Meet the
van Arkel Family

We are the Van Arkel Family. Meeuwis and Ivonne with our three sons Ben (grade 7), Jan (grade 6) and Tom (grade 1). Although only Ivonne was born in The Netherlands, we do consider ourselves a Dutch family. Due to the work Meeuwis’ dad did for the United Nations he was born in Kenya. Ivonne’s mum still lives in the same house she was born in. 

 

We started our lives together on the Van Arkel family farm just outside Amsterdam, where we both worked at that time. As we wanted to broaden our horizons, we looked for international opportunities. Meeuwis was the first to land a job overseas, in Philadelphia. We moved there in 2005 right after having a 7 week honeymoon to Kenya and Tanzania to find Meeuwis’ roots. We really enjoyed our time in Philly; both Ben and Jan were born there. Due to Ivonne’s dad's illness we decided to be closer to the Netherlands and moved to Frankfurt am Main, where Tom was born. It was our first acquaintance with living in Germany and international schools and we enjoyed both.

 

After 10 years abroad, we went (back) to the Netherlands. We lived for 5 years in Heemstede, half an hour outside of Amsterdam and 15 minutes from the beach and the tulip fields. We bought a house, and were certain we would not move again. But never say never - so here we are in Kleinmachnow, since the end of July. Our children were not really enthusiastic at first about the idea to say the least but are adapting fast and now like the new school, sports, and are making new friends.

 

As a family we like to go out for walks in the woods with our furry family member, our Bernese Mountain dog Sam - he  has been a part of our family for over 9 years now . The two youngest kids play football both at school and at a local football club while Ben loves to play water polo and found a new club in Berlin. We also love to go on bicycle rides (we are Dutch after all). After being outside we love to relax inside; we put the fireplace on, make pizza and popcorn and watch a movie on Friday night. We love to make and eat ‘stamppot’, Dutch meal consisting of mashed potato, vegetables (preferably endive) and bacon bits, together with smoked sausage. In this time of year Sinterklaas is a Dutch tradition celebrated with special treats such as taaitaai and peternoten, (cookies with mixed spices such as cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cardamon). Luckily there is a Dutch store called Hema in Berlin.

 

Our vacation time is a combination of adventure, being active and relaxing. While in the USA we travelled a lot within the country. The boys’ first Christmases were all in the sun - Florida, Mexico and South Africa - where we visited friends when Tom was three months old. Our favorite family trip (that the whole family can remember) was last year.  We went for three weeks to Costa Rica. a beautiful country which we certainly recommend you visit. Beaches, volcanos, rafting etc. We slept in a tree hut for two days where we were woken up by Howler Monkeys. The family picture was taken on this vacation.

 

It is great to see how welcoming everyone is at school. While the kids like their sport, drama and Lego Fun after school activities, Ivonne enjoys going to yoga and different PTA activities while being a classparent for grade 1. As we just moved here, we are very excited to discover new places and make new friends, new memories and new traditions in this beautiful and interesting region of Germany.

Meet the
Greaves Family
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Ruby, Hilda, Kerstin, Simon – the English and German Greaves family based in Kleinmachnow. 

Our Passions

Ruby is our 6th Grade student, soccer player, drummer, cellist, part of the Mit Mach Musik orchestra, which integrates children of refugees and performs from time to time at the Philharmonie Berlin. Our 3rd Grade Hilda loves to dance ballet and Hip Hop, is a singer, dancer and actress as part of the Stage Factory Berlin and on stage at the theatre Wühlmäuse. 

Simon works hard to keep the pile of girls together, in his job he shifts around the finances of an international company and is probably best informed about all details of any kind of sports events. 

Mama Kerstin is a singer, voice teacher/coach, conductor and organizer of several events apart from and at school. Primary students know her as a substitute teacher for German and Music. At BBIS, she also is the conductor of The Mamma Mias choir and the Primary School Orchestra. As a former passionate PTA board member she still organizes the BBIS BINGO event ( Feb. 7th 2020) and the stage program for SummerFest (June 6th 2020). 

