LEOlingo - Sprachcamps fuer Kinder
LEOlingo - Sprachcamps fuer Kinder Programs
LEOlingo - Sprachcamps fuer Kinder Reviews
Best summer of my life
Submitted by Tegan Francis - Cardiff University | February 05, 2017
LEOlingo was, without a doubt the best summer of my life.
I really had no idea what to expect and I was so nervous at the beginning of the summer but was reassured and welcomed into beautiful Bavaria with open arms.
Our first week was spent taking part in an intense training course at a school in Neumarkt, just a short trip from the city of Nuremberg. We all got to know each other really quickly and got settled in our new host family homes for the week. My host family had three lovely children who were really keen to speak English but I also got to practice my German with them too. They were even kind enough to open up their house again to a few of the counselors when we came back for a street festival a few weeks after training.
Andrea and her family were extremely welcoming and we had trips out to Nuremberg on a bike tour around the city (which was amazing) along with a few parties in the first week to help bond a little and start getting to know the people we were about to spend our whole summer with.
On your first day you’ll be given the LEOlingo handbook and this is your bible. It has endless ideas including games, songs and teaching materials that you can use and refer to when you’re planning your week with your kids. I felt well prepared to take on my own class after the week of training as you also get to work with some of the kids from the school you train in. This gives you a taste of what counseling will be like. I think the main thing to remember is to have fun because when you’re having fun (hopefully) you’re kids are too. Be crazy, be a bit wacky and don’t take yourself too seriously. I really enjoyed teaching the kids in my groups and although there will always be a few that you might not click with, the majority are great and really want to learn English!
What is generally expected of you as a counselor can vary depending on whether you are a day counselor or night counselor and also if the camp is a day or overnight or adventure camp as they have very different vibes to them. Andrea does an amazing job of making sure that everyone gets to experience all areas of camp so you can have some variation during the summer. Added to this already sweet set up you also get a week off during the summer. I personal went up to Berlin and met up with relatives but others visited Prague and Budapest etc. which was also great fun.
Weekends can be as structured or as relaxed as you like. Sometimes you may be asked to stay there over the weekend because you’re at the same camp two weeks running but I was lucky enough to spend most of my weekends in my dirndl (which all the girls bought whilst we were out there) drinking beer in Bavarian Volksfests which is by far one of the best ways to spend a Saturday.
I have no doubt that LEOlingo will be a life changing and extremely rewarding experience for anyone who partakes. You learn a great deal about yourself, others and also Germany as a country and I will be back as soon as I can.
Great, eye-opening experience!
Submitted by Anonymous | December 12, 2016
I worked for LEOLingo last summer and I loved it! Sabine, the head coordinator, was very accommodating and sympathetic. One of her main focuses was making sure that the counsellors had time to travel and experience all that they could while being in Germany. The kids were mostly fantastic and I still miss many of them. The work can be tough at times and making it to places on time can be somewhat nerve-wracking but it was all worth it. I got exactly what I wanted out of this trip thanks to this organization and it changed my life completely for the better! Some of my coworkers did not enjoy their trip but as long as you are a positive, respectful and responsible individual, you will have a phenomenal time! Highly recommend to all who fit that criteria!
If you have any hesitation to apply, my advice: take the leap and do it!
Submitted by Jordan Lewis - University of Toronto | December 05, 2016
If you are considering applying for a summer job at LEOlingo, let me just say that I am SO excited for you. I worked in Bavaria for both the Summer of 2015 and Spring of 2016, and it was truly one of the most formative and incredible experiences I have ever had. I had no German roots and it was a completely spontaneous decision, and I have zero regrets – it was a summer I will forever think about fondly, and one that allowed me to establish strong friendships from all over the world. LEOlingo has fostered a huge admiration for Germany – I am already planning my next trip back!
