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Information for Foreign Language Assistants

London Eye London Eye | © Goethe-Institut London | Foto: Magnus Pölcher
This website offers information and useful links for German Foreign Language Assistants in the UK. The provided information is primarily targeted at assistants on the PAD (Pädagogischer Austauschdienst) exchange programme but other assistants are welcome to it as well. We offer induction days for PAD Language Assistants at the beginning of their placement and recommend taking part in one of the days in London, Manchester or Glasgow (more details to be found below).
If you would already like to get in touch with other language assistants you can do so with our mailing list.
All assistants will receive the brochure Information booklet for Language Assistants in the UK from the British Council. We strongly recommend to read the booklet carefully since it is packed with useful information for your start in the UK. You can find the online version here.

The Goethe-Institut offers an induction day for German foreign language assistants about to start placements in schools in the UK. 

Alongside information on the British education system and services offered by the Goethe-Institut, there are useful tips on the methodology and didactics of teaching German in British schools. It is also a great network opportunity to meet other assisstants. The event is organised in co-operation with the British Council.

An induction event is normally organised in London and Manchester. This year's induction events will most likely take place virtually. 

Further information regarding these events will be provided by the British Council and the Goethe-Institut London over the summer months.
We offer a mailing list especially for language assistants. Once subscribed you can write to all subscribers by sending an e-mail to lonfla-lis@lists.goethe.de. You can share tips for the classroom, find out who is working in your area or plan trips together for the weekend. The list has the purpose to connect language assistants, so it’s yours to use.
Presentations from the induction days will be sent to this mailing list.

Subscribe or unsubscribe the newsletter

We recommend contacting your school’s head teacher or head of languages after your acceptance from the PAD. Almost every school has their own website where you can gather a lot of information beforehand. If you have any other questions the head of languages is usually happy to help.
Here is a list of points you might want to include in your e-mail:
  • give a contact address for the time before your arrival to the UK
  • ask for your area of responsibility at the school
  • ask for the age of your pupils
  • ask which text books are used
  • enquire about accommodations options and information on how to get there
Sometimes you will only be given a region, a so called Local Education Authority rather than a school. The school itself might only get in touch with you before the summer break or beginning of September - so just be a bit patient.
The British Council also offers a safety guide for international students in the UK with extensive information. The guide is designed to help preparing for your stay and gives practical advice on living in the UK. It highlights some of the safety and security issues you need to be aware of and lists organisations to contact if you do need help.
You can find the Safety First brochure online here.
Health insurances in Germany give information on insurance protection in the UK. You can get information on additional insurance cover from popular insurance providers.
In case of illness you can visit a GP (General Practitioner) or a NHS (National Health Service) hospital. You need to register with a GP first before getting treatment, you should register as soon as possible after your arrival in the UK. Only after registration will you receive free of charge treatment.
You usually have to pay a contribution for your prescriptions. Pharmacies can also be found in drug stores and super markets.
If you are under 26 years old it might be worth getting a Young Persons Railcard. It costs £30 and is available at all staffed stations or also online. You need a passport style photo and a passport to apply for the railcard.

Tickets in general can be purchased at the counter in staffed stations or at ticket machines. Travelling off peak and booking early can often save you a lot of money.

These links might be helpful for planning your journeys:
The emergency number 999 is for police, ambulance and fire brigade. For reporting theft and for general enquiries please contact your local police station instead.
101 is the non-emergency number of the police.

In case of a stolen passport please contact the police first and then the German Embassy.
It might be a good idea to collect materials for your class while still in Germany. You are very likely to work with pupils who only have a basic command of the German language and will work with small groups most of the time.

Typical topics are introductions, greetings, home and family, school and free-time, traditions, clothes, eating and shopping etc.

What materials can you bring from Germany?
  • photos, postcards
  • music and videoclips can be a good topic to get pupils talking
  • newspapers, although they require a good command of the language, clear structured information texts can work well for A-level preparations

On our websites you find extensive teaching resources for primary as well as secondary level.
Cancel direct debits and standing orders that are not needed anymore. Cancel your bank account if you would wish to do so or inform them of the change of address.

Cancel your TV-license: here is the link to do so.

Cancel your landline or mobile phone contract and keep an eye on your notice period.

Cancel magazine and newspaper subscriptions or request a redirection of your post.

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