Kleinmachnow Concert

It’s not often that she performs in the Berlin area, but in November she does! It would be fantastic if you all could come to her Rock-, Pop-, Jazz- concert with the quartet ‘The B Side’!  Here are the details:

Neue Kammerspiele, 
Kleinmachnow  

 

Saturday, November 23rd

8pm 

Tickets: info@neuekammerspiele.de , 033203 /847584

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Meet the
Kelly Family
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We are the Kelly Family.  No relation to the singers!

Chris, Paula, Dilly and Ishanka, not forgetting Lola, our dog!  Ishanka is in Grade 5 and this is her third year at BBIS. Dilly is in Grade 11 at Nelson Mandela International School.

Where we have lived

We are from England and Dilly and Ishanka are from Sri Lanka. We first came to Berlin in 2000 and loved the city so ended up staying! We moved to Singapore in 2011 for four years, then spent two years in Strasbourg, France before returning home to Berlin in 2017.

We have lived in various “Kiez” in Berlin – Frohnau, Charlottenburg and currently Moabit. 

 

Languages we speak

We speak English and German, although Dilly thinks my German (Paula) is hilarious! I am still having lessons even after all this time!

Hobbies

Ishanka is a very keen horse rider and has recently been joined in the activity by Dilly. We spend many hours at the riding stables and are also involved at times in caring for the horses.

I love to visit museums with the PTA Museum Club. It is a great day out with lovely friends visiting museums that I would not necessarily  find on my own.  Chris is a big rugby fan and is currently enjoying the world cup!

Favourite Holiday

Every winter we ski with a big party of friends and family, usually in France. We rent a large chalet and each family takes turns in cooking an evening meal. We have lots of fun and it has become somewhat of a tradtion.

We also had some wonderful holdidays visiting countries and islands around Singapore while living there. Another very memorable holiday was spent with friends in New Zealand which was timed to coincide with the Rugby Lions Tour, where we watched the final!

 

Family Traditions

At Christmas we like to  bake items including a cake which Dilly and Ishanka always decorate and Christmas pudding, which we all stir and make a wish!

Favourite Places in Berlin

We like to visit the Christmas markets during Advent time and enjoy a Gluhwein and Bratwurst, and love how Berlin ‘lights’ up during this period.

I also enjoy visiting museums with Ishanka, the Egyptian being one of our favourites.

Our favourte restaurant is an Italian in Charlottenburg – Opera Italiana. It was our local when we lived nearby, and we have celebrated many occasions there, with wonderful memories of times spent there over the past 19 years!

 

There are still many places we need to visit in Berlin and despite being here for many years, there is still so much to do!

Meet the
Hirano Family
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Hello from  the Hirano Family!  We came here to Berlin from Japan around half a year ago. Some of you might have seen us at the “Japanese Booth” at Summerfest.

First, we will introduce ourselves with “What Drink We Love.” Kazufumi (Father) loves cooking with beer at weekends! Hiroko (Mother) is a coffee lover who explores many cafes in Berlin by the kick scooter. Haruna is in grade 4 at BBIS and loves bubble tea so much! Ayano loves hot chocolate and is able to talk in German with a lot of her friends at kindergarten.

Languages We Speak

We speak Japanese at home and speak English outside. Haruna is learning English through her daily school life. In addition, we are studying German and trying to use German words at home, cafes and restaurants. Our favorite German words are “Zum Wohl!” and ”Prost !” (i.e. ”Cheers!” in English, “Kanpai!” in Japanese). The picture above was taken  at “The International Beer Festival in Berlin, August 2019” which is well recognized as the World Guinness Record. Actually we toasted with “Zum Wohl!” and ”Prost!” many times during this festival!

 

Where We’ve Lived

Japan, Singapore and Germany. Haruna and Ayano were born in Singapore. We  lived in Berlin for 3 months in 2017, and now again in Berlin near S1- Zehlendorf.  

