One of the questions I get the most is about how it’s being the adaptation of girls at the new school in Germany. So today is the day I am talking about how their school adaptation in Germany is going.
I imagine that many people with families who decide to become an expat here in German lands have the school situation as one of the main concerns. It was no different for us a few months ago, before we set our little flag here.
Well, in Canada, Alice and Diana attended a Catholic public school in Ottawa. Public schools in Canada have a great level of education and most children (of any social class) study at the closest to their home. Their school was simple, the building was old, but overall, we were happy with the teaching and everything.
Schools in Germany
In Germany, although public schools are also of good quality, they are 100% in German. And that’s a language that our girls have yet to master. Knowing their personalities and thinking how shocking it would be for them, we decided for a bilingual private school. There they can learn German and keep their English, which is their mother tongue.
In this school, unlike international schools, German is not taught as a new language itself, but rather, the subjects are taught in both languages, German and English. Our intention in choosing a bilingual school was that they not only felt comfortable with English, which is usual for them, but also learned German, in a more direct way.
I can say that we made the right choice so far. The transition in school from Canada to Germany has been super positive. Girls have great ease of making friends, which has helped a lot, and they feel comfortable, since all children are at least bilingual there.
When it comes to the German language, in these 5 months, they evolved a lot, considering the level 0% they started. They understand instructions m byt nothing complex. They talk more that they like to admit (but still basic).
We hear Diana playing in German sometimes, even saying things unrelated things. She correctly answers some questions from the German teacher (while I didn’t get anything). She’s still in preschool (kita), so the workload and responsibilities are lighter.
Alice is repeating the 2nd grade (she would already be in the middle of the school year, in the 3rd grade, in Canada). But considering that her German was null and there are contents taught only in this language (including tests). We thought she could focus on learning the new language and not stress so much about the educational content.
Where to start your search for a school in Germany
We’re proud of their development so far, but we know there’s a lot more to come. I won’t name their school for privacy reasons. You can start by using google search for “international school” or “bilingual school”, followed by the area or destination city. I find the best way to start.
If the destination is Canada. This post here, is explains well how was the beginning of Alice in primary school in Canada. And this other one here, talks a little bit about the daycare options in Canada as well.