Language schools and courses in Berlin.

Language schools and courses in Berlin.

 

 

Having completed your move to Berlin, it's important that you learn the language in order to be able to better communicate as well as to make new friends in your community. There are many options when it comes to learning German in Berlin. You can opt for a private tutor, join an intensive language course, find a tandem partner, buy Rosetta Stone, or join a speaking group. The options are limitless. However, the majority of people prefer finding an actual course, with a school like setting that they can attend. Most of these are hosted by an organization that hires native German speakers, who solely speak German in order to get you better acquainted with the language, and used to hearing it.

 

Popular options for language courses in Germany include:

 

The Goethe Institut

The Goethe Institut is a great place to learn German. They offer beginners course as well as advanced courses at a very reasonable price. With very pleasant staff, and exciting excursions, you'll be able to have wonderful conversations and experience the German culture while learning the language.

 

Prolog

The class sizes at Prolog are generally bigger and the atmosphere leans more towards the school environment. They offer a wide variety of specialized German courses for both beginners and more advanced German speakers. Some of the groups Prolog hosts include those that focus on business language others focusing on the German culture. A class is also available for those over 50 years of age.

 

Akkusativ

With small class sizes, and a friendly environment, Akkusativ prides themselves on the high quality education they offer. The German teachers who are hired by Akkusativ have years of experience teaching the language. The location of this language school is also a big plus for attendees as it is within close proximity to lots of cafes and restaurants.

 

Die Neue Schule

 

Die Neue Schule offers different levels of German language courses, from beginner level, leading up to C2. At Die Neue Schule you have the opportunity to between evening lessons, intensive course, extra intensive courses, beginners courses, as well as one on one lessons.

 

Sprachenatelier

 

Sprachantelier offers small class sizes ranging from 2-4 students. Offering Intensive courses, evening courses, preparation for German language tests, summer courses and one on one lessons, this language school has a lot of options to choose from. Discounts are applicable for those who enroll for extended courses.

 

Know how much you want to spend on your language course because some of them can be rather pricey, though they do tend to offer discounts to people who enroll for a long period of time. Know how much time you want to spend each day, and also how long you are willing to commit to the program.  Find a course that fits well with your schedule to avoid having to miss too many classes and pay for something that you won't be able to fully benefit from.  Joining a language school is a great way to make new friends, experience different cultures and most importantly, learn German.[...]

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Bavarian International School

Bavarian International School

 

 

Bavaria is a beautiful city and those who live here love the fact that it's within such close proximity to Austria and Switzerland as well as the fact that it is home to two amazing international schools. Once the kids are off on holidays you'll be able to explore Europe a little more without having to travel too far. Skiing is just one of the wonderful options you'll have available.

 

Lots of expat decide where in Bavaria they will be living based on the school their child will be attending. This is because whereas they will be able to travel to and from work with their car, they want to ensure that their children can also get to school quickly and safely.

 

Coming from an English speaking country, you will perhaps prefer to send your child to a school where one of the main instructional languages is English. This will offer you the security that your child will continue to practice his or her English and that there are no complications and setbacks in school if you do at some point decide to move back to your native country.

 

The two international schools in Bavaria are the Bavaria International School and the Munich International School.

 

Bavaria International School

·         Opened in  99

·         The main instructional language is English

·         School premises surrounded by forest and woods

·         Main school is in a castle- Schloss Heimhausen

·         Students from 45 different nations

·         School buses available for students

·         Primary to Secondary school

·         International Baccalaureate Program

·         Approximately 000 students enrolled

·         Accredited by both the Council of International Schools as well as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

·         The Bavaria International School costs between 500 and 5 600 euros

·         The registration fee is 500 euros

 

Munich International School

·         English language

·         Available to students from four years of age to eight years of age

·         International Baccalaureate Program

·         Accredited by both the Council of International Schools as well as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

·         Transportation available to pick students up and drop them off at the end of the school day

·         A late bus is available for students participating in after school activities

·         The food provided to students are 00% organic

·         Track and field as well as a soccer field are being constructed

·         Tuition ranges from 3 40 to 6 800 euros

·         The entrance fee is 7 000 euros

Both the Bavaria International School (BIS) and the Munich International School (MIS) are exceptional private institutions which offer excellent education to students. They are both popular choices amongst the expatriate population as well as within the German population who wish to have their children speaking English at a young age. It may be wise to schedule a visit with the schools to get a better feel of the environment before making your decision.