An average day at LEOlingo often depends on whether you are working as a day or night counsellor, and whether you are working at a day camp/overnight camp/adventure camp. Regardless of these differences, there are still a lot of consistencies. As a day counsellor you are essentially solely responsible for your group of kids during the day, so there is a fair amount of flexibility with what you decide to do and when. This is all building up for the “Happyning” at the end of the week, which is a show for the parents that demonstrates what they have learned/done while at camp. During each Happyning, your kids will typically sing a song together, perform a drama (x2, because you will split your group in half), and provide a demonstration/explanation of a sport and/or a game you did with your group. You will also send each kid home with a creative folder, which will contain all of the arts/crafts/language sheets that your kids completed throughout the week.
If you are a day counsellor you typically work with the kids from 9am to 5pm, with an hour long lunch in between. Each day you will aim to play a sport, sing a song, play at least one language game, work on a creative folder, provide time for drama prep and activities, and play some of the other filler games. I will be the first to admit that sometimes this doesn’t all get done in one day, but keeping this structure in mind is important to make up for whatever you didn’t do in subsequent days (it also gets easier over the summer as you find your routine!). You are free to collaborate with other counsellors, which often works really well for sports and larger games and can give you all a break when sharing responsibilities. If you are a day counsellor at a day camp, your responsibilities are essentially over at 5pm each day, excluding any prep that would be required for the next day. If you are a day counsellor at an overnight camp, you may be asked by the night counsellors to help facilitate evening programming. You will also be asked to be a night counsellors during at least one of the weeks that you’re there, which requires planning games typically for the whole camp and then getting the kids to bed and waking them up. If you are working at an adventure camp, this usually means you get one “day off” from this regular programming to either go canoeing, horseback riding, caving, high rope climbing, etc. – this is usually a really nice break and is super fun (adventure camps were my favourite)!
In terms of which sports/activities to teach, you are given a handbook which contains TONS of different stuff, so there will never be any shortage of things to do. You learn tons of these during training week (training week basically consists of you being the ‘kids’ and being taught all the games and getting to play them and it really is the best). The sports tend to be national sports, and you would typically aim to teach sports native to your country (so I taught a lot of hockey, lacrosse, and baseball -- yay Canada!). However you basically have free reign to teach whatever you want, and the rules are given to you in case you aren’t familiar with them (Gaelic Football became my go-to sport, even though I had never heard of it before LEOlingo). Some of the other activities you do are name games (for the beginning of the week), big group games (for the whole camp – usually one of these are played on the first and last day), and other smaller filler games (to get them to settle down, wake up, get them outside, etc). The majority of the games focus on improving their English, and you will also have a selection of language games to play that focus on this a bit more heavily and adds a bit of competition.
During the summer, you may be asked to live with a host family, in a hostel, or on-site. So many of the families were incredibly kind and hospitable, and took their counsellor(s) out for meals/did some exploring around the city. I had a great time with them and was able to pick up a bit of German as a result! I would say the vast majority of counsellors loved their host family experience and continue to stay in touch with them.
Weekends are usually planned for you, so you don’t have to worry about booking anything unless you decide to do something different than what Andrea arranged (i.e. sometimes people wanted to visit friends, hang out with their host families, explore Nuremberg, etc.), in which case you are responsible for the costs and getting back in time. Sometimes Andrea’s plans will require you to stay put if you are working at the same campsite for two weeks in a row. If whatever Andrea plans for you requires additional travel/hostel costs, she will cover that or reimburse you. You will also have a week off during your time there, which you usually are responsible for the costs of whatever you decide to do (last year, I spent that week in Budapest and Prague). Overall, it is a really great opportunity to travel and see different parts of the country and places nearby!
This was honestly the best job I’ve had (and maybe will ever have). Most importantly, Andrea and her family, the campers, and the counsellors are all truly WONDERFUL people and are the main reasons that this experience was as positive as it was. I would wholeheartedly recommend this experience to anyone considering applying!
Best job I ever had
Submitted by Colin - University of Toronto | December 01, 2016
If you are a person who wants to meet great people, travel in Europe and work at a fun job that you can feel good about, this is the place for you.
I worked at Leolingo for three consecutive summers, starting when I was 18. I'd grown up around camp and been a camp counselor in my home of Canada, and this was the perfect way to go on my first overseas adventure while still making money and being around fellow english speakers to explore with and learn about.
