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School For Learning Difficulties

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Heidelberg, Germany
School For Learning Difficulties
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Trip Code: DEITC1
Duration: 5 Months - 11 Months
From £1095 for 5 Months
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Special Needs TeachingHeidelbergTeaching Volunteers

Taking part in this teaching placement in Germany is a hugely rewarding and humbling experience. As a teaching assistant in a mixed school for individuals with physical and learning difficulties, you will have the chance to learn how to care for pupils with a range of disabilities. Working closely with experienced professionals you will experience a new and different lifestyle, gain a level of independence and have a positive effect on the lives and development of these inspirational children.

Teaching in Germany
Germany is a beautiful country with a rich and fascinating history, a diverse landscape and culture, making it one of Europe’s most popular destinations for travellers and workers. There is a myriad of unique experiences to be had within Germany’s borders, with a extremely friendly attitude towards visitors, and a huge range of social activities such as festivals and its well renowned nightlife, you are sure to always feel welcome in this rousing nation. Germany is well known for having very well developed educational infrastructure, making it a fantastic place to gain experience working in your chosen field. As a teaching assistant in a mixed school for individuals with physical and learning disabilities in Germany you will experience the dedication required to excel in this profession, and also gain experience in a hands on work based role.

Your Teaching and Care Placement
As a teaching assistant in the school located in the buzzing university town of Heidelberg, you will either be placed in one of two placement. The school is divided into both a boarding school and a day school, so you will be placed in either the day school or the boarding school for the duration of your placement. Which placement you work in will be determined by your placement coordinator, however personal preference will be taken into account.

The boarding school teaching placement will quickly see you become part of the close knit family values that encompass the role, as the teachers work so closely with the children throughout the day from rising in the morning to tucking them up in bed again in the evening. You will assist with the daily activities in the boarding school which will give you the unique opportunity to be placed a hands on role in a professional educational institution in one of the world’s most developed nations. As you will be working long days, the boarding school teachers work in a shift rota, so you may have full days off throughout the week to explore the city, but then could be scheduled to work over the weekends.

The day school placement will involve you working as a teaching assistant in the daily classes and working in the pupil’s “homerooms” , which are the rooms that the children go to before and after school and between classes and for breaks.  There will be a core emphasis on assisting the children with the education, as well as leading or assisting with extra-curricular activities and class excursions. The day school placement will involve working during school hours from Monday to Friday, with weekends free for personal travel and exploring the surrounding areas.

Your Teaching and Care Role
The teaching role you will experience differs depending on which placement you are assigned to. The role you will take in the boarding school will have a greater focus on the care and well-being of the children you are working with, as you will be there as a helping hand, assisting with daily routines including, showering the children, meals, supporting the kitchen staff and helping out with homework tasks.

As a boarding school teaching assistant, you may be asked to take pupils outside the school grounds to doctor’s appointments, or on fun and/or educational trips to the city to go shopping, watch a movie at the cinema, or on an educational field trip. As you will be working on shifts, you may be scheduled to work in the morning or the evening, with the mornings consisting of preparing the children for school, the evenings available to enjoy free time and organising some fun activities for the children.

Working in the day school, you will be required to take a pro-active role in the education of the children who attend the school. Your role will see you working in the pupil’s homerooms, which is an excellent opportunity to get to know the children as they will use their homerooms for playing games and completing sections of their homework. Your role as a teaching assistant will be to assist the children during their breaks between lessons, and also assist the other staff members with English lessons, Sports sessions, and also developing extra-curricular clubs and joining the classes on excursions.

Your work in the school may be challenging on occasion as many of the children require physical care, and others may exhibit challenging behaviour, such as aggression, defiance. A good understanding of the German language is required for this placement (at least GCSE level), due to the nature of the work.

CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
Participants must complete a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, or provide a valid CRB certificate in order to be eligible for this trip. Changing Worlds can provide this service for you at an additional cost of £30. For more information on the application process please take a look at the relevant Add On tab. 

Gap Year and Career Break Teaching in Germany
The teaching and care based roles available in Germany give you an amazing insight into the dedicated role of a caring for individuals with physical disabilities and learning difficulties, whilst also learning about the German culture, experiencing a new life-style in this young and vibrant city. This is incredible opportunity to improve your German language skills as well as make some fantastic new friends and develop some special relationships.

