Many parents moving to Germany from around the world have to deal with the questions: How can I provide the very best education for my child? Shall I choose a public or a private education? Is a bilingual school a good solution? Luckily, Berlin offers a wide variety of possibilities.
For those who want to ensure their children a place in a caring, family-like environment, there are numerous private schools. The typical school fees start at around EUR 5,000 per year. The language of instruction is English, but German classes are provided additionally for all students. Among the reasons to enroll in a private school, there are undoubtedly the multitude of extra activities and the benefits of a smaller class size. Here, the school teachers value an individualised approach and a multicultural experience in order to prepare students for an international life.
There are also several bilingual public schools in Berlin, that do not charge tuition fees (you are only charged for books in the beginning of the year). These schools offer courses both in English and German, allowing children to learn both languages very quickly. However, in contrary to their fee-paying counterparts, places in those schools are very often limited and admission depends on English tests.
Here is a selection of the 5 best schools for English speaking kids:
John F. Kennedy School
This is a public bilingual school financed by the Berlin Senate. The courses combine both German and American education system elements. Every year it welcomes 700 new students from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It puts a great value on the up-to-date and future-oriented program based on new technologies. (http://jfks.de)
Nelson Mandela School
The Nelson Mandela School, in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, was founded in 2000 by the state government in Berlin. It is a member of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project and the International Baccalaureate Organisation. As a government school, it does not charge any tuition fees. (http://www.sisberlin.de/en)
Berlin British School
This is a private school open to children between the ages of 2-18. The academic programme prepares students for the IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate, contrary to most state schools (currently only Nelson Mandela is the only state school which prepares students for the IB). Tuition fee depends on the child’s age and varies between EUR 5,000 and EUR 14,000 per year. Children can enjoy learning in a small groups, extracurricular activities and multinational environment with students from more than 40 countries. (http://www.berlinbritishschool.de/)
Berlin Cosmopolitan School
The Berlin Cosmopolitan School is an international school with a focus on music, sports and science. It offers children a diverse Extracurricular Programme with more than 50 different activities, where the students can improve or deepen their knowledge on a wide range of subjects such as Chinese, chess, cooking, robotics and self-defense. The school has currently 640 students with no more than 22 students per class. The tuition fees depend on the parent’s income and the age of the child. The fees range between EUR1,000 – 6,470 per year.(http://www.cosmopolitanschool.de/)
Berlin International School
This is a nonprofit school with two branches (Campus Steglitz and Campus Dahlem) which offers an educational program for children between the ages of 6-18. With over 820 students from more than 60 countries it offers children a multicultural experience and education. The tuition fee is around EUR 11,000 per year but it can also be reduced for siblings and families with lower income. (http://www.berlin-international-school.de/)
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