SC HOO L O F THE MON TH
Becoming a world citizen out in the countryside The idyllic boarding school Marienau is tucked away on the edge of Luneburg Heath. Open, friendly and with a typical North-German down-to-earth attitude, Marienau offers an international community that goes far beyond the standard curriculum. Here, individual support and cultural exchange take place in a remarkably relaxed atmosphere. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE I PHOTOS: SCHULE MARIENAU
‘In Hamburg, fur is worn inwards’, goes the translation of a delightfully North-German saying. Marienau School is roughly 80 kilometres away from the Hanseatic city and promotes a similar attitude. Instead of fancy school uniforms you will find a more down-to-earth approach and a focus on humanity here. As an official UNESCO Associated School, great importance is placed on a democratic and multicultural school community, where students become tolerant world citizens.
the many spoken languages – it’s as if a small insight into a peaceful global community is on display here.
The boarding school’s premises, with its former manor house, is reminiscent of an enchanted park where the sun shines gently through the leaves of the surrounding trees. When visiting this place, you immediately notice the friendly atmosphere and
“Because of the small class sizes and groups of boarders, there’s a homely atmosphere, and the parents and kids immediately feel that,” explains Heike Elz, the resident principal of both the school and the boarding school. “With 100 em-
60 | Issue 75 | June 2019
The students seem relaxed and open-minded. This is not only due to small class sizes of around 15 pupils and individual support options, but it’s also thanks to the multi-professional team of teachers, social education workers and a school psychologist. They guarantee comprehensive care for roughly 200 students, of which 30 are always from abroad.
ployees, we can focus on individualism. We want to be available for every human being. It’s not the students who have to fit in, but it’s us walking towards them.” It’s possible to attend the secondary school either as a boarder or as an external student. The final qualification is the German Abitur, which is increasingly gaining international popularity. There are plenty of leisure activities: Lower-Saxony is known as horse country, so it’s not surprising to find the beautiful animals are completely at home on the school premises. From sports, music and theatre to excursions and barbecues, it’s never boring. That the students generally take a lot of responsibility and actively participate in school life goes without saying. This year, the school celebrates its 90th anniversary. It’s certainly a great reason to visit Marienau and let this magical place enchant you. www.marienau.de
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