The job itself is a blast. It's essentially going to camp for a summer, but you get to work with German youths and learn about their culture and teach about your own. The training is great to prepare you for running an English-language program for whatever age group you end working with throughout the summer (and you'll work with many different ones). Coworkers I had during my time there are lifetime friends.
The bosses are even better than the coworkers. Whether you work in the North (for Sabine) or the South (Andrea), these are two of the loveliest, most accommodating bosses I've ever had. Every year, they have a completely unknown group of english-speaking foreigners descend upon them, and every year they consistently welcome into their home with warmth and excitement. You can't beat that.
The campsites are all unique and beautiful, and give you the opportunity to see the different parts of Germany. They do a great job of rotating you around, too, so you can see Germany's great cities, its beautiful countryside and coasts.
Leolingo was the first and biggest step I took outside my comfort zone, and I have zero regrets. It gave me a great opportunity to make some cash and travel Europe for a summer, and inspired my to go back time and time again and look for other opportunities to go abroad. I now work internationally a lot, like a lot of my colleagues I met there. I now have a network of great friends scattered across the world I can and do visit, friends I otherwise wouldn't know.
I also now have some great memories, a little bit of conversational German, and an itch to get back to Germany any chance I get.
Most amazing life-enriching experience
Submitted by Micheal T - Rennes 1 | November 28, 2016
I have been lucky enough to spend 2 amazing summers working at Leolingo as an english and french language camp counsellor. Travelling abroad alone for the first time at 18 years old, and knowing no german and very little about Germany, I was both very excited and nervous upon arrival in Bavaria. However, as soon as we started training and I met the other counsellors, I knew I was embarking on the summer of a lifetime.
The training week is quite intense, since we have to learn a lot about the program and have to master the Leolingo "camp mode". But it remains a highlight of the summer. The trainers are amazing, they are so full of energy, making you quickly come out of your comfort zone and start acting much sillier, that by the end of the first day all the counsellors are very comfortable around each over. The week is full of sports,games, songs and especially laughter. Andrea puts on lots of events during this week (bavarian evening, BBQ at her house, surprise activity...) that help us to bond even more as a team and feel at home. There is even the odd cheeky evening trip to the beergarden with the rest of the team after training. After all, we are in Germany! At the end of the week, the team is split up and dispatched to different camps around the Nuremberg area.
Some of the camps we get to work at are stunning (german castles set in beautiful countryside). Each day counsellor generally gets his own group of 12 kids for the week. Working with them can sometimes be challenging and tiring, demanding a lot of patience, however most of the time it's so much fun. You really get to know most of the kids and bond with them a lot. Being an evening counsellor is also a really cool experience. By the end of the week, you are often sad to see the kids go. At the end of the week, there is a show where the kids really like to show their parents how much fun they've had and all the english/french they have. Despite the sadness of leaving the camp where you had such a good time, the prospect of discovering a new camp and meeting lots of new kids the next week keeps you looking forward. The week-end is a much deserved rest time away from children where you can recharge your batteries or travel around the area. Some weekends, we would meet up with the rest of the team and go to a german beer festival (there is always one on in Bavaria!) or even spend a night out in Nürnberg. Some of the most epic nights I will forever remember have been experienced over my two summers in Bavaria.
You will probably have the chance during the summer of staying with a host family. Culturally, this is a huge bonus as it's an insight into german everyday life. German host families are so welcoming. They often treat you like a member of the family. I still exchange messages regularly with a few of the host families I met over my 2 summers and plan to meet up with them again.
The social life aspect is definitely one of the most important. You meet so many like-minded young people from around the world, who you become really close with across the summer, spending some very memorable times together and becoming friends for life. Leolingo is like one big family!
As for Andrea, she is certainly an amazingly unique boss. I imagine there are very few jobs where you could have the same kind of relationship with your boss. She opens up her home to you, and goes the extra mile to make sure everybody and everything is cared for. She is also always completely honest with you. She is certainly the personification of Leolingo.
If you're looking for a summer full of fun, adventure, memorable experiences, amazing new friendships, beautiful scenery, and lots and lots of kids, Leolingo is the place to go! (oh, and also beer of course!)