What is going on at Tandem?

  • Henning Prüß

Interview with Henning Pruess, director of TANDEM Hamburg

1. How did 2015 go for you, and how did it compare to previous years?

The year 2015 was a very good year here in Hamburg. We had more students than the years before, and they came from a great variety of foreign countries.

2. What developments do you expect in 2016?

I can already say for sure that last year’s trend is keeping up. We are pretty busy, and have been especially successful running courses for student groups, i.e. school classes from Italy, Denmark and other countries. We have already received a number of bookings of ‘return visits’ from these groups.

3. Anything new this year?

Yes, we are currently in the final stages of being audited to receive the AZAV certification. This certificate is of high importance for all schools working with public funding, and is also a generally accepted quality certificate. And apart from this, and the groups mentioned before, we could mention that we have seen many more students taking an exam and receiving a certificate (we are an accredited TestDaF and telc centre) – the most popular ones being the TestDaF and the telc B1 and B2. We have changed a few things as well, such as our evening classes, which are now covering the full range of levels all year through in units of 10 weeks.

3. Where do the majority of your students come from?

It’s still a very varied mix; there’s hardly a majority of one nationality or mother tongue around.

4. What are your most popular student activities at your school?

We organise a colourful cultural programme throughout the year, designed to show our students the City of Hamburg and its surroundings. We are taking them walking, hiking, boating and cycling (and ice-skating when it’s cold enough) as well as to museums, exhibitions, fairs, events and, of course, to St Pauli, which is just around the corner.

5. What makes your destination special for your students?

Hamburg is a very beautiful city, with lots of opportunities for work and leisure activities. Owing to its proximity to water, (our school is right in the centre, on the waterfront), it’s easy to get to the Baltic Sea or to the North Sea with its Witten marshes. Hamburg is a multicultural place as well, and always has been because of its international port, and that shows: look in at all the various international shops, try out the restaurants and simply listen to all the languages you can hear while you are walking the streets.

6. 3 things that make your German language school special for your students?

• The location is exciting
• We follow the highest standards of teaching
• We have a very personal approach; all students will be known by their first name after a couple of days, and the atmosphere here is fantastic.


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