Quick Facts

Trip Name
School For Learning Difficulties
Trip Code
Nearest airports are Frankfurt Am Main International Airport (FRA), Frankfurt Hahn Airport (HHN) and Baden Airpark (FKB). Heidelberg is situated between Frankfurt and Baden-Baden. Participants must get a bus from the airport to Heidelberg bus station to meet with our placement coordinator.
Minimum Duration
5 Months
Maximum Duration
11 Months
Minimum Age
Trip Type
Volunteering, Internships & Work Experience
From £1095 for 5 Months
£ 195.00
Preferred Duration
Workers at the school in Heidelberg are required to take part for a minimum of 5 months (half academic year), however we prefer if you can take part for 11 months (full academic year).
Applicant is interviewed to ensure compatibility with the role. All applicants require a CRB check. The availability of the position is subject to an interview with one of our Travel Advisors, and prior experience working with children and/or individuals with special needs is beneficial. Sufficient German language proficiency is required. Applicants will need to speak with our in-country coordinator in German prior to acceptance to assess German language proficiency.
Ideal for
Gap Year and Career Break Work Experince with Special Need; University Dissertations and Placements; German Language Based Work Experience; Paid Teaching Work in Germany; Teaching Special Needs in Europe.
• • •

Arrival Dates

Start Dates

Full academic year:
Beginning of September until the End of July
Trip Price £1595

Half academic year:
Beginning of September until the End of January, or
Beginning of February to the End of July
Trip Price £1095

(Specific term dates available upon request)

British Nationals will not need a visa to travel to Germany. To read about visa restrictions you can click here.

• • •


School workers will live in a shared flat on campus (2mins bus ride from School). You will have your own bedroom, communal kitchen, lounge and toilet/shower facilities. The flat is shared between 3 people, including local students.
Food Allowance
A food allowance of 30 Euros per week will be provided.
Monthly Allowance
A monthly payment/allowance of 180 Euros will be provided.
Bus Ticket
A pre-paid local area bus ticket for getting to and from your placement will be provided.
School workers will receive an orientation and induction session on arrival in Heidelberg, and also be trained in all aspects of their role in the school.
Pre-departure help and advice; Local in-country team; 24 hour emergency support.
Equipment and Medical Discounts
Changing Worlds customers will receive 10% off Travel Equipment, Medical Supplies and Vaccinations from Nomad Travel Store.
• • •

Not Included

Flights; Travel Insurance; Food; Spending money; In country travel; Laundry service; Soft drinks and alcohol; Extra activities not on itinerary.
• • •
Germany Map

Germany is one of the most significant countries in Europe, with a booming a economy and borders to no less than 9 other nations. It is no surprise that Germany is a central hub for business and trade in the Northern hemisphere, and has been for many years. Germany has a well documented history, made famous by rich content of art, music, sports, food and drink, all held together by a proud Bavarian ancestry and culture.

Germany has a hugely diverse landscape, with stunning cityscapes, beautiful meandering rivers that glide through the lush green countryside, all the way down to the Alpine peaks that link Germany to France, Austria, and Switzerland. It is quite clear why Germany attracts many travellers each year, as the lively lifestyle, which provides a platform for Germany being on the forefront for the arts in many forms, and dazzling landscapes which entrance visitors, present a perfect combination.

Quick Facts
Federal Republic of Germany
Bordering Countries
Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands
Capital City
Federal republic, Constitutional republic, Representative democracy, Parliamentary republic
82 million
Euro (EUR)
Federal Republic of Germany
15.5% of population live below the poverty line.
Main Exports
Cars, Machinery, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Wine, Sausages
Temperate climate characterized by warm summers and mild cloudy winters. The mountainous alpine areas of the south are cooler due to the altitude and greater precipitation.
Time Zone
GMT +1
German Flag

Fun Facts
• Berlin's Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world, both in terms of number of species (1,500) and animal population (14,000)
• Germans are the second largest beer consumers in the world, after the Irish (of course)
• The longest word published in the German language is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (79 letters). A little bit of a tounge twister!

