Tag Archives: German language immersion

The 2017 German Language Summer Camp Guide for California

Summer is approaching faster than we all would like to acknowledge it. And here we are, once again, trying to find the perfect camp and other summer activities that will save our kids from ‘extensive boredom syndrome’ during these hot summer days…

If you were planning on having your son or daughter attend a camp that will provide not only fun but will also stimulate their intellect – A foreign language immersion camp might just be the perfect pick!

In the following find a compilation of some German Language Camps up and down the coast of California. They all offer a great variety of fun activities along with German language immersion.



STEM Summer Day Camp 2017 at GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach

Back by popular request is the STEM science camp in Newport Beach at the beautiful location at the Newport Seabase right along the waters of the Newport Bay. Children will enjoy a whole week of fun learning about “Feuer-Wasser-Erde-Luft” (Fire-Water-Earth-Air) while taking full advantage of the beautiful location and undertaking an excursion on a pontoon boat and trying out little motorboats. Fun is the top priority at the GermanSchoolCampus summer camp at the sea!

Classes are open to all children 6-17 years of age. Children can be pure beginners of the German language since all parts of the camp will be conducted bilingually and the German language is introduced throughout in a playful way.

Camp Dates : One week ONLY – Monday July 3 – Saturday July 8, 2017 from 8:30-4:30 (with no class on 4th of July)

No prior knowledge of the German language is necessary!

Contact: 949-285-0829 – Frau Schoeneich- School Director

Camera, Lights, Action – Summer Camps for kids at GPSSD in San Diego

GPSSD San Diego offers four fun weeks of German language summer camps with themes like Zeitreisen (Time Travel), Camera, Lights, Action…, Trolls and Tournaments. The camps are open to all children 4-14 years of age.

Camp Dates: June 26 -July 21, 2017 from 9am-3pm (extended care possible)

Contact: (858) 461-9118 or germanpacificschool@gmail.com



German language classes + art, music, science, sports, cooking and more!

The GISSV Saturday School is excited to once again offer a German Immersion Summer Camp. Our combination of morning language classes and engaging afternoon activities offers a unique opportunity for kids to learn and play in German!

The German Immersion Summer Camp is for children ages 6-16. Prior knowledge of German is not required. Langauge classes are offered each day of camp from 9am-noon. Afternoons are packed with interesting, fun and physical activities ranging from art to soccer to science, cooking, yoga and music. Responding to popular request, we will also offer a KinderCamp for ages 4-5. KinderCamp will follow its own curriculum in our Kindergarten classrooms. Prior knowledge of German is not required.

Camp Dates: June 19 – July 14, 2017 , from 9am-4pm (Extended care is available for a maximum day from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm)

Contact: office@gissv.org or (650) 254-0748


“Stein, Schere, Papier” – German Summer Camp 2017 at Bay Area Kinderstube in Berkeley (NorCal)

Bay Area Kinderstube offers four weeks of a full-immersion German summer camp at Berkwood Hedge campus, 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (one block west of Berkeley High). Beautiful Berkwood Hedge campus in Berkeley has spacious classrooms and a great outdoor space. The camp is for children ages 3-13.

The curriculum is hands-on and includes singing, playing, acting, history, music, cooking, arts and crafts, field trips and many outdoor activities. Each age group is led by a native German teacher with experience in instructing various levels. The teachers will be supported by assistants, many of whom are former campers themselves. Because our camp is full immersion, it is best-suited for children with at least basic understanding skills in German. Counselor-in-Training program for 8th grade and up.

Camp Dates: July 17–August 11, Mon-Fri 9am-3pm (Extended care available form 3pm-6pm)

Contact: Heike Feltes at sommerschule@kinderstube.org or at (510)525-1310


Nature, Creativity, Language – Summer Camp at WAnderKindSchool in Glendale 

Two amazing summer camps are scheduled for this summer. In June we will do two weeks of FORREST SCHOOL CAMP packed with outdoor fun and adventure. In July you can sign up for GERMAN LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMP to playfully learn and improve a second language. Preschoolers join us in the mornings and Elementary Student (up to age 9) come in the afternoon.

Camp Dates:  June 19-23 & 26-30 “Forrest School Camp”,  and July 10-14 & July 17-21 “German Langauge Immersion Camp” (extended care is available upon request) Different Times for Preschoolers & elementary students.

