Transition Year Germany
Attending a German Secondary School during your Transition Year is a life-changing opportunity to live and study in one of the most vibrant and exciting destinations in Europe. With incredible cities, fairytale castles, world-class museums, amazing food and rich culture and history, this programme is ideal for students who wish to fast track their fluency and experience a classroom in another country.
We have a wide selection of day and boarding schools and the programme is available in a variety of locations throughout Germany including Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck, Nurenburg, Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein.. etc. In our programme we guarantee you a placement in 1 of your top 2 location preferences across Germany. Our two most popular programmes are:
- You are aged between 15 and 17.
- You have studied German for a minimum of 2 years.
- You are motivated to speak German and are willing to adapt to a new culture and environment.
We have a wide selection of day and boarding schools and the programme is available in a variety of locations throughout Germany including Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck, Nurenburg, Bavaria, Schleswig-Holstein. etc. In our programme, we guarantee you a placement in 1 of your top 2 location preferences across Germany. Our two most popular programmes are:
We guarantee you a placement in 1 of your top 2 location preferences.
Your location is chosen for you by Tribe Study Abroad and can include urban or rural locations anywhere in Germany.
If you choose to enrol in a day school you will live with one of our carefully selected host families and attend the local day school. You will have breakfast and evening meal with your family and lunch in the school cafeteria. Day schools are generally located within 20 minutes of your host family either on foot or by local transport.
If you prefer a more structured environment, Boarding School may be a good choice for you. You will stay in the boarding school Monday to Friday and have all your meals there during the week. Accommodation in boarding schools is generally in small dorms (max 4 students). At the weekends and during the school holidays you will stay with a dedicated host family and you will return to the same family each weekend for the duration of the stay.
Your host family will be a home away from home while you are away. They will provide you with a friendly welcoming place to stay and they will also introduce you to German life and culture, explain local customs and encourage you to practice your German and speak like a native. Our students often form strong bonds with their host family which continue long after they arrive home. All our host families are carefully screened and visited regularly by the Local Co-ordinator and many have been hosting students for a number of years.
We understand that making the decision to attend a Secondary School abroad is not an easy one and we aim to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.
Students are invited to attend with a parent/guardian at our head office in Goatstown or to have an appointment via skype where we use the opportunity to answer any of your questions and explain the different options available to you.
The next step is to complete a detailed application form and also provide 2 recent school reports and a short paragraph in German introducing yourself to your new host family.
Our local partner applies to the school and also selects a carefully chosen host family who will be the right match for you based on your interests and personal profile.
Once the placement is confirmed we encourage our students to get in contact with their host family before they arrive either by email or skype – it’s a great way to start the ball rolling and you are less anxious about meeting up for the first time as the ice has already been broken.
Prior to travel, we arrange for you to have a pre-departure orientation either in our office in Dublin or by skype which includes an overview of the rules of the programme, health and safety along with tips and pointers on how to make the most of the experience.
You are then all set to begin your adventure!
Dates & Travel
Each placement is individual – meaning we don’t have large groups of students going out to the same location on set dates, so you are free to choose when you travel. We also don’t believe in sending large numbers of students to the same school, as this defeats the whole purpose of a full immersion experience. Our wide selection of schools and locations means we guarantee, where possible, that there will be a maximum of 3-4 Irish students from Tribe Study Abroad in a school at any one time, and the likelihood is that you may be the only other Irish student there; unless you specifically request otherwise. We offer stays from a minimum of a term to a full academic year. In our experience, students who stay longer benefit most and the longer the stay the greater the fluency and the more rewarding the experience. We also offer a full transfer service and you will be met at the airport or local train station by your host family or Local Co-ordinator.
The Tribe Difference
What is included?
- Individual placement in an established German Secondary School.
- All tuition fees.
- Full board accommodation.
- Dublin enrolment and administration fees.
- Individually assigned local co-ordinator offering in-country support and assistance.
- Airport greeting and transfer from final destination airport or train station to host family.
- Pre-departure orientation in our office or on Skype prior to programme commencement.
- 24-hour contact in case of emergency.
- Advice, assistance and support from the time you contact us to the end of the stay.
- End of programme certificate.
- International airfares or train fares.
- Insurances – Medical and Travel.
- Local transport.
- Personal expenses and extra-curricular expenses.
- School lunches and uniform, where applicable.
With so many organisations offering Transition Year Abroad programmes, you may wonder why you should choose Tribe Study Abroad.
We can think of many reasons… but here a just a few:
We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of individual care and attention at every stage of the process. We arrange to meet each student prior to departure to assess their suitability for the programme and to answer any questions that may arise. While the student is in Germany, they are assigned a Local Co-ordinator who meets the student on arrival and ensures they settle in well to the experience. Any teething problems are dealt with swiftly and there is a high degree of communication between our head office and our partner organization in Germany. We also have a dedicated 24-hour emergency contact number in Ireland and we are here to offer you advice, assistance and support for the duration of your stay.
Accreditations don’t tell you everything but they can reassure you that the company you are dealing with adheres to the highest professional standards. We are fully accredited by the Irish Department of Education and Science and our partner organizations in Germany are fully accredited by the relevant Ministries of Education and are international members of CSIET (Council of Standards for International Educational Travel).
