Looking for English School

36 posts in this topic

We are emigrating from South Africa to Germany in January 2020 and looking for an English School for my 14 year old daughter who is finishing Grade 9 in December. She cannot speak German so going to a "Gymnasium" will not be an option as she needs to speak German fluently. International schools are very expensive. Does anyone have any school suggestions I can look at? Have found the European Schools on the Internet however need to find out if they teach all subjects in English? any advice? Thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start getting her tutored in German.  Now.  Every minute counts.

Be prepared for her to repeat at least one grade once she's in Germany; that is, she might even be placed in the 8th grade.

How about the rest of the family - do they speak any German? How will you survive if none of you can speak the language?

Books, newspapers, records, tapes, DVDs - all of these will help.  You may be able to get Deutsche Welle as a premium channel on TV, which includes not just news, culture, and conversation shows, but also has German lessons.

Work hard, it will pay off.

ETA: By the way, there are four German international schools in South Africa.  If you're near one, perhaps an older student or even a teacher might be willing to tutor your daughter.

 

My kids learned a lot by reading the Tintin and Asterix & Obelix books in German translation.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, katheliz said:

Start getting her tutored in German.  Now.  Every minute counts.

Be prepared for her to repeat at least one grade once she's in Germany; that is, she might even be placed in the 8th grade.

Or... remake the plans and don't come at all!

If you can't afford an international school, your daughter's life will be miserable. Rethink your plan.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP has dual SA/ German citizenship, so I guess this move is for life.

So- excellent post by Katheliz. OP has a year to prepare for the move- more than enough time for daughter to learn German.  

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a little tricky to give advice for schools unless its clearly specified where to in Germany they want to emigrate. If I do recommend English schools in Hamburg while their plan is to move to Kassel its just useless.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, katheliz said:

Start getting her tutored in German.  Now.  Every minute counts.

Be prepared for her to repeat at least one grade once she's in Germany; that is, she might even be placed in the 8th grade.

How about the rest of the family - do they speak any German? How will you survive if none of you can speak the language?

...

Thats a major point. Having a dual citizenship out of historic reason but no family members actually having any current connections to Germany,  its culture and language or family branches still living here will mean a major change for all of you.  Thats a learning I had from meeting some so called Russlanddeutschen who had the right to move here. None of their family actually still spoke any German.  They had to learn the hard way that their kids had to survive German schools while the whole family had to readjust to a new language and culture. The fact that anyones great grant parents spoke a little German does not guarantee an easy start here. Btw. Does Trump have dual citizenship? Just wondering.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wherearewegoingto said:

Btw. Does Trump have dual citizenship? Just wondering.

Yeah, American and Russian :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, RedMidge said:

OP has a year to prepare for the move- more than enough time for daughter to learn German.  

 

That statement clearly demonstrates your complete ignorance of the level of German needed for a German Abitur in places like Bayern. :blink:

 

Education is Ländersache and the the systems vary greatly across the country. 

 

For example, the Schulpflicht in Hessen is only 9 years full-time (which the OP's child will have completed before arriving) and those who don't continue with a regular school need only complete an additional year (§ 59 HSchG) of school or Berufschule. After the kid attends another year of school or Berufsschule here she will have completed her Schulpflicht and would no longer be the school board's problem. 

 

What is a child with only a 9th grade education and poor German supposed to do with her life?

 

Your overoptimist uninformed ignorant assurances serve absolutely no purpose, but rather makes light of a potentially huge problem. :angry:

 

 

For the record, it brings me absolutely no pleasure to be right in this matter. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/2/2019, 7:29:06, DomSA said:

We are emigrating from South Africa to Germany in January 2020 and looking for an English School for my 14 year old daughter who is finishing Grade 9 in December. She cannot speak German so going to a "Gymnasium" will not be an option as she needs to speak German fluently. International schools are very expensive. Does anyone have any school suggestions I can look at? Have found the European Schools on the Internet however need to find out if they teach all subjects in English? any advice? Thanks

 

I understand your decision to move is not just something that is on a whim and that you can just change your mind on because some people think immigration is as easy as that. It’s not the kind of decision that when you’re a bit hesistant then you just have to back out. As a family, you must have already discussed this over. Given that you have already planned the move, one of your major concerns that made you ask for help on in this thread is mainly about the language. So, aside from I hope it turns our well for your family, here is a good thread to read about immigrating here with a teenager:

 

https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/221260-schooling-for-english-speaking-teenagers/?do=findComment&comment=2458024

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is a huge difference in the offerings of Europa Schulen, and the variation will not just be Land to Land, or town to town, but school to school. We have used 3 Gymnasiums (a?) here, 2 of which are Europaschulen, but there is no way at all that you could get through without German. There will be English taught as a subject and one or two other subjects taught in English, and maybe more in a big city, but the whole 'bilingual' thing is very limited.

 

Now, if you are going to Berlin, there are actual bilingual schools, where you can study in English and presumably German is taught as a foreign language - someone who lives there will be able to confirm,  but they will have limited places. Perhaps Munich and Frankfurt have similar offerings.

 

Really, you do need to be absolutely precise about where you are hoping to move, or make it clear that the school will dictate your geography, and then people may be able to help further.

 

There are people who have moved with kids of this age and all has gone well (there was a great thread, but I can't find it), but it is going to take a massive effort. If your kid has high hopes of doing something academically demanding, then this move might kill that.  

