Getting an Early Start: 4 Steps to Prepare Your Child for Germany

As more and more families become aware of the advantages of studying in Germany, students of all ages are starting to add it to their long-term plans. Here are our tips to help you start preparing your child for a future in Germany. 

1. Learn German!

Most major cities in America have at least one German language immersion program at the elementary, middle or high school school level today. These programs allow students to take their core curriculum in German and develop a deep understanding of the language from a young age. The five German International Schools, which are accredited by the German government through the ZfA, also provide students with the opportunity to graduate with the German Abitur, enabling them to enter German universities directly out of high school. 

If this isn't a route you'd like to take, there are also German language schools across the country that offer weekly courses in small groups. 

Know of any language schools we should add to our list? Let us know!

Alaska
Otto Geist German Saturday School Anchorage

Arizona
International School of Arizona

California
Bay Area Kinderstube
Deutsche Sprachschule Berkeley
The German School of Fremont
Deutsche Samstagsschule at GISSV
German School of Marin
German School of the East Bay
German American School of Palo Alto
German School of the San Ramon Valley
German School of San Francisco
South Bay Deutscher Schulverein
Kigala Preschool at YMCA St. Monica
German American School Association
German Pacific School San Diego

Colorado
Schulhaus Denver

Connecticut
German School of Connecticut

Delaware
Delaware Saengerbund Deutsche Schule

Florida
German School of Ft. Lauderdale
German School of Tallahassee

Georgia
German School of Atlanta

Illinois
DANK Northern Suburbs (Arlington Heights)
DANK School - Chicago North
DANK School - Chicago South
DANK Haus - German American Cultural Center
German Language School of the Danube-Swabians
German Language School of Naperville
DANK Northern Suburbs (Palatine)

Indiana
German American Klub of Indianapolis
Indianapolis Language Center
German Connect, Zionsville

Kansas
German School of Northeast Kansas

Massachusetts
German Saturday School Boston

Maryland
German Language School Zion Lutheran Church
Sprachschule der DS Washington

Michigan
Deutsche Schule Ann Arbor
Sanne's German Works
German Language Center Bloomfield Hills
Deutsche Sprachschule Bloomfield
Deutsche Sprachschule Metro Detroit
German Language School of West Michigan

Missouri
German School Association of St. Louis

North Carolina
Deutsche Schule Charlotte

New Jersey
German School of Monmouth County
German Language School of Morris County
Deutsche Sprachschule Inc.
Deutsche Sprachschule of Central Jersey
German Language School Westwood

New York
Kinderhaus Brooklyn
German Language School Long Island
Deutsche Sprachschule NY at the United Nations
Deutsches Haus at NYU
German Language School NY
German American School (4 locations)
German Language School White Plains
German School of Brooklyn

Ohio
German Language School Cleveland
German Language School Columbus (DANK)

Oregon
Sophie Scholl Schule
The German Saturday School of Portland

Pennsylvania
DonauSchule
Immanuel German Language School

South Carolina
Deutsche Schule Spartanburg

Tennessee
German Saturday School of Knoxville

Texas
Deutsche Samstagschule Austin
Dallas Goethe Center
Deutsche Samstagschule Houston
Kinderspiel
The German School of Dallas

Washington
ABC German School Bellevue
Eastside German Language School
ABC German School Sammamish
German Language School for Children
Tacoma German Language School

Wisconsin
Shorewood Elementary School
Deutsche Schule Milwaukee

 

2. Enjoy German Culture!

More Americans still claim German heritage than any other, with over 50 million in total. That means that no matter where you live, opportunities to experience German culture are never far away. Instead of shelling out the thousands of dollars to fly to Europe, find the nearest German-American group and check out their events. This is a great way to give your child a sense of what German culture is all about, and will help to prepare them for life in Germany.

Our German-American Cultural Calendar is a great way to find events that are happening in your area. Every season has a celebration, Maifests in the spring, to Germanfests in the summer, Oktoberfests in the fall, and Christkindl Markets in the winter. Many of these events are also family friendly, and a great way to get your family acquainted with German culture.

 

3. Dine Out at German Restaurants!

Nearly every city in America has at least one German restaurant, and larger cities often even have German bakeries and butcher shops. Food is one of the best ways to engage with a culture, and German food tends to be very kid-friendly. The German Girl in America blog has a great overview by state and city of German restaurants, bakeries and butcher shops that you can visit to share a German culinary experience with your family. 

Prefer to cook yourself? There are hundreds of fantastic blogs online with German recipes that you can try out at home.

Our favorites are:

 

4. Watch German TV and Movies!

YouTube has made many German TV shows available to the world, and it's now possible to watch a large number of TV shows for free online. Sesame Street has a version in German featuring many of the same characters, and Disney songs auf Deutsch are a great way to practice with your kids. Once they get a little older, the Asterix und Obelix movies from the '60s and '70s are a great alternative to Bugs Bunny.

For older kids, German TV and movies are a great way to broaden their knowledge of the language, culture, and history of Germany. FluentU has a great overview of all the places you can find current German TV online for streaming, and keep up on the latest releases in your local art house for current German cinema

 

Have some questions for us about anything from this post? Thoughts on something you read? Contact us or leave a comment below. We're always happy to get your feedback and questions!