child due to start Gymnasium/ Realschule?

41 posts in this topic

I can only guess that as you are German and have visited Germany with your kids several times that you have family and friends here and have a particular location in mind.  You really need to discuss your situation directly with the relevant Schulamt and potential schools. 

 

Many TT members have been through the difficult and painful process of finding the right school for their kids. It would most certainly be hardest for your oldest child especially as your stay in Germany sounds speculative and might not be long term.  You've started well by getting your kids more into speaking German before a potential move. If I had had unlimited funds and only thought I'd stay for a short time, I might have considered an international school for my daughter.

 

As others have said, gymnasium would be very tough and much depends on the particular school. We got lucky as my daughters gymnasium were impressed with her previous school work and accepted her on the proviso that her German improves drastically within a short time. And, in order for that to happen, we paid a fortune in Nachhilfe which was quite a pressure for a child going through puberty and missing her old friends and home. 

 

I'd suggest you gather as much of your children's schoolwork and references from teachers and present them to schools of your choice. If possible, do this in person as soon after September as you can.  It's also a good point that going back a year, or even two isn't the end of the world in these circumstances and would be much less pressure.  As far as I can tell, there can be up to a two year age gap between the kids in a class. Generally, don't expect teachers to be overly willing to accommodate a foreign child. We've been through alot and some teachers can be downright brutal.  Not physically of course!

 

Good luck

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The demographic in Germany with so many retiring over the next years means there will be more opportunities for employment

 

You haven't studied German demographics well enough. If you look carefully at the data, you can see that it is quite likely that Germany will concurrently have difficulty finding sufficient workers to fill certain skilled positions and at the same time have a very high unemployment rate among lower skilled and foreign workers. I really don't see any reason to assume that a foreigner with weak German skills will benefit from the demographic shift in Germany.

 

Youth unemployment in Germany is approx. 7%, in Sweden is 21%. But significantly higher for first and second generation immigrant youth (hence the riots 2 years ago)

 

Yes, and the youth unemployment rate for children who were born in Germany to immigrant parents is twice as high (and these kids were born and raised in Germany unlike your kid who is already 16 and can't speak German properly).

 

Der Anteil arbeitsloser in Deutschland geborener Jugendlicher mit Migrationshintergrund war 2013 mit 15 Prozent mehr als doppelt so hoch wie der Anteil arbeitsloser Jugendlicher, deren Eltern im Inland geboren sind. OECD-weit lag die Arbeitslosenquote von 15- bis 34-Jährigen, deren Eltern im Ausland geboren sind, nur zwei Prozentpunkte über der Quote Gleichaltriger ohne Migrationshintergrund.

Source

If he manages to learn German, he will be fluent in four languages further increasing his potential for employment

 

At 16 it is really uncertain whether or not he will learn sufficient German to even graduate from high school here and the opportunities for high school dropouts are diminishing across all countries.

 

Personally, if I ever have children, I would never want to put them through what you put your kid through. Being a teenager is difficult enough without having the deck stacked against you.

 

Availability of low cost rental property. This is very difficult to obtain (most are secondhand contracts) and expensive in the main Swedish cities. 
Germany has been the powerhouse of Europe and will likely continue to be - economic stability. 
 

 

But are low cost rental property and economic stability really that more important than your kid's education?

 

Why would you not consider staying Germany if you had children?

I'm very visibly foreign and grew up in Canada. In Canada being the child of two immigrants who never attended university did not in anyway hinder me (or my sister) in doing well in school. I learned German as an optional second foreign language in high school, completely my B.A. in Canada, and then my Master's degree in Germany. In Canada this is not considered anything really special (the Master's abroad is not common, but there are many Arbeiterkinder in Canada who attend university). In Germany, I'm considered a Bildungsaufsteiger.

 

In Canada the children of immigrants actually tend to do slightly better than their peers on average whereas in Germany children with immigrant parents tend to do significantly worse. Combined with the relatively dismal school system in Germany, I think Germany offers by far fewer opportunities than Canada for children (and I am very grateful that I didn't grow up here).

 

 

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25yr old mate of mine is doing a PhD in Engineering.

He is Ukrainian and came to Germany with his mum when she divorced, at age 17 (him, not the mum). They were poor.

He is supergood, hard working, honest, intelligent, smart, nice person. Fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, German (of course, got Abitur from 'normal' German school, dunno from gimnasium or realschule what, despite he spoke zero at the time, then bachelor and master), English (also zero at the time, now not great but good for >90% of jobs in English speaking countries).

 

He says yes, he did have a bloody hard time at first.

Of course he is the exception rather than the rule, 99.99% of people with his background would not make equally good...