Contact: wanderkindschool@gmail.com or 415-812-6675


Summer Camp with GASA (SOCAL)

GASA will host their yearly overnight camp at the
beautiful Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
Swimming, hiking, zip-lining. A 136 ft. water slide, ‘smores by
the campfire, singing and dancing as well as fishing, baking, sports,
games and crafts, plus a special visit to a nearby zoo will be part of the fun! All activities will be conducted in German.

Camp Dates: June 25 – June 30, 2017

Contact: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org


Summer Camp at GASPA (NorCal)

GASPA will offer a 4-week German summer camp for children at the location of Alto International School Campus (formerly GAIS) at 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park 94025. The camp is open to all children from ages 3-12 & 12-14. There is no prior German language knowledge required.

Camp Dates: June 19th – July14th 2017  from 9am-2pm (extended care is available) No Camp on Tuesday, July 4th

Contact: 650.520.3646 or contact@gaspa-ca.org


Image: Courtesy of GermanSchoolCampus.com



New Language Immersion School in Glendale to Open Fall 2017


In fall 2017 a new language immersion school is planning to open its doors in the Los Angeles area. 

International Studies Language Academy (www.islaca.org), a new charter school in Glendale, will have an:

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (K-5) that will offer immersion (90/10 model) in French, German, Italian and Spanish. All grades K-5 will be open to all students, regardless of language skills – no prior knowledge of the target language is required.
The MIDDLE SCHOOL will have two tracks. A Continued Immersion track will be open to students already fluent in their target language (25/75 model). An Acquisition track will be open to students with no prior knowledge of the target language (25/75 model), giving them an opportunity to become fluent in their target language by high-school.

The program of the school is designed according to the International Baccalaureate framework and is furthermore supported by the school’s affiliation with the International Studies Charter School in Miami, which is ranked #1 among charter schools in Florida.

The State has already approved the new immersion school to have its location in Glendale. The actual school building will be in Southern Glendale and is still in the process of being negotiated. The school model, similar to Benjamin Franklin Magnet School in Glendale, will also offer 6-8 grades, so that the students can continue their immersion education in German (and other languages) throughout middle school. In 2018, the board is planning to file a petition for a Language Immersion High School as well.

If you are interested in the school and would like to find out more, please visit the future school’s website at www.islaca.org . Questions can also be sent to info@isla.ca.org . 


Image Credit: ISLA




German Language Immersion in the Summer – German Summer Camps In CA

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool

Spring is just starting today and we are already  talking summer! In fact now is the perfect time to think about a camp that your child will not only enjoy but that will help him/her strengthen his German language skills during summer!

Growing up in a multilingual family offers many advantages, but often it can also be challenging, especially in regards to the second language, the language that is not spoken as frequently. To help your child with this process experts recommend to find different ways to get him/her immersed into the non-dominant language as often as possible. This gives the child the opportunity to connect to that language and become more familiar with its usage as well as its particular culture.

In the case of many CaliforniaGermans this ‘second’ language is German. Once children are in school they speak English for most of the day. Back home again they might hear some German, and if lucky also speak some German with their mother or father.

Spend Summer in California Attending a German Immersion Camp

Many expat families plan on going back  home to Germany, Austria or Switzerland during the summer months to visit family. This of course proofs to be the perfect solution for giving your children a firsthand experience and immersion into the German language and culture. But that’s of course a perfect scenario.  What if work or other factors don’t allow for a European vacation?

Wouldn’t a German language camp in somewhat close vicinity to your home in CA be a great alternative for your child to still benefit from speaking, hearing and learning German all day long for the duration of a fun summer camp?

That’s exactly what we thought and put together this compilation of German Language Immersion Summer Camps throughout California. We hope you find the perfect one for your child and would love to get your feedback on your experience.

German Immersion Summer Camps for Children in California.

Southern California offers camps in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Big Bear. Northern California has camps in Oakland, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Berkeley.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool

Southern California:

Big Bear – (offered through the German-American School Association of SoCal) 7 Days German Immersion Overnight Camp

  • Dates: 23 June – 29 June, 2013
  • Minimum age: 7 years
  • Fun Activities include: archery, swimming, rock climbing, nature hikes, baking & much more.
  • All activities are in German
  • Cost: $575.00
  • Location: Presbyterian Conference Center, Big Bear
  • Contact: Email for enrollment forms, gasa54@aol.com

Los Angeles – (offered by Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool – Regenbogen Kindergarten )    – Spiel, Spass und Sommer-Aktivitäten  –