 

Big Fan & Great Memory 

Absolutely the BBIS school event “Summerfest” this year!! Many thanks for the PTA’s support from the bottom of our hearts. We as a family had a precious opportunity to run the “Japanese Booth” where we served the Japanese foods sushi and mochi. We had a fantastic time with many students, teachers, parents, and guests as well as PTA-staff. Since we originally hoped to enjoy our life with a lot of friends in Germany, this Summerfest actually made this come true as our great memory!

 

What We Appreciate 

Haruna’s opportunity to speak in English at BBIS because she had little chance to use English in her home country. Since her enrollment to BBIS, she joined the ECAs (i.e. cooking and tennis clubs) as well as many events at school, as a great opportunity for her communication in a different language with various cultures. She very much enjoys her school life with great friends and teachers. We as parents are really proud of her growth and that she can gradually talk about her thoughts in English.

 

Secret Berlin - Top Tip!

Everyone can enjoy a short concert at the Berlin Philharmonie (early birds get the seats, others sit on the floor).  It's FREE of charge every Tuesday at 1pm, starting in September

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meet the Eisenach family

We are Americans with a great German last name!  Debbie and Brian moved to Berlin in 2011 for Brian’s job with a power electronics company.  Between sports, drama/music, student council and DoE, our children have been very active at BBIS. Rebecca (21) graduated in 2015 and is in her last year at MIT, Jacob (19) graduated in 2018 and is a Freshman at Stanford, and Lizzie (18) graduates this year and will attend Northeastern University in Boston.  

 

Places We’ve Lived:

Our children were all born in Connecticut.  We then we moved to Atlanta for three years, then Singapore for six years, and have been in Berlin for eight years.  Debbie and Brian are both Air Force brats so moved themselves many times as children.

 

Languages We Speak:

Foreign languages are not our forte! The children all learned Mandarin while in Singapore and we all have varying levels of German. 

 

What has been your favorite family pet?

Our dog Bailey, a Bichon Frise, hails from Australia.  We adopted her when she was one while living in Singapore.  She has been around the world herself and is a connoisseur of Persian food thanks to Ms. Sami.  She even had a role in a BBIS drama production and participated in a student’s Personal Project exhibition. 

 

What has been your favorite family trip?

We have been fortunate to have had some amazing family trips.  I think we would all agree that one of

that one of our most memorable was trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal when the kids were still pretty young. It was no frills, cold and tiring, one child got sick - but five days of hiking with our amazing Sherpas, the lovely people, and the amazing views is something we will all never forget.  Sunrise over Poon Hill is like being on top of the world.  We also trekked in Morocco while living in Berlin and that was also wonderful.  

 

What is your best tip for living in Berlin?

When we moved to Berlin, we wanted to learn all about its history but quickly learned it was a bit overwhelming for the kids and rather depressing. We found that Geocaching, a modern day treasure hunt using GPS, was a great way to get us outside. It has taken us into old bunkers in Berlin, the Colosseum in Rome, bridges in Paris and so many other interesting places.  We continue to geocache around the world and have logged over 800 finds in over 30 countries.  Get the app and check it out!

 

Where is your favorite restaurant, playground, place to take visitors in Berlin?

We love biking and often take visitors to Potsdam. Through the woods from Kleinmachnow, around the lakes, through the gardens and by the palaces ending up in a beer garden on the Wannsee.  We also really like BerlinonBike - they offer an array of tours, not just the standard ones, so even long time Berliners can learn something new on their tours.  

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meet the Price family

Daddy Clark is from the United States and works for the State Department. Mommy Anat is from Israel. I have had many professions, the most recent one being a cake decorator. Alex (24) is half Greek. He recently moved to NYC after completing a degree in Audio Engineering at American University in D.C. Daniel is in grade 8 at BBIS. We've been in Berlin for the past three years and love it here!

 

Places We’ve Lived

Israel, Greece, U.S.A. (D.C.), Armenia and Germany

 

Languages We Speak

In addition to English, we are fluent in Hebrew, Greek and German. We can get by with Japanese, French, Armenian and Spanish.