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On the other hand, I read a year or so ago that a lot of companies looking for apprentices won't give children who had attended a Hauptschule a chance.

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You haven't studied German demographics well enough. If you look carefully at the data, you can see that it is quite likely that Germany will concurrently have difficulty finding sufficient workers to fill certain skilled positions and at the same time have a very high unemployment rate among lower skilled and foreign workers. I really don't see any reason to assume that a foreigner with weak German skills will benefit from the demographic shift in Germany.

 

 

Yes, and the youth unemployment rate for children who were born in Germany to immigrant parents is twice as high (and these kids were born and raised in Germany unlike your kid who is already 16 and can't speak German properly).

 

Source

 

At 16 it is really uncertain whether or not he will learn sufficient German to even graduate from high school here and the opportunities for high school dropouts are diminishing across all countries.

 

Personally, if I ever have children, I would never want to put them through what you put your kid through. Being a teenager is difficult enough without having the deck stacked against you.

 

 

But are low cost rental property and economic stability really that more important than your kid's education?

 

I'm very visibly foreign and grew up in Canada. In Canada being the child of two immigrants who never attended university did not in anyway hinder me (or my sister) in doing well in school. I learned German as an optional second foreign language in high school, completely my B.A. in Canada, and then my Master's degree in Germany. In Canada this is not considered anything really special (the Master's abroad is not common, but there are many Arbeiterkinder in Canada who attend university). In Germany, I'm considered a Bildungsaufsteiger.

 

In Canada the children of immigrants actually tend to do slightly better than their peers on average whereas in Germany children with immigrant parents tend to do significantly worse. Combined with the relatively dismal school system in Germany, I think Germany offers by far fewer opportunities than Canada for children (and I am very grateful that I didn't grow up here).

 

 

I think this can be overcome if there is heavy supervision of the child's homework by someone who knows how the system works here. For most families, though, that isn't worth the trouble vis-a-vis getting an education in a country with a good educational system that the parents are already familiar with. For child who's already 16, this shouldn't even be considered because of the effort and expense of getting the child up to speed. People who do well in German Gymnasien almost always have great support from their family, or as the case may be, have parents that make them study very long hours.

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I think you are right Conqquistador, my son arrived aged 10 with no German, started straight into Year 6 Gymnasium and has just gotten his Abi with a 2.1 average.He will attend Uni from next semester and study Applied Maths.

It took a damn lot of hard work from my wife in the first year (she sat down each day after school and re-did all his lessons in English and wrote translations for everything in his notebook so that he had some way to follow along in class). He only got through the first year because he was willing to put in the effort and because the school backed our plan and gave us the support we needed. He took extra German lessons instead of English for the first 2 years and by the end of year 8 he was pretty much fluent and getting reasonable grades close to what we might have expected in the UK.

Honestly I think it turned out great for us, but if we were only here for a year or two it would have been a very different story. and if my wife had been at work instead of at home and unable to give the support he needed then it would have been impossible.

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On the other hand, I read a year or so ago that a lot of companies looking for apprentices won't give children who had attended a Hauptschule a chance.

 

It's not so much about "giving them a chance". It's about competition. If you publish an ad for an apprenticeship (in well-to-do areas) in a future economy field like IT you'll have around 100 applications. Of those, maybe 20 are from people from a Hauptschule, 30 from Realschule, 40 from Gymnasium and the remaining 10 will have job experience and/or college-level credits, usually in the relevant field.

 

The problem beyond that is that apprenticeships nowadays - in comparison to what they used to be - are highly streamlined career paths towards only a very select set of possible jobs. 34% of apprentices are doing their training in only ten different jobs, diversified more by gender than anything else; for girls, it's 56% in the top 10 apprenticed jobs among women, for boys it's a comparably high number. Jobs, not fields. And most of these jobs have been "upgraded" to a degree where you need e.g. north-German-Gymnasium or south-German-Realschule level math just to swim with the others.

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I as a parent wouldn't unplug my children from a familiar school environment and throw them into the lion's cage so to speak. I'd rather let them finish their school and obtain their high school diploma, afterwards they can choose any tertiary education in the world that they see fit. 

In fact this was what also happened to me. I obtained my high school diploma in Indonesia, then went overseas to get my bachelor's degree, got a job in the same country  without not much difficulty afterwards, did master's degree in another country, got a job in a different country, finally moved here and again managed to land another job. I think once you get into tertiary level of education, most of the doors are open for you, sort of. Pushing the kid to complete basic education in Germany is really unnecessary if it's only to enter the job market here. So cheeserollers, let the kid complete the basic education and get the highest grades s/he could, with good grades s/he can go to any uni s/he wants. 

