Need help for my sister's school, International vs German

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My sister is Italian and studied all her life there until age 15. She finished her 9th grade there (1a Superiore) and then came in Germany because my parents moved there.
She was put in a Volkshochschule to learn the language a bit and now she has been admitted to 9th grade Mittleschule. 

I don't think this is the best option for her education. She can't go to a Gymnasium because she is still weak speaking German so after some research I think 
she has two options.

 

- Munich International School, good because it's closer to where she lives, seems like a good school, bad because it is really expensive, but at this point I am willing to take a financial hit personally to support her education, I can always make more money, but my sister keeps getting older. To my estimates it would cost 30k € x year considering everything, including any random expenses and a MacBook Pro. It appears to be a classic International School. I should probably pay a visit as soon as possible. Looks promising compared to the current situation. She will get an International Baccalaureate once she graduates which will get her to any college in the US and UK. She will have to take additional classes in some subjects to get into German Universities though. There is also the Bavarian International School, but it's 3x the distance. 

 

- Leonardo da Vinci Schule München - It's a German-Italian bilingual gymnasium, good because it's her mother tongue, but I think her English is good enough. It costs about 1/4 of the MIS price. I don't know much about this school. Anyone has more info?

 

There are some others private Gymnasiums but it's all German education, which would set up her to fail since she is 16 already. So I think one of the above is her best bet. What I'm looking for is the best possible school for her needs, so she can be assisted and guided through the difficulties awaiting for her. 


I just want to help her so she can have a good academic education and make some friends in Germany. Between all the moving and going from a good Italian school to the bottom of the German system, left her uninspired. So that's why I'm ready to invest in an International school, but I need some feedback on what we can expect. Right now the most important thing I think that I can do is to send her to a school where she can socialize and not feel alone and alienated. 

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There are two German Gymnasien offering classes for foreign students to adapt to the Bavarian system and learn German: Wilhelm-Hausenstein-Gymnasium and Städtisches Adolf-Weber-Gymnasium. Afterwards, she might go to the local Gymnasium instead of Mittelschule and get a decent education. Maybe an option?

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I´d suggest to ask the "Schulberatungsstelle" of your local Schulamt for advice. They were quite helpful when I returned to Germany with kids coming from overseas schools (native German speakers though). E. g. they made me aware of that there are affordable (because subsidized) Bavarian state-run boardinghouses for pupils which are attached to schools. Kids don´t have to go to the school attached but are free to choose another one more suitable while being totally immersed in a German speaking environment away from home (which helps with the language). Kids usually visit their families at the weekends only. E.g. my kids would have had the option of staying at the boarding school in Würzburg while visiting the International School Mainfranken in Urspringen (which is much cheaper than other International schools ( at the time € 650.-). Maybe an arrangement like that would be at least a temporary option until she mastered the language sufficently for an upper-tier school? On the other hand don´t think that the Bavarian Mittelschule is a dead-end road. My daughter graduated from there with Mittlere Reife and continued at a Gymnasium until Abitur. The problem was more the uninspiring environment at Mittelschule.

 

Maybe a Montessori-school might also be an option (possibly while staying at a boardinghouse)?

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Most international schools will take students on a partial scholarship.  Qualification for the scholarship will depend on the parents income.  This is not always advertised.  Make an appointment with the director to discuss this as a possibility.  The children of football players and tuition being paid by businesses are the amounts you see advertised.

Also be aware that an expensive tuition does not always equal a quality program.  Take a look at class offerings as well as previous IB scores.  This information should be available.

The IB diploma will require a pretty good command of English.  

If there is any way to find parents from the school to talk to, this is also a good way to determine if it is worth the tuition.  

hope this helps

 

 

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Unless you work at an international organization, it is almost impossible to go to the international school.

 

Regarding choosing a different school, think about the diploma she'll receive and whether it will be enough to then go to University with it, as most private schools do not give officially recognized diplomas.

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2 hours ago, malmostoso said:

Unless you work at an international organization, it is almost impossible to go to the international school.

 

Regarding choosing a different school, think about the diploma she'll receive and whether it will be enough to then go to University with it, as most private schools do not give officially recognized diplomas.

That´s maybe true for Munich, but it definitely wasn´t true in 2012 (when I was checking) for the International School Mainfranken. And the IB is recognized by Universities.

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10 hours ago, Dave Skywalker said:

I can always make more money, but my sister keeps getting older

 

You are completely awesome, and your sister is lucky to have a brother who thinks this way.

 

6 hours ago, malmostoso said:

Unless you work at an international organization, it is almost impossible to go to the international school

 

Why would that be true? Unless the school is sponsored by the EPO or something, and the website doesn't look as though it is, then she has a chance.

 

The IB is well thought of at Universities all over, so no worries there. The other abschluss they are offering does not look useful. If you can get there and look, then the sooner the better. You are an 'international family' so should be a priority.

 

The Italian school looks interesting - is there an Italian expat website which you could visit to ask your question? You may get more answers...

 

edit - useful clarification from malmostoso below - that makes sense...

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24 minutes ago, kiplette said:

Why would that be true? Unless the school is sponsored by the EPO or something, and the website doesn't look as though it is, then she has a chance.

 

Just to clarify, because I have confused them and OP needs accurate information, the European School is for the EPO (and other international organization), and the International School appears to be open admission.

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Dave, if you are willing to pay 30t€/a, why doesn't your sister stay in Italy?

30t€/a should be enough money to l live in comfort in Italy.