 

 

 

 

 

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Pharmacies in Germany

Apotheke

 

An Apotheke is a pharmacy. If you've been in Germany for a while you're guaranteed to have seen an Apotheke, even if you weren't specifically looking for one. Those large signs that proudly hold a bright red letter A are something you can't miss. This sign isn't representative of a chain, but rather just as a means of easy identification.They are located in city centers as well as in a lot of other locations and more than likely there's one within minutes from your home.

 

Whereas in the United States one may become used to CVS, Walgreens and others that are combined with a grocery store like Walmart, and Publix, pharmacies in Germany are quite different. By law, pharmacies in Germany must be run by a pharmacist who is only able to own a maximum of three locations. Another difference between Germany and the United States when it comes to pharmacies is the way that over the counter medication is packaged. Pain killers and head ache medication in Germany generally come in smaller portions and thus the price is higher. The opposite is true for the pricing of prescription medication which is rather cheap as some of the costs are covered by ones health insurance.

 

When in Germany, know that there is a difference between a pharmacy and a drug store. Drug stores in Germany do not carry prescription medication or over the counter medication. Instead they mainly sell household products, beauty products, snacks and juices. For all prescription and over the counter medication you will need to go to a pharmacy. Here, all medication will be displayed behind the counter even something as simple as sore throat medication.

 

When are they open?

Pharmacies in Germany are open every day of the week outside of Sundays and public holidays. However, at least one pharmacy in your city will be open and thus there is no need to worry that you won't be able to get your medication after opening hours. This holds true for public holidays. You can find out which pharmacies are open from the information provided in the newspaper and there is usually a paper on the doors of closed pharmacies that will inform you on which location is open.

 

Prescriptions may also be filled online as online pharmacies are soaring in popularity in Germany. Your medication will then be delivered to your home. This may not be a viable option for those who are looking to receive their products within the same day. Your local pharmacy may also deliver medication, so on your next visit to the city, check with them to see if this is a possibility for you. This will save you from having to rush out once your prescriptions need to be refilled.

 

 

Some of the pharmacies in Germany are hundreds of years old and boast exceptional architecture that are worth a sight seeing trip. If you happen to go at a time where there isn't anyone in the pharmacy, the pharmacists may be willing to give you a bit of background on the location.

 

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Moving to Germany 1

Moving to Germany

 

Let's start by saying, great choice. For so many reasons, Germany is a brilliant place to relocate to, both for the short and long term. But like every other paradise, it too, has its highs and lows. Amazing architecture, deep rooted history, a vibrant culture, decadent food, all of these things contribute to Germany's charm. But what if we separate the pro's from the cons, will Germany still seem irresistible?

 

What's so great about the home of the Bratwurst and Sauerkraut?

 

·         Healthcare: Germany has exceptional healthcare. Ensure that you are either covered by your home health insurance company, or that you get everything sorted through your travel agent before getting on the plane. Once you have arrived in Germany, if you're planning on a longer stay, consider switching to a company in Germany. Do thorough research and find out what criteria you need to meet in order to qualify.

·         The People: Germans may initially come off as a 'not so friendly' set of people. This however is not necessarily true. Perhaps the weather during every other season but summer has their faces set in a way that may seem less than pleasant. You will though, be pleasantly surprised when you're approached in the grocery store or cafes simply because you're speaking English and they're interested in knowing where you're from and practicing their English skills with you a little.

·         Safety: Germany is very safe. Never will you have felt more comfortable going for early morning jogs or traveling home alone late at night. The crime rate in Germany is exceptionally low. The only thing worth worry just a miniscule bit about may be pickpocketing in bigger cities. 

·         New language: Challenge yourself to learn the language. At first it may seem impossible and you may get frustrated trying to understand the gibberish that seems to be spoken. However, once you've been here for a while, and if you try, you'll realize German isn't as far from English as you had perceived. There are so many English words and phrases incorporated in the language that once you get a hang of the sentence structure and grammar, the language can be a breeze.

