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Horizonte German Language School - Interview with Bernard Freidl


Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012, Horizonte is a leading German language school in the historic and beautiful city of Regensburg (UNESCO world heritage site).

We spoke to school director Bernhard Freidl, to find out more about Horizonte’s aims, life in Regensburg and being a member of the "IALC family".

Q: Hello Bernhard, how does it feel to be part of this exclusive group of quality language schools?

A: Since I first met IALC schools at EXPO-Langues in Paris, in 1989 or so; I have been thinking it would be nice to belong to them, too. So it feels like a long dream come true; and there is some pride, too, to be a member of this large family. I always look forward to the next IALC AGM and Workshop and to meeting my fellow members, so many of who have become friends. And it is definitely the best place to meet agents and to do business.

Q: How was 2011 for the school and how did it compare to the previous year?

A: 2009 and 2010 were not as good as the previous very good ones, but it seems that 2011 was a turning point..

Q: You were established in 1987. How have things changed at the school since then?

A: Talking in numbers: they increased quite steadily with few exceptions.The biggest change occurred some 10 years ago, when we got the on-site residence in the same building, on the same floor.
Over the years we have diversified our course programme, e.g. by setting up TestDaf preparatory courses for foreign students who want to study at a German university and the "intensive Plus" courses. Currently, Teacher Refresher courses are the favourite courses of German language teachers from many countries

Q: What are your main aims for Horizonte?

A: We would like to show our students the so many positive aspects of German culture, our way of life, our humour, so that the students return home and will long remember the good time they had here in the heart of Bavaria, and eventually come back for another course.And we work hard to maintain the excellence of our teaching standard and services.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing your school?

A: Those beyond our control like visa regulations imposed by the German government or the economic situation. We don�t know how the current monetary crisis will work out, although it seems that there are many people who see this difficult situation as a good personal opportunity to invest in their future e.g. we have more young unemployed professionals from Southern Europe in long term courses than ever.

Q: Which countries do the majority of your students come from?

A: Generally speaking, we have an excellent nationality mix with no language exceeding 15% of the group; the best markets at the moment are Poland and the Czech Republic, followed by Spanish and English speakers. About 80% of our students come from Europe,the Americas and Australia, the rest from Asia.

Q: What are the most popular student activities?

A: As the school and residence are situated right in the city centre which is a meeting point for more than 20,000 university students, guess what our students do in the evening after finishing their homework and having cooked and eaten together ?!

Q: Moving on to find out more about you, what is your favourite type of travel destination?

A: Mountain areas

Q: Your favourite pastime?

A: Reading, hiking, bikiing, skiing

Q: Your favourite song?

A: Contemporary jazz and still much of the music of my youth from the Allman Brothers to Zappa

Q: Your favourite meal?

A: Knodel, Pizza, Pasta, Paella, the Sushi made by our Japanese students, Bavarian beer and good red wine from anywhere (this list could go on for some while!)

Q: Your dream dinner guests?

A: The US President to talk some issues over!

Q: Finally, what would you say are the main benefits of learning German at Horizonte?

A: You will have excellent, experienced, committed teachers, who know how to make you advance in German and meet your language proficiency goals, the personal atmosphere of a small school (max. 80 students) - living in our residence, you will make a lot of friends, the unique city of Regensburg, where most places are within walking distance from the school, no need even to use public transport

HORIZONTE offers a wide-range of programmes and high quality German language courses all year round. No matter what profession or academic goal, whether at a beginner level or a teacher of German, students benefit from more than 20 years of dedicated experience in teaching German.

Tel: + 49 941 57207

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