German Pupil Courses: Berlin 2018

12 teenagers from the UK spent two weeks on the German Pupil Course 2018 in the capital of Berlin. They stayed with German host families, went to a German school and enjoyed various trips and activities. Here you can read about their experiences.

Exploring the Hauptstadt through history, cooking courses and family bike rides!

I went on the German Pupil Course to Berlin and spent 10 days exploring this wonderful culture-filled city with a group of other students from all over Britain. We visited so many interesting historical locations on our city tour of Berlin (and later on our trip to Potsdam). This included Checkpoint Charlie, the memorial for Jews who lost their lives in concentration camps, the Humboldt University, the Brandenburg gate and numerous buildings exhibiting the nuances of different architectural styles from Berlin’s history. Carol

One of my favourite outings was doing an escape room with the other British students (they were also really friendly and we all got along extremely well). Another favourite memory of mine was when we went to Badeschiff, a swimming pool that is actually in the River Spree. It was one of the warmest days of our stay so it was very refreshing! I also found that in the twelve days we were there, my German improved impressively and I now feel a lot more confident speaking German. Abigail

Nach der Schule zeigte mir meine Gastschwester ihre Lieblingsorte in Berlin und gab mir einzigartige Aspekte der Stadt. Es endete oft damit, etwas Köstliches zu essen – mein Lieblingsessen war entweder Käsespätzle aus der Markthalle Neun am ,,Streetfood Thursday’’ oder Döner. Auf ähnliche Weise hat mir der Kochkurs in Neukölln sehr gefallen, wo wir klassische deutsche Gerichte gekocht haben. Millicent

Wir haben viel über die Welt der Arbeit in Berlin und das Schulsystem gelernt. Es hat Spaß gemacht als wir einen Kochkurs gemacht haben. Ich habe sogar Weihnachtsengel und Sterne mit meiner Gastmutter gebastelt. Wir haben den Geburtstag der jüngeren Schwester am See gefeiert und Stand-Up Paddling gemacht. Ich habe die Großeltern getroffen und wir haben Kuchen gegessen. Am Wochenende sind wir ins Museum gegangen! Ich habe auch eine Fahrradtour durch den Grunewald gemacht - das war schön. Sofia

Connections with host families

Staying with such a welcoming host family allowed me to feel at home very easily and I got to see the city from their perspective by going to school with them and doing activities as a family. Abigail

The connection I made with my host family was really special. The immersion into their daily routine brought all my academic learning of the language into practice. I gained a fresh perspective of what it is to live in Berlin, without solely visiting the tourist attractions; for example, I swam in lakes, went cycling and even made Christmas decorations with my Gastmutter. Sofia

I really enjoyed being able to spend time with my host family and really get to know them. I spent the weekend in the outskirts of Dresden, visiting the extended relatives of my host family, and whilst it was fast-paced in terms of language it was truly wonderful to be able to feel so connected with people whilst in a foreign country. Carol

German school life and the world of work

Our time was divided into lessons at a German school, outings with the British students and time spent with our host families. Many of our lessons were spent in classrooms at the school which our host brothers and sisters attended - the Rückert-Gymnasium which is a bilingual French-German school. It was a beautiful old West-German school building and looked nothing like any other school I had seen in the UK. As well as having our own lessons to refresh our grammar knowledge, we also went into lessons with our host siblings and even helped lead a sports lesson in English and German for younger students. Yasmin

The overarching focus of our trip was to learn more about the careers and further education possibilities in Berlin. We learnt about the German school and university process, including useful information such as student funding and the differences between German and British universities. There were also numerous excursions to centres offering training and apprenticeships, such as BVG, Berlin’s equivalent of Transport For London. Carol

Life-changing experiences

It’s really tough to summarise my time on the UK-German pupil course. From the bond that I formed with my wonderful host family, to the friendships I made with the other British students, I would say - without exaggeration - that it was a life-changing experience. Yasmin

My German Pupil Course in Berlin has genuinely changed who I am today and really made it clear to me that I want to study German at University and live in Germany in the future. Sofia

Ingesamt war die Reise eine fantastische Erfahrung und ich habe mich mit so vielen deutschen Studenten angefreundet! Jetzt bin ich motivert, Deutsch an der Universität zu studieren. Millicent

I cannot recommend this programme enough; it has really improved my German, helped my self-confidence and was really great fun. Yasmin

I feel I gained a lot from this trip, both in terms of improvement of language skills and in terms of increasing my cultural understanding. Carol


A snippet from Abigail's photo collage showing her Berlin experiences


Participants exploring the city...