September 2009 issue

Agency News
Agency Survey
Market Report
Direction - Exams
Direction - Workshops
Special Report
Course Guide 1
Course Guide 2
Regional Focus

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Germany’s flair

Considered the land of poets and thinkers, Germany is a wondrously cultural place. From its grass roots, it has been shaped by the many intellectuals it has spawned; think Beethoven, Einstein and Goethe. Vibrant cities, historical towns and romantic landscapes also await visiting students. Nicola Hancox provides an insiders’ guide.

Germany is a very eclectic country,” observes Inka Grosse from Eurocentres in Berlin and she advises that language students take “every opportunity to get to know a bit more about it”. Indeed, having your picture taken in front of iconic monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate or remaining portions of the Berlin Wall are opportunities not to be missed should students opt to spend their study vacation time in Germany. However, it’s fair to say this European country has more to offer than just famous landmarks and boisterous beer festivals.

“Berlin is a very multicultural and vibrant city, with lots of cultural, historical and natural attractions,” notes Noemi Cipollone from Eurasia Institute located in the German capital. Having worked at the school for nearly 10 years, Cipollone relates that it’s important that students experience the Berlin of today as well as the Berlin of yesterday. “We advise our students to visit historical places like the Berlin Wall, Brandenburger Tor [Brandenburg Gate] and the Jewish quarter but we also encourage them to experience the current culture and lifestyle.” She suggests students practise their German by visiting one of the many open-air cinemas (Freiluftkino Kreuzberg is said to be one of the oldest in Berlin), stopping for a coffee at a street café or even relaxing in one of the many beach bars situated along the banks of the River Spree.

The Club and Beachbar Rechenzentrum comes equipped with its very own techno club, restaurant, open-air stage, beach volleyball area and campsite. Late-night party goers can even rent one of the 40 tents complete with sleeping bag and camping mat to stay overnight should the mood arise! Meanwhile, Ku´damm Beach, situated on nearby Lake Halensee, is a popular hangout for the West Berlin party set. Comfy sofas, sunshades and chill out music are the order of the day here, but after closing, students can jump on a pre-arranged shuttle bus to some other hip and happening party venue.

Given Berlin’s central locale, students are encouraged to make good use of the transport links and both Cipollone and Grosse recommend day trips to the nearby cities of Potsdam and Dresden. Bounded by a series of interconnected lakes and beautiful landscape gardens, Potsdam – the capital of the Brandenburg state – is also home to Germany’s largest World Heritage site, Sanssouci – the former summer residence of Frederick the Great, the Prussian royal.

Meanwhile, Dresden – which sits on the banks of the River Elbe – is reputed to be one of the greenest cities in Europe. Sixty-three per cent of the metropolis is a designated green zone – covered in parks and woodland – and several urban areas are said to boast nature reserves. However, during the 19th century, the city was an influential hub of art, music and architecture and according to Katharina Schmidt, Academic Director at Kästner Kolleg in Dresden, students can experience this passion for the arts first-hand by visiting Neustadt, one of the city’s most cosmopolitan districts. Inner Neustadt is a medley of vibrant house facades (the district has been elegantly redeveloped in a baroque-esque style), elegant courtyards, classy boutiques and extravagant restaurants, not to mention countless galleries, bookstores, museums and theatres. Outer Neustadt (or Äußere Neustadt), however, is a more livelier affair. “It is the place to go for all young people. There are many bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants,” relates Schmidt, adding that a festival celebrating music, theatre and gastronomy takes place every May.

Frankfurt am Main – to distinguish it from the significantly smaller town of Frankfurt in the state of Brandenburg – is Germany’s thriving business metropolis and according to Alexander Henrich at did deutsch-institut, its impressive skyline has led many to quip that it should be renamed Frankfurt am “Mainhattan”. However, Esther Dohmen from Sprachcaffe Languages Plus says there’s much more to Frankfurt than just towering skyscrapers. “A closer look reveals a metropolis of many charms. The houses are picturesque and many have been restored in the city centre – it can offer many other facets and contrasting variety!” she enthuses. She cites the Römer (a medieval building used as the city hall), Dom Sankt Bartholomaus (a gothic cathedral) and the Alte Oper (the old Opera house) as places of particular interest. The seasons are also said to influence the feel of the city, notes Dohmen. “In spring and summer the banks of the River Main turn into the real heart of the city: the cafés in the area are full of people enjoying the open air performances and the great weather this region is famous for,” she comments.