San Diego – (offered by Enrichment4Kids3 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: July 29th-2nd;  Session 2: Aug 5th-9th;  Session 3: Aug 19th-23rd
  • Age Groups: Pre-K to Elementary Age
  • Activities: “Enrichment for the Head, Heart and Body”. Math & reading, both in German will be taught for the first 3 hours each day before activities like swimming, piano, field sports, tumbling, skateboarding, etc.
  • Cost: Call for info
  • Contact: Kimberley@ReCenter.org
  • Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/Enrichment4Kids?ref=ts&fref=ts

Northern California:

Oakland – (Organized by BAKS plus2 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: June 17th-28th; Session 2: July 1st -12th
  • Age Groups: 4-14 years
  • Activities: Session 1 – ”Wer waren die alten Germanen? – Who were the Germanic tribes?   Session 2  – “Klaus Stoertebeker & CO. – A Pirate’s Life for Me! “
  • The whole program is in German Immersion. Prior knowledge of German is advisable.
  • Hours: Sessions run from 9-1pm daily. Extended Care is available until 5pm
  • Cost: Session 1 – $400; Session 2 – $360 (Discounts available for siblings, Combination of session 1 & 2, and early bird sign ups )
  • Location: Archway Lower School, 250 41st Street, Oakland, CA 94611
  • Contact: sommerschule@kinderstube.org
  • Website:http://www.kinderstube.org/plus/plusprogram.html#summercamp

Menlo Park – (organized by GASPA-German American School of Palo Alto)     One 4-week full immersion summer camp session .                                    “Gedanken in den Wolken…Füsse im Matsch!”

  • Dates:  One session from June 24th – July 19th, 2013 (9am- 2pm Mo-Fri; extended time 2-6pm available)
  • Age Groups: 3-12 years ( no prior language knowledge required!)
  • Activities: music, art, cooking, crafts, sports games, dancing & much more
  • Cost: Early bird – $995 and Regular – $1095
  • Location: GAIS School Campus, 275 Elliot Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94303
  • Contact: office@gaspa-ca.org;
  • Website: http://www.gaspa-ca.org/summer-school-program/overview
  • Note: Earl Bird Tuition valid through March 31st & non-refundable $150 registration fee for all registrations per child!

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley offers German Summer Camps in 3 different locations in NoCal: San Francisco, Berkeley & Mountain View. ( www.gissv.org/summerprogram )

San Francisco – (Organized by GISSV – 4 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 12th 2013 (Four sessions)
  • Ages: 4.9 -7 years
  • Activities: Indoor & Outdoor Adventures. Per session children will discover one of the four elements, air, earth, fire & water.
  • Hours: 9am-4pm
  • Cost: $395/Full Day Session
  • LocationSan Francisco Campus, 4 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129
  • Contact: office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram

Berkeley – (Organized by GISSV – 5 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 19th 2013
  • Ages: 3-6 and 7-12
  • Activities: Explore the world with topics like Ocean, Circus, Space, and Fairy Tales from Around the World!
  • Hours: 9am-2pm
  • Cost: $247/Half Day Session
  • Location: Berkeley Campus, 1581 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram

Mountain View – (Organized by GISSV – 4 sessions available)

  • Dates: June 24, 2013 to July 19, 2013
  • Ages: Ages 3-4, ages 5-14, and adult classes
  • Activities: Students will be exposed to German throughout the day. Music, Art, Art History, Soccer, Basketball and much more. For further information on our program
  • Hours: 9am – 12pm/ Half day, Afternoon activities available from 12pm – 4pm
  • Cost: $375 – $750
  • Location:  Mountain View Campus, 310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram
  • SPECIAL Website: http://www.gissv.org/podium/default.aspx?t=151553&rc=0


Related Articles:

Hilfe, mein Kind spricht Kauderwelsch! – http://www.bibernetz.de/wws/interview-rosemarie-tracy.php

Wie lernen Kleinkinder sprechen? Prof. Rosemarie Tracy, Sprachwissenschaftlerin an der Universität Mannheim, im Interview mit Leslie Rowe über Spracherwerb und Mehrsprachigkeit – http://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/sendungen/radiowissen/gespraech-rosemarie-tracy-100.html

German Schools in California – Plan Ahead for School Year 2013/14

German Schools in CALifornia – Send in your Application 

As the new year kicks off many schools are starting their application processes or are already in the midst of it. Language Immersion Schools are very sought after these days and its advisable to send in your application as soon as possible, or at least get your name on the waiting list.  If you have in mind for your child to attend a German language immersion school make sure you find out if there is a separate application procedure for native speakers.