We are an established Irish owned company with over 25 years experience offering language travel programmes. We regularly deliver workshops on language learning and are dedicated to helping our students achieves their goals. We take our role as being part of the educational process seriously and we understand the importance of providing a rich, rewarding and safe experience for every student. But don’t just take our word for it – we will happily put you in touch with former students or parents of former students for a recommendation and we welcome the opportunity to discuss further any questions you may have either in person, by email or Skype.
School days are generally quite different in Germany with school starting as early as 7.30am and finishing between 1pm-2pm, with two additional evening classes of physical education per week. This leaves plenty of free time to put your new-found fluency to use outside of the classroom.
Students attend a gymnasium and typically take courses in German, mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, music, history, philosophy, civics, social sciences, and several foreign languages. All classes are taught through German and students typically get used very quickly to what’s going on in the class as their ear adapts to the language and their confidence and fluency increases.
On the Select Germany programme we guarantee you a choice of one of one of your top 2 regional preferences. On the Classic Germany programme your placement will be selected for you and can include urban, rural, coastal or city locations.
Yes. We can organise that you are either enrolled in the same school and stay in different host families or that you are in a different school with different host families. The whole point about going abroad is to immerse yourself fully in the local language and culture, so at weekends your host family will expect you to spend time with them and they will want you to experience as much as possible. We cannot guarantee that your host families will be right beside each other either but with local transport and help from your family there will be no difficulty in meeting up occasionally at weekends when there is nothing else planned.
Host families undergo a thorough selection process and our carefully screened by our partner Agency and the Local Co-ordinator. All host families are required to complete a detailed application form following which they have a home interview and their references are checked. Many host families have been hosting for a number of years and continue to keep in touch with their students many years after they return home.
Sometimes placements can be confirmed quite quickly and if so you will receive all the details as soon as the school and host family profiles are ready. The most important thing is to find the right match and you will have the details at the latest 4 weeks prior to departure.
Places in schools are limited so we recommend the application process is started as soon as possible so as to not disappoint. The usual timeframe to confirm a placement is 3 months and applications received outside this timeframe application are subject to a late application fee of €100.
Not necessarily. We don’t guarantee that there will be someone the same age as you in the family, and in our experience even if this is the case it doesn’t automatically mean that you will have a lot in common with them or that you will automatically be friends. There is no such thing as a typical host family and just like your own family; they vary in size and composition with either younger children, teenagers or older children. The most important thing is that they are warm and welcoming and they want to share their culture and family life with you. You will be spending most of the day with teenagers your own age at school and that is where you will make friends and develop a social life outside of school as well
Absolutely! Check out our Student Blogs or contact us and we would be happy to connect you with a former student who can fill you in on how they got on and answer any of your questions.
You cannot interrupt the programme and go home unless it is for an extraordinary occasion. If there are school holidays while you are abroad you will stay with your host family as they often have things planned. Besides if you go home you will start speaking English again and it will be much harder to settle back so we don’t recommend it and you are still considered to be on the programme. We also don’t recommend for parents to visit unless it is at the end of the programme and all intended visits should be communicated to Tribe Study Abroad in advance.
The simplest thing is to arrange to bring an ATM debit card. Most are accepted at ATM machines and it is the easiest way to access money.
Your host family will help you get to school on the first day and show you the way until you are comfortable with the route. Day school students usually live within 15-20 minutes of their school either on foot or with local transport. Boarding school students usually live within 20 – 45 minutes of their school, and return to their host family on Friday afternoon and come back to school on Monday morning either with the host family or on public transport.
There are a whole team of people who will be working hard to make sure your time abroad is successful and that you have a wonderful experience. This includes the Local Co-ordinator who lives in the same area and provides support and supervision for the duration of your stay. The Local Co-ordinator will meet you after the first few days to see how you are settling in and will help you with sourcing extra Spanish lessons.
Your host family will help you if you want to join a local sports club or advise you on things to do at the weekend. You can also contact us in Tribe at any time as we have a 24-hour support line in case of an emergency. If you need anything, you can also contact your Local Co-ordinator at any time as well.
Students are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure and supply evidence of same to Tribe Study Abroad. Students should also ensure they have their European Health Insurance card with them and provide a copy of the details to Tribe.
Booking Deposit €500 with Application
Balance of Fees is due 4 weeks prior to departure.
Cancellation by Client
- €500 booking deposit – non-refundable
- 50% Programme Fee 30 days prior to departure
- 100% Programme Fee – 15 days prior to departure.
- There will be no refund after Programme Departure Date.
Please refer to our Terms of Business for more information.
“Berlin was amazing and my confidence improved greatly with speaking German along with my vocabulary. It was an unreal experience and lots of friends and memories were made ☺”
Robyn Kenneally, Intensive German and Activities, Berlin
“My trip to Berlin was one I’ll never forget. The area of Berlin we were staying in was stunning and had so much to offer including restaurants, parks and markets. The summer weather was great, we were always outdoors whether we were on a tour with the course around the city, at the outdoor swimming pool, or just exploring in our free time. The atmosphere on the campus was always so fun and the teachers were all so friendly and helpful. It was so beneficial to be able to go to our classes and then have time where we could use our new skills on tours and activities. What I also loved about the course was that we were able to be independent and venture out ourselves, which helped us to gain confidence in the language in a more relaxed environment outside of the classroom. I made so many new friends from all over the world and made memories I won’t forget! I will definitely be going back to Berlin ☺”
Katie Coleman, Intensive German and Activities, Berlin