Frequently asked questions and answers about IDO
15th – 28th July 2018 in Freiburg

Participants will stay in Freiburg for two weeks. The best German learners from the qualification rounds fight it out against international competition for the top three places across three levels at the event. Intercultural skills and the ability to work in international teams are necessary to achieve this, not just language skills. Once the students are allocated to the level appropriate for their language progress (A2, B1, B2), the first week is set aside to prepare for the competition itself, and is classroom-based (24 lesson units). The lesson content is creative and journalistic writing, presentation techniques and drama. The competition is held during the second week.

As well as teaching and the competition, participants enjoy a schedule of supplementary activities to help them learn more about Germany and its culture, as well as a special focus for 2018 on Freiburg in Breisgau with points of local interest.
There is a themed national evening to introduce the different cultures, as well as special opening and closing events, with the aim of promoting the Olympic ideal of peaceful coexistence, a spirit of fair play and the wealth of cultural diversity.
The students won’t just be solving competition tasks during IDO. The IDO team has also organised various workshops, school and company visits, as well as a tour of Freiburg University. And there’s a fantastic programme of culture/leisure events, featuring group trips, the themed national evening, an exclusive concert and much more. This will give participants the opportunity to get to know Freiburg and its residents better. During this time the accompanying teachers will attend a seminar at the Goethe-Institut. 
During IDO the students’ days will start with breakfast from 7 – 8 am and finish with lights-out at 10 pm. The competition takes place in the morning and afternoon with a lunchbreak from midday until 2 pm. 
The competition is held in the nearby United World College (UWC). The accompanying teachers’ seminar sessions are mainly in the Goethe-Institut Freiburg, but also at the United World College. The closing event takes place in the nearby Ballhaus Freiburg. It’s a private event with admission by invitation only. 
The young people are accompanies by German teachers from their home countries who have excelled through their interesting and innovative teaching. They take part in a seminar that gives them fresh inspiration for their lesson planning in the classroom. Visits to local schools in Freiburg and meetings with their teaching colleagues there are also on the calendar. Other important aspects of this seminar work include sociocultural points of interest and sharing experiences. These teachers also join in with their students to take part in the opening and closing events, leisure activities and prize ceremony.
Information for students as well as teachers on how to prepare for the competition can be found here. 
Various non-cash prizes will be awarded during the competition final in Freiburg.
Students are provided with breakfast, lunch and evening meal every day in the youth hostel. Light snacks and drinks are also available during the competition and leisure activities. A packed lunch is provided when the group goes on trips. All students can choose from a selection of dishes – for instance there are vegetarian or vegan options. With meat dishes the menu states which animal it comes from. Unfortunately we cannot provide halal menu choices. The kitchen will take any allergies and food intolerances stated on the form into consideration wherever possible.  
Participants will stay in a youth hostel. It is set in an idyllic location in the green outskirts of Freiburg. Students will be split into gender groups and allocated to rooms with 3 – 5 beds. Each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, and each guest has their own lockable cupboard in which to store valuables. The chaperones have their own rooms on the same floor of the youth hostel as the young people. They are available even during the night if there is an emergency.
In addition to the competition, some fantastic and interesting leisure activities have been planned for the students over the two weeks. For instance they will be able to do sports or watch a film – there’s also a disco evening and a day trip to the Europa-Park. The IDO participants will have a chance to get to know each other better during their free time and on trips. A team of chaperones is always present to keep an eye on them. 
We ask the students to bring no more than one suitcase with them to Freiburg. Space is limited in the bedrooms at the youth hostel. Ideally this clothing should be enough for two weeks. If necessary, they can use the washing machine and tumble dryer at the youth hostel at a cost of 5 euro.
All IDO event locations in Freiburg are a short walk away (e.g. from the youth hostel to the United World College) or are accessible by bus or tram. Students can buy tickets from the IDO team. 
Wifi is available in the communal areas at the youth hostel, but unfortunately not in students’ bedrooms. If they don’t have a smartphone or computer of their own, they can use a computer in the chaperones’ office between certain hours during free time to Skype their parents or friends.
It is possible for family and friends to visit the students. But because the IDO programme is so tightly scheduled, it is only possible to visit students on the youth hostel premises at certain times. Please be sure to contact the IDO team in advance so that a meet-up can be arranged.
Compared with other international destinations, Freiburg is a safe city with a large student population and a vibrant, open atmosphere. The traffic is very orderly, and it isn’t dangerous to be out and about on foot or travelling by bus/tram. However the IDO team reminds people to take care of their valuables. The IDO team cannot be held liable for belongings.
Students can bring the following to the competition:
  • music (three of their favourite songs) on a storage medium
  • sports shoes and kit if they like sports
  • smartphone or tablet, if owned
  • a camera if they have one
  • really important: something typical of their own country, for instance typical clothing or national costume, musical instruments, national flag.
Since weather in Germany can be very changeable, the IDO team has suggested that participants also bring the following:
  • comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking
  • umbrella
  • a waterproof coat if available