At some immersion schools native speakers might have a slight advantage and a better chance to get a space since the school needs to have a certain percentage of  native speakers to offer a well-functioning language immersion program.

Apart from January’s application season many schools host also open houses for parents and students to check out their program and to see if it’s the right choice for them.

A Language Magnet School in Glendale

It’s nice to see that some parent groups are really active out there and engaged to keep German language programs going. One of these schools that can call itself lucky to have such an engaged parent volunteer body is the Franklin Magnet School in Glendale.

Franklin Magnet School – The International Foreign Language Academy of25 Glendale is offering several language immersion programs, German is one of them. Before the holidays the school had the honor of  German Deputy Consul General Stefan Biedermann visiting the students and presenting them with a check of nearly $6000 to support the German language program.

Anyone who is interested in applying to Franklin Magnet School’s immersion program is advised to send in applications immediately. The cut off date is January 25 at 4:30pm.

IF YOUR CHILD SPEAKS GERMAN, SCHEDULE A TIME FOR THE EXAM! WHERE: GUSD Magnet Office at 223 N. Jackson St., Glendale, CA 91206, PH:(818) 241-3111 ext 649.

For more information on the school and the application process see the following links:
Main GUSD Magnet Page: gusdelementarymagnet.org
Direct link to the application page: gusdmagnetandflag.com
Applications MUST be RECEIVED by the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD)  by January 25 at 4:30 p.m. !


California’s Southland

Orange County International Academy  (OCI Academy) in Ladera Ranch has been introduced in our previous article on German Schools in CA. The school opened its doors not too long ago, and because of the high demand in its various immersion programs established a popular German immersion program in South County for grades Pre-K to K.

On January 7th  and 12th, 2013 from 10pm-1pm  OCI Academy’s Open House invites parents and students to check out the school and its academic program. Parents can meet the teachers, find out more about the curriculum and tour the school.  For questions please call the school at (949)-545-7487

The Albert Einstein Academies in San Diego had announced that the lottery process for applying to their school’s K – 8 grade has already started. The application deadline for K-5 is Feb 28, 2013 but for grades 6-8 it is already Jan 31, 2013. More information about the application procedure can be found at www.aeacs.org . Middle school has its new separate website at http://aeacms.org

Northern California Schools

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley offering a bilingual education from Preschool to University opened up a new campus in November 2012. The historic Hillside School of Berkeley became the school’s 3rd campus in the San Francisco Area. GISSV, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges” (WASC), offers the German International Abitur (DIAP), and the CA High School Diploma, which qualifies students for acceptance into European and American universities.

noname“The GISSV Berkeley campus, currently housing a mixed-age Kindergarten and grades 1 through 5, to be extended through grade 8 over time, is honored to make its permanent East Bay home in Berkeley.” The Grand Opening  Ceremonies were quite impressive with theGISSV Orchestra, performing “Music for the Royal Fireworks” by George Frideric Handel.

The Following Open House Dates for GISSV are offered:
Berkeley Campus, Preschool and Grades K-6
Upcoming Open House:
January 12, 2013 – 11am to 1pm
San Francisco Campus, Grades K-3
Group School Tours:
Every Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:30am during our enrollment season. Please contact admissions@gissv.org to register (registration required).
Upcoming tour dates for 2012/2013:
January 8 / January 15

The German American International Schools (GAIS), another German immersion School in Silicon Valley which offers preschool through 8th grade,  has an information night on all sections of the school on January 8th at 8pm . The deadline to apply to the German American International School is already on Jan 14, 2013 (for new students only). To read their latest news, check out their online magazine .   

It’s Time for School – German Preschools in California

As my older son is preparing to going back to university and all of us are getting ready for our last trip this summer to drop him off in northern California, I realize another summer has come to an end!   It’s ‘Back to School‘ for so many children in California! While my eight year old still has a few weeks left to enjoy the beaches before his new school year starts, many California school districts are starting their new school year already this week.

For many students a new year just means moving up to a higher grade, but for some of the youngest ones it means starting a completely new stage of life as they prepare for their first day of elementary school!

This made us take a look at some of the German preschools & Kindergarten available in California.