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On 14.7.2015, 09:00:11, Prosie said:

biene_maja, how old is your daughter? My advice (as mentioned above) is to keep her in Grundschule for another year if you possibly can. As you probably know, it's not at all unusual to repeat years in German schools so she might not even be the oldest in the class. Also, make full use of the summer before she starts school to build contacts with the local children.

 

 

In Bavaria, fourth grade of primary school cannot be repeated, only grades 1-3.  This is because the streaming takes place after fourth grade, I suppose.

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40 minutes ago, mrgalak said:

 

This is because the streaming takes place after fourth grade, I suppose.

It's because a repeat of fourth grade can be used to improve grades through simple repetition (someone who repeats will pretty much always have better grades in that grade than on the first attempt). Repeating fourth is generally - not just in Bavaria - still possible "due to circumstances". The usual parental move to force those is a ADHD diagnosis.

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13 hours ago, kato said:

It's because a repeat of fourth grade can be used to improve grades through simple repetition (someone who repeats will pretty much always have better grades in that grade than on the first attempt). Repeating fourth is generally - not just in Bavaria - still possible "due to circumstances". The usual parental move to force those is a ADHD diagnosis.

 

 

Well, well, this sounds like a "Geheimtipp" :-))

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Hi,

Following this thread as I am in similar situation.

Does anybody has any advice on EI, Heidelberg?We are likely to move our son from international school to Gymnasium . 

Would like to know how kids cope with making new friends/ language / pressure.

 

cheers 

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My two children are both in Munich  gymnasium,

lots of stress every day 

I know one child in the same school, her mother is my friend, they pay online course  to help to get good test notes. 

Expect German, English, at the moment my child is learning latin,   next step  is learning  French and Spanish. 

We  help latin, German learning  with kids at home too. 

Grundschule we had stress, gymnasium's pressure is much bigger and more

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On 11.11.2018, 11:37:53, foto said:

Grundschule we had stress

 

My child is in 3. Klasse Grundschule, here in SH.

Both my wife and I are schocked how easy, leisure, relaxed and stress-free, her overall school-life is. Workload and expectations seem to us to be extremely modest. All the non-German colleagues with whom I spoke share this view, whereas the German colleagues with whom I discussed this don't.

 

A German man I know, married to a Japanese woman, was telling me his in-laws sent their daugther (his now wife) to Germany for Gymnasium, because they knew that compared to Japan, it was going to be easy, stress-free, relaxed, fun.

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3 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

 

My child is in 3. Klasse Grundschule, here in SH.

Both my wife and I are schocked how easy, leisure, relaxed and stress-free, her overall school-life is. Workload and expectations seem to us to be extremely modest. All the non-German colleagues with whom I spoke share this view, whereas the German colleagues with whom I discussed this don't.

yes, I have 2 daughters in Grundschule and it is an absolute breeze. They are spending their time learning German and variously being bored or slightly challenged by Maths. Otherwise, the other childrens' behaviour is a worry too...lots of bullying and lack of respect. Both girls looking forward to a change of pace - back to active, challenging learning. 

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I can see there are many threads on this topic. My 11 old son (Now in 6th Grade) whom we are planning to move in school in EMS Lingen. I can certainly sense a challenge and has been a constant worry for me. After reading threads on this topic I can conclude following

 

  1. 1. Experience differ. Mostly depend upon the school and your kid (How early he can pick up the language)
  2. 2. He has to downgrade to one level. It is not a problem as many do it. I hear mix review somewhere it is allowed, somewhere it is not allowed. Unsure at this moment.
  3. Generally, Gymnasien is not a good choice to start for non-german speaker.

 

I would like to understand

 

  1. 1. where can I contact "Schulberatungsstelle"
  2. Is it possible to get an admission for my kid in the middle of the year. I know this depends upon school. I'm looking for experience from other parents.

 

Thanks a lot.

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24 minutes ago, Preetam said:

1. Experience differ. Mostly depend upon the school and your kid

And also which state you´re talking about. The differences can be huge.

 

25 minutes ago, Preetam said:

1. where can I contact "Schulberatungsstelle"

Call your local school authority ("Schulamt") - they will know.

 

27 minutes ago, Preetam said:

Is it possible to get an admission for my kid in the middle of the year.

Not only possible but mandatory. Kids of schoolgoing age have to visit a school.

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I'm based out of Lingen (EMS), Lower Saxony.

 

There are at least 10 schools in Lingen. Did you meant to call specific school (Schulamt). Sorry for stupid question.

 

I'm glad to hear about admission.

 

Thanks a lot.

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Thanks a lot. It will be a great help. I will update this thread. I hope they can speak English. As I can hardly speak German (Only A1)

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