Hamburg, Germany

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By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Hamburg, Germany: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do expats find most challenging?

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"Becoming friends with people is seemingly difficult. Also mannerisms and conversation topics are much different and difficult to adjust to," said another expat in Hamburg.

"Rigid social fences, lack of ambition among working class, rigid respect of rules that drives to lack of proactivity and creative thinking," added another person living in Hamburg.

What are the schools in Hamburg like?

Live in Hamburg? Answer this Question

"If you want a great international school, this is not the one for you. Go to a different city if you can. For the cost paid at this school, one would expect a very high quality. But, before IB program in grades 11-12, the educational quality is quite average. Additionally, there are no programs or activities for advanced or gifted students. Help is provided for non-native English speaking students. In addition, tuition does NOT include field trips or class trips, all of which are out of pocket. For a such a small school, there is certainly an attitude of "we only do it this way; if you don't like it, too bad for you." For the price of going to this school (one of the highest in Germany), one would expect a bit more flexibility. But, it appears that the end product is not individualized learning but every student on the same schedule and path," said another parent with children at International School Hamburg in Hamburg.

"Some teachers in this school are excellent; passionate, determined, supportive and positive. There are unfortunately some, who seem to lack involvement. The quality of education is therefore dependent upon the teacher the child receives. If the parent is planning on financing the school himself, it might make more sense to find something cheaper or a public school. As much as I consider the school's international spirit wonderful, the quality of education is rather inferior. From what I have learned, the school does not prioritize the student, despite the stressful pre-university phase. The new management fails to create a friendly and academic atmosphere and prioritizes secondary issues. According to my child, new policies have been introduced this year, which prohibit the IB students (17-19 year olds) from using mobile devices, even in break time, as well as prevent them from leaving school campus during their periods off. The school's administration has displayed a pattern of disrespect towards its students and parents, who were questioning the new rules.This results in a certain hostility between the management and students/parents. I would advice a parent to consider this school only if t is being financed by a company. Paying this money yourself might be not worth it considering the above," commented one expat when asked about International School Hamburg in Hamburg.

"Make sure you take full advantage of the help offered by the administration and the PTA. I had a lot of questions when our family arrived at the school, but I always found answers, through the admission person, the principals, my children's teachers, the counselors, or through my country representative with the PTA, and of course other parents. I have heard that there have been a few problems before at ISH, but things seem to be improving," explained one expat in Hamburg, Germany with kids at International School of Hamburg.

"Do not go to Hamburg International School. It is a waste of money and educational time. The teachers do whatever they like, because there is no leadership in the school," wrote an expat living in Hamburg with children attending International School Hamburg.

"We ended up withdrawing our child from the school and moving from hamburg. My advice if you have children, don't move to hamburg, this school is the only option and it is not a very good one. There is an attempt to change things, but I think the school needs a complete revamping, most teachers been there for very long time, while some are good, others are not at all, there is no accountability for teachers, very strong union which kills any attempt to change things for the better. School with the exception of few teacher and administrators is not willing to communicate with parents. They now have new director, so things may change, but not soon enough for us. I would give it a few years before considering the school," said one commented one expat when asked about International School Hamburg in Hamburg.

"Don't come to Hamburg. The International School of Hamburg has very few motivated, good teachers. Some teachers seem to forget that they are here to teach the children. They are only interested in their personal well being. There is no interaction with the local community. The IB options are limited, there is no Economics or Psychology offered. The Physics teachers do not know how to prepare their students for the IB exams. The Primary School is excellent," mentioned one expat living in Hamburg, Germany.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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