Tabea, German Academy Teacher

As Tabea explains, students who attend the Academy are brave, independent learners.

“The students that come here, I always feel they want to be a step ahead of their age class, or age group where they come from, because in the Academy here they have that experience within four weeks that can push them forward. They will benefit so much from it that I think once they return after the summer, they're definitely a step ahead.

“The characteristics of my students are very independent learners, and very brave students, coming into program like this one for weeks, without parents, without an environment that they know, sharing a room with somebody—they basically do the college experience that a lot of college age students do, but they are a lot younger. I think we have 12 year olds, 13 year olds students here. And they come and they go on this experience, to have an experience, four weeks, and then full immersion into a language that some students don't even know yet.

“The Language Pledge® that we have here gives the students this frame. Because on Monday night, when it starts, students are sometimes a little bit shocked and overwhelmed. Oh, now it really starts? I have to speak 100% just in that language? Those are usually the most exciting students—to see how much they grow, and what they can do at the end, something that they couldn't do it at the beginning. And then also for the advanced students; when they come, their German is quite impressive I always like to have the registration desk, at the check in station. And then I greet them always in German and then I'll see what will come back. And some are super comfortable right away, and others are like, Uh, English, please. Well, yeah, sure, sure, no problem. But how much they grow in the end? That that's really exciting. The mix is great. If we just had beginners or just advanced students that wouldn't be that great.”