Travel Highlights
• Visit the historic island city of Lindau on the Austrian, German and Swiss border
• Take part in an imlportant part of Bavarian culture at the annual Oktoberfest celebrations
• Visit Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired the world famous Disneyland castles
• Experience the amazing nightlife in Berlin, one of Europes top party destinations
• Take a cruise down the majestic river Rhine

Germany Germany Germany

Where is Germany?
Germany is situated in the central western part of Europe. Germany shares borders with no less than 9 different countries, with a coastline to the north of the country with the Baltic Sea to the north east, and the North Sea to the north west. Germany shares international boundaries with Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and to the west you will find France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Germany has an extremely diverse terrain, spanning from the lowlands in the northern areas of the country, to the uplands of the central part of the country, to the Bavarian Alps, a mountainous region in the southern area of the country. This diversity means that Germany attracts a range of travellers, each looking for their own Bavarian luxury.

Climate in Germany
Germany is on the whole considered to have a temperate climate, with humid westerly winds pushing warm air around the country during the a summer periods, making for an attractive average temperature of around approx. 25°C in the lowland and upland areas of the country. Winters in Germany can vary, with some areas of the country experiencing chilling cold and heavy snow-fall, the upland areas tend to be milder, and the Alpine regions experiencing snow covered peaks and bitter winds. The capital city, Berlin experiences average winter lows of 28.6°F (-1.9°C), and average summer highs of 74.7°F (23.7°C).

Language in Germany
Unsurprisingly, Germany’s official language is German, with German being the most widely spoken language throughout the country. The German language is a strong language within the European Union, as the language is commonly spoken in Austria and Switzerland, with German speakers also inhabiting areas in Eastern Belgium, the French region of Alsace-Lorraine, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and some regions of northern Italy.

German is a significant language with approx. 100 million native speakers, and approx. 80 million non-native speakers, worldwide. German is taught throughout the EU, with many French and Eastern European students learning German in schools. It is deemed an important language, being one of the three working languages of the European Commission, and the official language of the European Union as a whole. Approx. 15% of all EU nationals speak the German language!

People of Germany
Germany has a population of approx. 82 million people, of which some 7 million of its citizens does not have their origins in Germany. This relatively large percentage of the total population being migrants living in Germany makes for a hugely diverse mix of ethnic minorities, religions, traditions and dialects.

The German people are a proud race of a rich and passionate Bavarian culture and history. This can been seen in their festivals, such as Oktoberfest, which attracts many people from around the world each year, and their fine art, music and cuisine that are evident throughout the country. From the musical symphonies of Bach and Beethoven, to the sporting prowess of decades of German national football teams, Germans are certainly proud of their heritage, and as the country propels into the future as a economic powerhouse, it is easy to see why more and more people are migrating to Germany and learning the German language.

Travelling in Germany
Travelling in Germany is an extremely straight forward process. With a superior transport infrastructure including one of the oldest motorways in the world, the Autobahn, a highly efficient train network, taxis, trams, buses and planes, getting around a country could not be easier.

Your in-country coordinator will be on hand to let you know the best way to get to wherever you want to travel to in Germany. Whether you want to experience the thrills of the Bavarian Alps, the tranquil beauty of the River Rhine, or the amazing nightlife of the capital city, Berlin, there is so much to keep you entertained in the intoxicating country.

Gap Years and Career Breaks in Germany
Spend your time in Germany during you gap year or career break, and experience the diverse land culture and enthralling history that encompasses this immense country. Germany has become one of the top destinations for a range of travellers, whether you are looking for fun and excitement of peace and tranquillity, you will certainly be engulfed by the splendour of this pivotal nation at the centre of Europe’s business and economic success!