For nights out, however, Henrich recommends the world famous Cocoon Club or one of the many traditional Apfelwein pubs serving a tart cider commonly produced in the Hesse region.

An hour south of Frankfurt is the city of Heidelberg, made famous by the 1907 discovery of fossilised remains – known as the Heidelberg Man – the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. Team this with romantic baroque-style architecture, the oldest university in Germany and a ruinous castle, its no wonder this city attracts some 3.5 million tourists each year. Tiziana Abegg from F+U Academy of Languages in the city relates that the best place to view the old town is from the other side of the River Neckar. “I really enjoy the breathtaking view you have of the old town standing on the opposite side of the river, especially at sunset in autumn,” she says. “Heidelberg gets the strongest and most fabulous colours you can see in nature, every tree is flame red, golden, warm brown, bright orange… it really is worth it,” she adds.

Heidelberg Castle, dating back to 1214, dominates the surrounding landscape and following its near demolition (the main structure has survived several wars, a couple of fires and two lightening bolts!) only parts of the castle have been fully restored. However, Martine Berthet from Collegium Palatinum says the lesser known Schwetzingen Castle – former residence of electoral palatinates (rulers of the Holy Roman Empire) – is well worth a visit, if just to take in the palatial gardens that include fountains, pavilions and sculptures.

“Munich should be chosen as a place to learn German as it is one of the sunniest cities in Germany and it is the gateway to the Bavarian Alps,” notes Martin Burghart from the Munich branch of did deutsch-institut. Indeed, the city’s close proximity to the Alps makes it a sought-after language destination, notes Dr Jürgen Oehler from EF Internationale Sprachschule. “The proximity to the Alps and a rich cultural life make Munich a year round destination not only for adults, but due to the highest standard of safety and the individual care which host families provide, also for younger students and long term-students,” he observes. He adds that trips to the Deutsches Museum in Munich – Europe’s largest technology and science museum with an array of interactive exhibits – and fantastical Neuschwanstein Castle – home of eccentric King Ludwig II – have proven popular with students at the school. Indeed, Munich, Germany’s third largest city, manages to combine modern sophistication with traditional charm and providers in the region encourage students to get to grips with both customs. Sonja Eberl from inlingua Munich notes that students with a penchant for modern art can stroll around the Pinakothek der Moderne, while Dr Jürgen Oehler asserts that visiting the futuristic Allianz Arena – home ground to the Bavarian capital’s football team Bayern Munich – is a real eye opener.

Brigitta Alkofer from Humboldt Institut – which runs several summer schools all over Germany – relates she finds it difficult to pick her favourite place to visit. “I would probably say that Lake Constance, Germany’s largest lake, is my favourite place as it combines everything I love,” she notes. And she adds that owing to its international locale, with borders with Germany, Austria and Switzerland; the sporting pursuits it affords (sailing, swimming, diving and water-skiing); and the many interesting little towns that hug the waters edge, there is plenty to see and do here. Tina Streck from Carl Duisberg Centren in Radolfzell agrees and divulges the best way to take in the 173km stretch belonging to Germany. “[To see] nice old towns around the lake like Überlingen, Meersburg – the best way is to make a bike trip.”

Agent viewpoint

 “We have a lot of Bangladeshi students who choose Germany for higher study. It is a fairly safe country for students. The standard of higher education in Germany is first rate. Students can get a lot of practical experience during their internships. There are no tuition fees for public universities and the education quality is very high. Most students like to stay in a big city like Berlin because they like to work during their holidays.”
Sumon Taluker, SSBCL, Bangladesh

 “ Berlin is our main German destination and it’s known for being a trendy cultural capital and many students with a creative strike choose it for all it has to offer. Another very attractive aspect of this city is its history. Some students have commented: “it’s like being in a city-sized museum”. Munich is popular among younger students for its university life. The size of the city is quite manageable and it’s great to go around on bicycle and still is full of things to do.”
Sara Torres Moore, Language School Worldwide, Spain