Last year we had introduced BAKS, the Bay Area Kinderstube with an interview of its director Sybille Cohen. It is a full immersion German language preschool that started out as a parent initiative in 1994 and became a private preschool in 1997. BAKS is a very charming pre-school in a quiet neighborhood in Albany right next to Berkeley. It is the perfect place to send your little ones to slowly ease them into a new way of life – the life of a student. The school feels like a home away from home with an inviting playground and yard where the children grow plants and have a lot of space to run around. At BAKS children enjoy a lot of different activities while ‘living the German language’ through reading, singing, doing arts, nature explorations and also cooking and baking together with the teachers. Since last year the children are even offered martial art lessons and yoga. BAKS is for children 2.5  to 5 years old. Many children who have started at BAKS continue their German school education at the Berkeley campus of the GISSV (German International Schools of Silicon Valley).

BAKS has grown very popular over the last few years and it is advisable to put your name on the waiting list early on.

Across the Bay one can find three German immersion pre-schools

One is KinderHaus right in San Francisco. Similar to BAKS it is a smaller preschool but is run as a parent co-op. KinderHaus, a German international preschool, started out in 2005 and is located in the heart of the Mission District. The school follows the Piaget’s approach to childhood eduction. “This developmentally appropriate program is based on children’s intellectual, social, and physical needs and designed to encourage child-initiated learning activities within a supportive environment.” (Kinderhaus) . To learn more about KinderHaus visit them at their next Open House on Saturday October 15th from 10:00am – 12:00pm.

The other two preschools are part of the two international schools, which are both located in Silicon Valley. One in Mountain View , the other in Menlo Park.

The German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV) has campuses in 3 different locations. Bilingual preschool programs are offered at both, the Mountain View and the Berkeley campuses, but only the main campus in Mountain View features the programs preschool through High School (GISSV is the only school offering a High School Diploma as well as the German Abitur on the West Coast). “The language concept of the GISSV Kindergarten and Preschool is based on the Principle of the Dual Immersion Method… [This ] offers the children an effortless, natural language acquisition in both languages.” (GISSV website)

The German American International School in Menlo Park offers a preschool and the grades 1 through 8. While GISSV’s focus lays on a dual immersion program, GAIS concentrates on a German language immersion program . The school is a certified IB (International Baccalaureate)  school offering the “Primary Years IB programme” from preschool on. “The content of our academic curriculum from preschool trough grade 8 compares to the California, German, and Swiss standards.” (GAIS website)

Preschools in Los Angeles County 

Going south we find two preschools with German language immersion programs.  Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool is a small quaint preschool with a very central location in L.A. The school has a daily program for up to 12 children in a mixed age group from 2 1/2 years old to Kindergarten age. Kigala Preschool in Santa Monica on the other hand is a much bigger preschool in comparison offering children not only German language immersion but also Spanish immersion programs. Parents can enroll their potty trained toddlers in morning, afternoon, and also full day sessions.

German Preschools beyond Los Angeles

As we move more south along the coast it seems German schools have become more scarce. Orange County for example has no dedicated German language immersion preschools or elementary schools despite a quite extensive local German community. The closest one can get to finding some German infused education is Anneliese School with its three campuses in Laguna Beach. Here children are exposed to a variety of languages from preschool on and receive formalized instruction in both, German and Spanish, from Kindergarten through sixth grade.

A fairly new school in Orange County that we just have learned about is OCI Academy (Orange County International Academy) in Ladera Ranch, which offers language immersion programs for children ages 2-9 in six different languages including German.

San Diego as our last destination on our search for German preschools has one full German language immersion preschool called Die Rasselbande. Founded in 2003 with only 12 children the school has grown into serving over 80 students to date. There are five preschool classes grouped by age and one mixed age class to choose from. The school follows a play-based program that nurtures the whole child. The language during school operation (9am-2pm) is exclusively German. Many children who went through the program of ‘Die Rasselbande’ continue their German school education at the Albert Einstein Academies, a German immersion elementary school (K-8) that CaliforniaGermans had portrayed in July.

‘Schultüten’ – Following a German tradition

A Geman tradition is to celebrate your child’s first day of elementary school with a ‘Schultüte’ . This day marks the transition from playful preschool days into the structured life of elementary school education and beyond.

CaliforniaGermans wants to celebrate this special day with you and teamed up with KinderCone, the first company to introduce this German tradition to America through a line of custom designed Schultüten called KinderCones.

Check out CaliforniaGermans Facebook page to find out how you can win one of three KinderCone First Grade Editions sponsored by KinderCone.