Some of you may be wondering where the money you pay towards your placement is actually going. As with any trip overseas, there are many things to consider that incur a cost, all of which are added benefits making the experience as memorable and fulfilling as possible!
Project Assessment
Before you see a placement on our website, a lot of background work has gone on. We have met with local organisations, vetted in-country staff, conducted rigorous safety assessments and thoroughly evaluated the benefits of the placement, both for you and the community. Only then do you get to see the placement on our website and book your place, safe in the knowledge that it is well-structured and beneficial to the local community.
Help Choosing Your Placement
If you are not sure which placement or country to choose, our hugely informative Travel Advisors are here to help. They are a friendly bunch, have all travelled extensively and can offer lots of advice on choosing the right placement for you. This makes the task of deciding to travel much less intimidating, and far more exciting.
Pre-departure Advice
Once you have booked your placement, you will be assigned a dedicated Travel Advisor to offer essential pre-departure advice on vaccinations, visas, kit lists and more. They will also be on call to answer those important last minute questions like “how many pairs of socks do I need?” and “can I take my mobile phone with me?”
Help with Flights and Insurance
We do not include flights and travel insurance in our placement fee. This avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. It also gives you flexibility to plan any further travel before or after your volunteer placement. We do, however, offer lots of help on this through our leading flights and insurance partners, providing you with an easy booking facility and the best prices around.
Airport Pick-Up
Landing in a foreign country for the first time can be daunting. This is why we ensure our in-country staff are there to meet you on arrival. There’s nothing like seeing a friendly face when you walk out of a new airport. And once we have given you a warm welcome, the in-country staff will take you back to your accommodation where you can meet the people you will be living with.
Arrival Orientation
We will take you through a local orientation and placement induction on arrival. This will introduce you to any useful amenities and local customs, and it will also show you how to stay safe while you are abroad. Our team also have lots of handy travel tips and advice if you are thinking of exploring the country in your spare time.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is included in all of our placements. Our volunteer houses, family home-stays and shared residences are comfortable and very sociable places to live while overseas. In some destinations, you may be able to upgrade to alternative accommodation. Just contact us for details. We endeavour to supply food on all of our placements, however in some cases this is not always possible. In many cases you will receive at least 1 meal a day, please see the project summary for further details.  
In-Country Staff
Your safety and enjoyment is extremely important to us. That’s why we have dedicated in-country teams to look after you throughout your placement. Our staff live nearby, can be reached 24-hours a day and will check-in with you throughout your placement to ensure everything is running smoothly, and you are happy in your new environment.
24-Hour Emergency Support
In addition to our in-country staff, you will benefit from our international support network. You will be given emergency contact details before you leave which you can call in the event of a crisis. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ongoing Project Support
For every person who travels with us, we make a donation to support the work you do in-country. This donation funds future initiatives in the countries and supports the local community, ensuring that those living in disadvantaged communities also have opportunities to develop.

Giving Others Similar Opportunities
In order to provide a reliable flow of participants on our tours overseas, we have to spend a chunk of money on recruiting people like you to take part in these amazing experiences. It costs to maintain a website, an office, phone lines and a team of dedicated Travel Advisors to answer all your questions!
Heidelberg Flights Travellers

There are quite a few things to consider and to organise before you travel to your chosen destination to take part in your trip or tour with us.

Flights and Insurance
Flights and insurance are not included on your placement which means you will have to arrange them before you leave. But don't panic, this is simpler than you may think! To make life much easier for you, we offer a free, personal booking service through our chosen flights and insurance partner – StudentUniverse, part of Flight Centre. They will guide you every step of the way.

Please only use this service here and do not go into one of their branches as this can complicate things for us.

Browse or book flights using our search engine. Click here to access it.

Alternatively you can call them on 03300 585032 and mention you are considering or are going away with Changing Worlds and let them do the hard work. They will also be able to provide you with adequate travel insurance.

Travelling after your trip with us? Need a round-the-world ticket? Not a problem... just discuss this with them too.

Why are flights not included?
By not including flights in our trips and tours, it avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. This keeps the cost of your trip lower and also means you have the freedom to search around for the lowest fares and most flexible tickets that fit your travel plans. It also means you can benefit from the expertise of our preferred partner.

What happens when flights and insurance are booked?
When you book any trip with us, you will gain access to our online Travel Centre, personalised for you. In here you will have all the information about your trip and how to plan for it, including the contact details for our in-country team and address you will be staying at.

There are also some forms we need you to complete before you depart, covering areas like your dietary requirements, next-of-kin, medical information, flight arrivals details and more.