“Germany is our neighbour and we share a lot of history together. Also the trade of both countries is quite connected so many people need German for their job. Munich is a lovely green, pleasant and relaxing city full of cultural and sport activities with the best beer in Germany. Munich is a town, but actually it feels more like a big village. It is full of smiling people who are always very kind and ready to assist visitors.”
Adéla Nováková, Student Agency, Czech Republic

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The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Britannia Student

English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
IALC International  
Perth Education
Quality English  

Travel Solutions

Alphe Conferences  
British Boarding
      Schools Workshops  
Feltom Malta  
IEFT- International
      Education Fairs of
International House
      World Organisation  


Student Guard

Hub and Spoke
      Connections Limited  

Malta Tourism
Perth Education

English Bay College  
Training Partnership
Twin Group
      (Ireland, England,

Ecela - Latin
      (Argentina, Chile,

Ability Education  
Bond University  
English Australia  
Geos Oceania  
      (Australia, New
Language Studies
Pacific Gateway
      International College  
Perth Education City  
      International College   
University of
University of
      Western Sydney

CERAN Lingua
      (Belgium, England,

Access International
      English Language
Bow Valley College  
Camosun College  
College de
      Jonquiere / AQEF  
College of New
East Coast School
      of Languages
Elmwood School  
ELS Language
English Bay College  
English Language
      Training College
English School of
Geos North America  
Global Village  
      (Australia, Canada,
Hansa Language
      Centre of Toronto  
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
       of Canada  
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada  
ITTTI Vancouver  
King George
      International College

Language Studies
National School
      of Languages  
Queen's University  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Saint Mary's
Selkirk College  
Student Guard
University of
YMCA Greater
      International Lang

IH Xi'an  
Mandarin House  

IH Cairo  

ABC Languages  
Ardmore Language
      (UK, USA)  
Bell International 
      (Malta, UK) 
Bury Language
Camp Beaumont  
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
English Studio  
Holme Park  
International House
      World Organisation  
IP International
      Projects GmbH  
      (France, Germany,
      Spain, UK)
Kaplan Aspect 
      (Australia, Canada,
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      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
Kings Colleges
      (Prime Education)  
LAL Language
      and Leisure  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland,
LITE - London
      Institute Of
      Technology And
Malvern House
      College London  
      (Canada, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, UK,
      Ethelburga's College
Shakespeare College
Spinnaker College  
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group 
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
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      South Africa, Spain,
SUL Language
Training Partnership
      Ltd. (The)  
Twin Group 
      (Ireland, UK, USA)
United World
      School of English  
University of
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University of the
      Arts - Language
Wimbledon School
      of English  

Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France  
Education En France  
Institut de Touraine  
SILC - Séjours
      (England, France,

BWS Germanlingua
Carl Duisberg
      Medien GmbH  
      (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin  
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

Centre of English
      Studies (Ireland, UK)
Cork English College
      /Language & Activity

Kai Japanese
      Language School  
      Language School  

      Residential Language
Easy School of
EC English
      Language Centre
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA) 
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

Derzhavin Institute  
Moscow Linguistic
Privet! Russian
      Language School  

EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)
University of Stirling

EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape
      Town- One World
      Language school  
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School of
International House
      Cape Town  
LAL Cape Town  
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  

Colegio Maravillas  
International House -
      Dept de Espanol  
International House
      San Sebastian -
International House
      Sevilla - CLIC  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Idiomas Si, S.L
      (Malaga Si)  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, France,
      Germany, Italy, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      Singapore, South
      Africa, Spain, USA)
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New Zealand,
      Russia, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Domar Travel

Bride English  
ELS Language
Embassy CES  
English Language
Global Immersions
Inlingua Language
inlingua Language
      Service Center,
      Fort Lauderdale 
      Language Institute
      of Massachusetts  
Johnson & Wales
San Diego
      State University  
The Language
University of
University of
      California San Diego  
California State
      University San
University of
      South Florida  
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

Celtic School 

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