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3 hours ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

Dave, if you are willing to pay 30t€/a, why doesn't your sister stay in Italy?

30t€/a should be enough money to l live in comfort in Italy.

 

Absolutely, 30k€ x year to live in Italy are probably even too much.

 

But I'm in Munich and my parents also live here in Bavaria now, they opened a business and sold the house in Italy. 

That's why.. I should have thought of everything before and convinced my parents not to move to Germany, at least until my sister would finish high school so she could graduate in her mother tongue. But it's too late now and what's done it's done.. now it's the time to repair the damage as much as I can.

 

I really don't want this to be a money based decision though. My sister's education and social well being is what's at stake, while money is just that, money. If something improves mine or my family's quality of life, money should never be part of the equation.

 

That's why the International school seems a good idea. Will have to visit that and the Italian bilingual school. But I still think the International might be better, I really just need something where she can connect with people and just enjoy school. 

 

She's 16, I personally think it's too late for her to follow the German public school system (Gymnasium), she speaks good English already and becoming a natural at it shouldn't be a problem. 

She needs a place where she can make friends and just have a good time, that's the priority. Priority #2 is level of education, and the Munich International is quite good as far as I know after my research. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, kiplette said:

 

You are completely awesome, and your sister is lucky to have a brother who thinks this way.

 

 

Why would that be true? Unless the school is sponsored by the EPO or something, and the website doesn't look as though it is, then she has a chance.

 

The IB is well thought of at Universities all over, so no worries there. The other abschluss they are offering does not look useful. If you can get there and look, then the sooner the better. You are an 'international family' so should be a priority.

 

The Italian school looks interesting - is there an Italian expat website which you could visit to ask your question? You may get more answers...

 

edit - useful clarification from malmostoso below - that makes sense...

 

I will be checking the Italian bilingual school in person, can't find much about it online.

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13 hours ago, get3 said:

There are two German Gymnasien offering classes for foreign students to adapt to the Bavarian system and learn German: Wilhelm-Hausenstein-Gymnasium and Städtisches Adolf-Weber-Gymnasium. Afterwards, she might go to the local Gymnasium instead of Mittelschule and get a decent education. Maybe an option?

 

Thanks, will do some research now, didn't knew about these schools. 

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12 hours ago, MonikaG said:

Most international schools will take students on a partial scholarship.  Qualification for the scholarship will depend on the parents income.  This is not always advertised.  Make an appointment with the director to discuss this as a possibility.  The children of football players and tuition being paid by businesses are the amounts you see advertised.

Also be aware that an expensive tuition does not always equal a quality program.  Take a look at class offerings as well as previous IB scores.  This information should be available.

The IB diploma will require a pretty good command of English.  

If there is any way to find parents from the school to talk to, this is also a good way to determine if it is worth the tuition.  

hope this helps

 

 

 

 

I really don't want this to be a money based decision though. My sister's education and social well being is what's at stake, while money is just that, money. If something improves mine or my family's quality of life, money should never be part of the equation.

 

That's why the International school seems a good idea. Will have to visit that and the Italian bilingual school. But I still think the International might be better, I really just need something where she can connect with people and just enjoy school. 

 

She's 16, I personally think it's too late for her to follow the German public school system (Gymnasium), she speaks good English already and becoming a natural at it shouldn't be a problem. 

She needs a place where she can make friends and just have a good time, that's the priority. Priority #2 is level of education, and the Munich International is quite good as far as I know after my research. 

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If her English is good then you can also check out Albert Einstein Gymnasium  http://albert-einstein-gymnasium.com/ they are bilingual school, and have a separate section completely in English for English speaking students and German is just second language, being there she can pick up German quite fast since she will interact with other native German speaking kids. btw Albert Einstein studied there as a student.

 

If your intention is that she socializes and gets integrated with the locals then in my opinion International School is a bad option, since in an International school there are mostly children of Expats who are in Germany for few years and then intend to go back or get transferred to some other country. For doing higher studies abroad, both education from International school or German school will have almost same possibilities. If you plan to move to another country in near future before she finishes her school then putting her in a International school makes sense.

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Have they already started, or is this a future project? The thing I found odd/interesting is that they say the kids will be spread out among the 5 classes, and yet spend most of their lessons in their English language group. which makes no sense to me. Maybe I have misunderstood.

 

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I hadn't heard the Albert Einstein Gymnasium is offering this and I think it's an interesting concept.

However, it is not relevant to the OP's sister as it clearly says  "English as a mother tongue (restricted to native speakers only)". Also, it's only from grade 5 to grade 10, so it doesn't take you all the way to Abitur or the IB anyway. 

 

@kiplette They only have separate English lessons. History and Economics will focus on the English-speaking world but not be taught in English.

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Things are changing in a lot of Gymnasiums (Gymnasia? heh) due to the refugees (i assume).  My kids gymnasium is now offering "German as a second language" in the afternoons to these kids. How they get assessed to come into the Gymnasium in the first place, i have no idea.  But its really not too late, she has quite a few refugees in her school who are learning German as they go, even at the older ages.  She may need an extra year to get her Abitur, but i don't think thats the end of the world.  

 

Lots of good options listed so far and the bilingual schools seem like the best route.  I personally don't think an international school education is that much better than the Realschule-later-Gymnasium track, but that's just me. I also don't think they are very good for integration into germany.  

 

My advice is to get a list of ALL gymnasiums that may be in her area and meet with them to see if they have now, or are planning to have a bilingual program and if they are now or planning to be open to German-as-a-second-language kids. 

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