Adaptation of English speaking children in German public schools
I would appreciate any experience with placing English speaking children to German public school. (If you know of some in Munich - please share school's name.)
We will be moving from UK to Munich in October 2014. We made our decision to relocate for good to be closer to our families - I am from Czech Republic and my husband is from Hungary. Non of us speak fluent German but we are wiling to learn intensively. We have three daughters. The youngest will be 2 years in May and I am not worried about her but the oldest will be 9 in October and the middle one 7 in June. They are very nice and friendly, clever girls and I hope they won't have any problem to find a new friends but I don't know how well they will cope with the new language. I know they are children and they can learn quickly but I would like to hear any reinsurance.
My husband runs his own software business and I am now stay at home mum (I used to be a primary teacher but nowadays I am more happy to work from home on my own projects.. ).
We were thinking to place our children to international school but - to not talking about the costs - we would like them to integrate to German life. English will probably stays as our main home language - the same for 'our mum to daughters secret czech language' .
Munich is a beautiful city and we love the endless opportunity of any outdoor fun - over whole year. Right now we are living in a beautiful town Exmouth in southwest England and enjoining here the lovely Devon seacoast. We will miss this place and our friends and all lovely Exmouthers. But we look forward to new experiences, people, adventures and the fact - we are only a few hours drive from our families - is just fantastic.
Thank you for any input! Have a lovely day everyone!
We've sent our daughter to school in Berlin twice, at ages 9 and 13, for sabbatical. She had some German, found it hard at times, but did well. I would encourage you to put your kids in local schools, not international or private, particularly as you are intending to settle permanently.
The younger two will not have problems but the oldest will certainly have a more challenging transition, though nine is still relatively young. I don't know much about the Munich school system, but obviously you'd want to start close to where you'll be living to reduce commuting times. A few things to consider: (1) look to see if there are any bilingual German-English schools in the public system (so not fee-paying) that would accept your daughter; (2) ask about extra help with language but be wary of special classes entirely for non-Germans; (3) for the older daughter, be sure you're aware of when children are streamed into the different types of high school. If she's academically inclined you'll want her going to Gymnasium (or something that is appropriate to eventual university attendance) and that may be tricky if she's just arrived and is learning the language. (I will not offer my opinion of the class system in German education, I'm just stating that it's an issue.)
I think there´s no need to place the kids at an intl. school. The german education system provides special programs to learn the german language as a foreign language, called "Deutsch als Fremdsprache", or "Deutsch als Zweitsprache".
The programs are structured to migrate foreign nationals in Germany. You can attend classes for few Euros at "Volkshochschule, VHS", Goethe-Institut, even at primary schools up to Universities...
For Munich ask at KVR (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) Landeshauptstadt München - Welcome to the City of Munich Department of Communal Services
We used to live in Bavaria for about three decades, you´ll love it too.
There are now several English speaking schools in the Munich area.
My kids are at BIS which is north of Munich but you could live close by the school. Web site is Bavarian International School e.V.
The largest is MIS near Starnberg - about 1500 kids and not the best in my view for several reasons.
There is also St: Georges which is new to Munich ( opened I think in 2013). This is based on the British system. St.George's School
Another is Phorms but I have heard several poor reports about this school.
Another great site for you to look at is Toytown Germany - English language news and chat .This is a very informative site for everything to help English language speakers.
I would be happy to give you some more info if you need it
If the family is intending to settle permanently, I would strongly encourage them to put the eldest child (9) into state schools so that she leans German as quickly as possible. She is still young enough that this would be relatively easy. Added bonus, much much cheaper than private schools.
Clearly the costs are high for a private school and this may make it very difficult with all 3 kids.
The advantage of the German school will be that all 3 kids will learn in the same style.
The school system in Bavaria is in my opinion old fashioned and very rigid. It is slowly changing with all day school now possible. If your kids can adapt it would probably be better to have them in the local system. You can always try it for 1 year and see how the 2 older kids cope. The youngest will be no problem as she can learn German at the kindergarten and by the time she goes to school she will be fine.
I took my kids out after primary school for a variety of reasons but this also has its problems as my kids could speak English but couldn't read and write it and the international school is all in English.
Hope this helps
Hi guys. I just saw this topic and I am interested to find out more. We are a family of 3, living in Australia but wishing to relocate to Germany, to be closer to our family from Europe. So, our kid is 12, very good English speaking - and with some German on board (he is enrolled in a Saturday Language School here in Melbourne, but nothing to complicated....in our Aussie style!).
I intend to put the kid in a state school in Germany. Do you think at this age his transition will be...smooth? How are the German kids acting with kids like mines?
Keep in touch - glad to find you! D
I think 12 is too late for a foreign child without fluent German.
In the past year school boards across the country have received thousands of foreign children who can't speak German and there are not enough resources (neither financial nor personnel) available to educate them all properly.
Hi , I will be Moving to ERDING , Near Munich from Costa Rica. My son is aroungd 5 years now and is in the Kinder grade at American International school in Costa Rica,
My initial thoughts is to enroll him in the German public school. Please let me know if you have any similar experiences in you life.
Is it easy for them to Adapt ?
Do you teach english as a subject in the German schools ?
English is taught as a standard subject, though if you really want him to have very good English you may want to look at a German-English bilingual program eventually, if there is such a school near where you live. They are not that common outside of the major cities, and are very popular so often oversubscribed.
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