Austrian Schools

Forum about family life in Vienna - bringing up toddlers, children, teens, associated bureaucracy...
julie7
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Austrian Schools

Post by julie7 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:00 am

Hello..
We're moving to Vienna in next few months. Currently living in Asia, we're native English speakers and would like enroll our 4 children in the local school system. As of yet, they speak no German.

A few questions:
1) Is it difficult for international students to enroll in local schools? (classes full, etc.)
2) Do schools offer something like English as a Second Language, but for German?! Something to facilitate the transition?
3) Any district or area that might be a good option for us?

Don't want to do international schools or bi-lingual...

Thanks,
Julie



cris
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by cris » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:25 am

Hi, Julie! I was in the same situation few months ago.
1) If you want a local school, it is not any problem. You need to go at Schulerat (in your district) with some paper and they recommend you the closer school from your address. Or, if you find a school, go and talk with the manager and she/he will tell you the next steps. The private, bilingual or international schools are full and you need to book a place with one - two years in advance. The same problem with kindergarten.
2) The local school has only one English class per week. We are not native English or German speakers. Our daughter studied last 2 years in an American School in other country, but the English class is very, very easy. You need to work in private for English. They don't have in school something like Intensive German for kids like ours. They have one class per week with a teacher who helps the kid, nothing else. But, in my daughter school there are few classes with 2 teachers. Here isn't common to have 2 teachers in the same room. One teacher spends more time with my daughter and explains her in English. But we was lucky, the class has only 17 kids and 2 wonderful teachers. There a lot of school for emigrants’ integration where you can find German/English programs.
3) I understood there are few not so nice districts. Actually, all Vienna is safe. At this point maybe other people with more experience will answer. We heard about 10, 11, 12, 16… are not so nice. But everything is relative. We saw a lot of nice places inside these districts. We were directed to a district where to find English speaking children.
Here you have a very good site: http://www.wien.gv.at/english/ with correct information.
If you can, I will recommend you to try to teach the kids few elementary words in German in these months before relocation.
If you need other information, feel free to ask.
I wish you an easy relocation and a nice accommodation. Vienna is a very beautiful city.

ik103
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by ik103 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:39 pm

Hi Julie
We are in a very similar position to you. Not having yet moved to Vienna we are not experts, but I have gathered the following information/tips from various sources:

1) I don't get the impression the regular schools are full or closed to international students.

2) If Kindergarten is of interest then be aware, as Cris said, that places are in great demand. However, if you are willing to pay a small amount to attend a private Kindergarten you have a better chance of getting a place even mid-year

3) There is a program to promote German among Kindergarten kids where they get special help (Sprachförderung) in the last year of KG or first year of primary school (in a Vorschulklasse). Lots of schools seem to have speech therapists at hand (Sprachheillehrer/in)

4) Some schools are not part of the bilingual system but offer more English than usual (GEPS schools in Vienna). Others (including around Vienna) offer Englisch als Arbeitsprache (English as a working language), i.e. again focus on English, often from year 1. There are also regular secondary schools that tend to have plenty of foreign students and offer a stream with some classes through English. I'm curious to know why you have ruled out the (free) bilingual system per se ? We visited one VBS school and were impressed (although it wouldn't work for us because it's not near where we want to live)

5) We had a tour with a relocation consultant and decided on that basis we wanted to be out of the city (but not too far) to have more space and a garden. However, coming from Asia you may have other expectations - were you thinking of an apartment or a house, to rent or to buy ? And what sort of budget ?

julie7
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by julie7 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi!

Thanks for your replies and help! I'm preparing for our visit and appreciate all your information on the different school options. I now plan on looking at bilingual schools, too.

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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by jingmei » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:34 pm

Julie, IK103 and Cris,

I would love to hear what you decided to do. We made a last minute move here in late August and put my 11 and 13 year old in the alternative school at the WUK. We wanted to give them time to adjust to the culture and improve their German before throwing them into gymnasium. The school is nice, but costs$$ and is more relaxed than my kids prefer. We have visited a couple of schools around the 8th (where we live) and will apply to 2 of them, but I would love to hear how the process worked for others and how their kids responded.

Also, my 3 1/2 yr old is in kindergarten, but some parents have asked me if we have started looking at schools since he will start in 2014. Does anyone know if that is really necessary? Can't we just go to the local school?

Thanks, HM

milaua
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by milaua » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:24 am

Hello, I know it's an older post but when exactly children in Austria start 1st grade? I have a 5 year old daughter, she will be 6 in October 1st. From what I read online it seems as she might be able to go to 1st grade BUT she doesn't speak German, fluent in English and Russian though, can read well and write some. Thank you!

ilias1
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by ilias1 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:17 am

Interesting forum! Thanks for providing informative blog post about pre-school. We are thinking to enroll our child in Phoenix kindergarten, but we want to know more information about best Phoenix kindergarten school. Please recommend us any website where we can get reliable post!!

daria19 Australia
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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by daria19 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:01 am

I have just moved to Australia from UK with my family and wondering which school will be good for my kid. I think one of international schools will a good choice.

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Re: Austrian Schools

Post by morgenhund » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:34 pm

daria19 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:01 am
I have just moved to Australia from UK with my family and wondering which school will be good for my kid. I think one of international schools will a good choice.
Can we check whether you mean Austria or Australia?

What part of Vienna are you in and what age is your child?
Vienna is like an Ikea sofa - you know you should upgrade, but why bother when it is this comfortable.

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