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, RedMidge said:

OP has a year to prepare for the move- more than enough time for daughter to learn German

I´m not too sure about that. My kids are native speakers but when we returned from abroad after 7 years my son struggled at a Gymnasium in Bavaria because of language problems in German and Spanish (after having been to English speaking schools only as of grade 3 where neither were taught or in the case of Spanish not intensly enough). My daughter opted for Mittelschule (the lowest tier) and had much less problems. After a year there she switched to the "EInführungsklasse" of a Gymnasium. These are special classes for kids from lower tier schools and it will take them an additional year to Abitur (the school leaving exam which qualifies for university). In Bavaria there are also state-run boarding houses for kids which are very cheap (IIRC about € 300/month including food) and which are open too all kind of schools (or to apprentices as well). Maybe that would be something to consider as it might help picking up the language. If so you better try to reserve a place well in advance.

But as others already said it´s important to know what state you´ll be moving to as they all have different education systems.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for some of the replies!

 

Location? - We are looking in any major city at this point where we could find a school that can accommodate English!

 

We then plan on looking for jobs in the area where we secure a school. This is why it has been complicated to commit to any sort of cost when it comes to the private international schools (as we have no German based income at this stage) - we have applied for bursaries at some of the schools but await a response. Some we have not even applied for, because example: St George is a British school in Germany, the fees are about 17000 euro pa, the max bursary one can get is 25% and trust me we have tried and tried.

 

We have googled and googled, but are hoping that someone on this forum has some 1st hand experience!

 

In the meantime we are still looking - therefore does anyone actually have a school (name and area) they can recommend and or a contact at that school? Thank you.

 

PS: on the language - I am fluent in German and I am teaching my kids but at this point they will not pass the entrance German test for the "free" state schools.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not up on what's been going on with the JFK school in Berlin, but I assume they still have the curriculum in English and it's a state school. It's in Zehlendorf. Maybe that's an option for you. Someone else might have more info on that. I think Nelsen Mandela also is an option, which is in Berlin, too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then you should also know that Berlin is Germany's economic black hole - there are very few jobs there, and the ones that are there, are badly paid.

 

The jobs are in Germany's south, e.g. Munich or Stuttgart.

But rents here are high and in Munich we only have expensive private schools that teach in English. 

We do have an European School in Munich (which teaches entirely in English in its English section), but its places are taken up by category I children, i.e. children of people working at EPO in Munich (it's free for them) and category II children, whose parents work at a few specific companies that have contracts with that school to provide places.

So there are no spaces left for category III children like your daughter would be.

 

You might want to ask at the European School in Karlsruhe, they may have spaces for category III children:  https://www.es-karlsruhe.eu/admissions/admissions-criteria-and-fees/

Pricing (taken from the Munich site, but the fees are the same at all European schools, i.e. the schools catering to employees of European institutions): https://esmunich.de/en/our-school/for-parents/school-fees.html 

 

Near Stuttgart, there is SIS in Fellbach, but half the instruction is in German:  https://www.swissinternationalschool.de/en-GB/Standorte/Stuttgart-Fellbach

Pricing: https://www.swissinternationalschool.de/en-GB/Standorte/Stuttgart-Fellbach/Preisliste

 

******************************************************

 

What are both your educational backgrounds and language abilities?

How's your spouse's German?

How much do you both expect to earn?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Quote

Location? - We are looking in any major city at this point where we could find a school that can accommodate English!

 

We then plan on looking for jobs in the area where we secure a school.

 

Since you don't even have jobs here yet, why don't you wait till she has completed her National Senior Certificate in South Africa?

 

1 hour ago, JN53 said:

I am not up on what's been going on with the JFK school in Berlin, but I assume they still have the curriculum in English and it's a state school.

 

It is also massively oversubscribed, but they can try contacting them:

https://jfks.de/admissions/high-school-admissions-process/german-students/

 

Quote

I think Nelsen Mandela also is an option, which is in Berlin, too.

 

Nelson Mandela is NOT an option since they only take highly mobile students for grades 7-10 and the OP's family wouldn't qualify.

https://www.nelson-mandela-schule.net/about-nms/admissions.html

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, DomSA said:

Thanks for some of the replies!

 

Location? - We are looking in any major city at this point where we could find a school that can accommodate English!

 

We then plan on looking for jobs in the area where we secure a school.

Ok, want a good advice? Forget the school and rethink your whole plan. Unsure how it is in your current country, but job seeking here is quite complicated, even on a thriving economy.

Took me more than 400 applications and 5 months to land a job in software, with 12 years of experience. And software is an area with strong demand!

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends. I wrote 1 application in IT consulting with 9 years of experience and got the job. I speak German fluent as well, but that was a bonus. My Dutch friend has a PhD in Physics and is a very experienced software developer with employers like ESA and Max-Planck. He knows latest technology and had half a dozen contracts offered in a short period. He didn't even try hard. He speaks fluent German as well.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, DomSA said:

- therefore does anyone actually have a school (name and area) they can recommend and or a contact at that school? Thank you.

If the boarding school idea is of interest to you you could find out more about where they are located via https://www.mgg-wuerzburg.de/

They will be able to tell you where other state-run (and therefore cheap) boarding schools are located (there aren´t too many) and will also be able to point you to the Schulberatungsstelle for further advice. Your daughter would have to visit the school to which the boarding house is attached.

That school is located in Würzburg / Northern Bavaria which isn´t a bad place to live (and unemployment rate is only 1.9 %) and because the school´s focus is on music the kids there are usually from well-to-do backgrounds (as poorer families don´t tend to have pianos etc. at home) and the atmosphere there is ok. At least my kids who visited the school and boarding house for 2 weeks to check it out found it nice.

There is an international school in Schweinfurt which isn´t as expensive as most others: https://the-ism.de/en/

They have a school bus service for kids from Würzburg as well and my daughter had a friend who was there on a scholarship because her single mom couldn´t afford paying full school fees (which were about € 600 at the time i.e. in 2012).

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now