Do I really need travel insurance?
We take the safety of our travellers very seriously. You must therefore book adequate travel insurance before you come away with us – you simply won’t be able to participate in your trip or tour if you don’t. Although policies vary, your insurance must include emergency medical expenses, personal accident cover, and repatriation. We also recommend that you book baggage, personal liability and cancellation cover.

Some of the countries where we work will require you to have a visa. We provide guidance for this against the Trip Summary tab so you can check whether your nationality requires it. If a visa is required we will provide a letter of invitation, if the embassy requests this, as well as all the relevant information you will need to complete the visa application process. This information is provided after you book with us. With all visa applications it is important that you have sufficient space available in your passport for the relevant visas required for your travels, and that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return.

Please note we have no control over the issuing of visas and this is at the embassies discretion. We will help wherever possible though.

At least 6 – 8 weeks before your chosen travel date you should visit your local GP or Nomad Travel Clinic to discuss your vaccination and medication requirements. Your medical professional will be able to advise you of any recommended and required vaccinations for your chosen destination(s).You should inform your doctor of all of your destination countries, and what activities you plan on doing, and in which regions you plan to stay while you are there, as different regions and activities have different health risks in some countries.

Some destination countries will require you to produce a certificate of vaccination in order to enter the country, so be sure that you understand any vaccination requirements for your chosen destination, so that you do not have any issues when passing through customs.

Above all you should make sure you are well prepared for your travels, so that you have the best experience possible whilst overseas!

Speak To Us
If you have any questions or would like some more information, simply contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors. They will answer any queries you have and tell you what it’s really like to travel overseas. You can give us a call, request a call back or drop us an email.

Apply for the Position
Once you have decided to travel with us, we will need to complete the application process. Before your place can be secured on the placement you will need to complete an interview with one of our Travel Advisors, pass a CRB Check, and also speak to our in-country placement coordinator so your proficiency in German language can be determined.

Book for Your Place
Once the application process is complete, you can secure your place by paying a deposit. You will then be able to pay the rest of your project fee in easy-to-manage instalments.
Welcome Pack
Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a welcome email confirming your booking. This will contain your personal login details for your Travel Centre – an online account full of useful information about your destination, you chosen trip and all the things you need to do before you depart.
Personal Information
We will ask you to provide some key information to help us create the best experience for you, such as medical and dietary requirements, any previous relevant experience you have, and what you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad. We may also ask you to complete a police background check depending on the nature of your trip.
Flights and Insurance
You will need to book your flights and travel insurance before you leave, and then provide us with these details. We do not include flights and insurance in the project fee (to avoid passing on extra admin costs to you) but our partners will help you find the best options around.
Visas and Vaccinations
Next you will need to get your vaccinations and visas for your trip. Your travel nurse or local doctor will tell you exactly what you need. We will also provide you with lots of information to make obtaining your visa very straightforward.
Final Payment
We will ask you for your final payment 90 days before your scheduled departure date. Once paid, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your passport and get on the plane.
Orientation and Induction
Our in-country coordinator will give you a warm welcome before taking you to your accommodation. You will then receive an orientation and placement induction to help you settle in to the country and prepare you for your time overseas.

"Overall it is such an enjoyable placement and very good for helping my German and communication skills. It’s really fun and everyone is really friendly. The kids are lovely and there’s never a dull moment!"

Stephanie Memory
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Nomad Travel has been kitting out travellers for a wide range of trips since 1990. 

Specialising in kit that can take you off the beaten track, Nomad ensure that you leave fully prepared for your trip. With large ranges in-store and online including clothing, rucksacks, footwear and a lot more as well as a team of travel experts to help you select your gear, Nomad are the one stop shop for all your travel needs. 

In addition Nomad have been providing travel health advice to thousands of people to ensure they leave prepared health-wise for their trip. As well as general advice about your destination, vaccinations and information about anti-malaria options, you will also be able to discuss any health issues you might be worried about when travelling abroad.

Changing Worlds have teamed up with Nomad Travel Stores to offer great deals on a whole range of equipment and clothing.

By quoting 'CW1000' you will be entitled to a 10% discount on travel gear and vaccinations, both online and in-store.

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