 

 

What's not so great about it?

 

·         Renting is expensive: Rent prices are a bit on the ridiculous side in Germany, especially when you're looking into bigger cities. The apartments and houses are typically smaller than those in places like the United States, and the unfortunately cost a lot more too.

·         Strict Rules: Germany is a strict society. They're lots of rules to get used to, primarily when it comes to driving. The penalties can be both severe and wrench your pockets dry. Provided you stay on the right side of the law, you'll be just fine.

·         Weather: For those coming from Florida, California or other places where sunshine is abundant and it's T-Shirt season year round, you might want to think about invested in a couple more umbrellas, rain boots and thicker not so comfortable clothing.[...]

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Rental Mistakes to Avoid

Moving to another country is tricky enough, let alone the aggravation of finding an apartment at a fair price.  Rather than allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, remember a few key mistakes, and know how to avoid them:

 

     Before signing a contract—Know the specifics from when rent is due to what your rental should look like when you vacate.  Remember it’s a contract, which should be taken very seriously.

     Inspect your new flat—Making note of every scratch, dent, and tear is important for your records and your landlord’s.  You both need to be aware of even minor things so you can avoid being responsible for them.

     Lessee Responsibilities—This can include garbage removal, lawn maintenance, utilities, and even maintenance of certain common areas.

     Expenses for vacating—What will you be required to pay for?  Often times it’s carpet cleaning, painting, and new small fixtures.  Make sure you’re aware of what is required of you.

     Keep a copy of the contract—In your native language.  Even get help from someone who speaks your new country’s native language to be sure that you know exactly what you’re signing.

     Renting fully furnished apartments—Not only is it difficult to come by, it’s far more expensive than an empty flat.    Short- and long-term furniture and appliance rental is an option to consider, and often makes the most sense in the long run.

 

Do you have other tips for your fellow expats?  Join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

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International Schools in Hamburg

 

International Schools in Hamburg

 

There are many reasons why parents opt for an international school for their children rather than sending them to a school that is solely German based. Especially for parents who have moved from an English speaking nation, it is important to know that their child is in an environment where they don't feel lost and overwhelmed. For older English speaking children, the integration into a school where German is the only spoken language may be a difficult one. Parents may also choose to send their younger children to an International school in order to ensure that they don't forget their mother language. Regardless of your reason, choosing to go with an International school is a great idea, as your child will be learning in not one, but two languages, and possibly more as they get older.

 

 

Two renowned international schools in Hamburg include: The International School of Hamburg (ISH) and Phorms Education Campus Hamburg.

 

The list below will help to familiarize you with these two schools:

 

 

International School of Hamburg:

 

-        Founded in 957

-        Primary School to year 2

-        Offers the International Baccalaureate Program

-        The majority of courses are taught in English

-        Rather pricey

-        Model United Nations Course

-        Extra curricular activities including: music, arts, drama, tennis, football, basketball, swimming, golf.

The International School of Hamburg has a strong history and a great reputation. They take education seriously and ensure that your child is performing to the best of his or her ability. Parents are usually very pleased with the friendliness of the staff and the ability to easily find out about their child's progress. Class sizes are generally small and allows for students to have a high level of interaction with their teachers as well as becoming familiar with them. Though the classes are mainly in English, this isn't to say that students won't or do not learn German. The program is bilingual, and thus they do acquire an impeccable education in both languages.

 

Phorms Education Campus Hamburg:

 

-        Founded in 2008

-        Classes in English and German

-        Preschool to year 4

-        Plans to open secondary school

-        Play based learning for children 3-5 years of age

-        Uses the Cambridge International Primary Programme in certain subject areas

Phorms Education, having been founded in 2008 is a fairly new school. It is however, a great school, with a bright, caring, friendly atmosphere where children can easily feel comfortable and parents can feel at ease leaving their children. Tuition is more affordable than the International School of Hamburg, put is still on the expensive side when compared to the free education at public schools. Phorms Education is a great addition to the International Schools in Hamburg and helps to meet the high demand for schools where children can learn both German and English from a young age and develop perfect communication in both languages.

Expats should always consider if their company covers the cost of schooling for their children, as this may ease some of the financial burden when choosing an international school.[...]

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