Choosing a School in Berlin
The standard of education in Berlin is very high, both in international schools and local German schools. Things to consider when choosing a school for your child are as follows:
Proximity to home.
In Berlin, children start walking to school by themselves from the age of 6. It is very common for small groups of children, who live nearby to commute together every morning and afternoon. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to cement friendships and arrange out of school social engagements with fellow school mates.
Bi Lingual vs German.
There are numerous bi-lingual schools throughout Berlin, where German is taught along side another language (English, French etc.). There are advantages for and against the bi-lingual education system namely the speed at which your child will learn the local language. On the other hand, sending your child to a local school – while they will face a steep learning curve at the beginning, within 6 months they will be fluent. When considering a local school, you will need to discuss with the principal their resources and capability of managing this initial six month period.
Local education is free for all children, within this system you will only be charged the cost of books, excursions, lunch and after hours care (if required). As for international schools, there are two styles of tuition fee structure. The first being a standard full paying system, where fees start at around €8,000 per year, the second is a co-payment system where some schools offer a reduced tuition fee but you are required to participate/support in the administration of the school.