 

Favorite Family Tradition

Friday night family dinner. Although we try to eat dinner together every night, Friday evening is special and we rarely skip this dinner together. We do the traditional Jewish candle lighting and short Sabbath ceremony - we eat freshly baked Challah bread, enjoy a nice home cooked meal, relax, catch up on the events of the week and look forward to our weekend activities (or inactivities!).

 

 

Best Tip for Living in Berlin

Never go hungry to a restaurant! Go one hour before you think you will be hungry.  If you are hungry go to an Imbiss.  A restaurant is for dining, slowly, often without cellphones, enjoying a drink before your food, and enjoying the company you are with. 

 

Favorite Family Activity

We live right next to the "doggy lake" (Grunewaldsee).  We love to walk down there, see all the doggies, walk around the lake and if the weather is nice have a beer and a pretzel in the beer garden.

 

Favorite restaurant or Place to Visit

Our favorite pizza place is Pizzeria Constantino in Lichterfelde. Our favorite date night restaurant is Heimlich Treu. Our favorite activity with visitors is to watch the movie The Bridge of Spies and then go to the Glienicke Bridge.

 

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/aspecialcake

 

Visit my blog: 

www.aspecialcake.blogspot.com

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meet the Albrecht family

We are the Albrechts! We are a family of four and have lived in Berlin for over 5 years now. MaryAnn is from New York and Stefan is from a town outside of Frankfurt. Andre and Marcus were born in Connecticut and attend BBIS as a 9th grader and 7th grader, respectively.

 

Places we lived

MaryAnn and Stefan have lived and worked in over 10 countries in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe. The two met in Kuala Lumpur on a project and decided to move to Beijing. They continued to travel for work but have settled down after having kids. Andre and Marcus have lived and gone to school in China, New York and Germany. Our plan is to stay in Berlin till the boys graduate from BBIS.

 

Languages We Speak

English is our primary language at home. MaryAnn also speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, German and high school French. Stefan speaks German, French and Italian (which gets more fluent after a few drinks). Andre and Marcus speak German, Mandarin and are learning Spanish at school. We find it increasingly difficult to keep up other languages as the boys are now so accustomed to speaking English at school.

 

Favorite Vacations

We really love travelling to different places. MaryAnn’s favorite experience was chasing the sunrise on Mt. Haleakala. Stefan’s favorite holiday was windsurfing in Lake Garda. The boys loved learning how to fish in Mauritius and surfing in the US.

 

Favorite activities 

Movies: As a family, we enjoy watching movies together. Given that we have 3 boys in the family, including my husband, we have watched the full spectrum of Hollywood testosterone-packed movies (e.g., probably every single superhero movie in the DC and Marvel universe, the entire Fast and Furious franchise, all episodes of Star Wars etc... you get the idea). Berlinale Film Festival in

February is also a favorite time of the year for us. It is a fantastic experience to view movies from all over the world and find threads of commonality across cultures captured on the big screen.

 

Food

We love food! On Sundays, we enjoy making dinner together, making sushi rolls, rolling out pasta, and flinging pizza dough to create strange pizza combinations. Our favorite right now is cauliflower, onion, and bacon on thick cream sauce. We also enjoy exploring restaurants around the city. There’s a terrific food hall in Markthalle Neun on Thursdays which is wonderfully eclectic. We enjoy sampling food at Lindner’s and buying rosettes of monk’s head cheese and “beaten” butter (literally spanked with wooden spatulas). And of course we love snacking on Berlin currywurst and doner.

 

Sports

The boys have sports six days a week and have joined local “Vereins” or clubs. They can be found either rowing in Wannsee, playing tennis, or running in the forest. Sports started off as a way to burn off their excess energy (to give Mom a break) but now Is a big part of their teenage lives. If they weren’t doing sports, they probably would be online 24/7 playing Fortnite, watching Netflix, and of course scrolling through 50 gazillion life-critical group chats on WhatsApp.

 

Tips for living in Germany

 1. Buy a token for the supermarket cart (einkaufswagenchip) and attach it to your car keys so you never have to fumble for 1 Euro coins again. You can also get a small shopping bag (einkaufstasche schlüsselanhänger) that can be attached to the keychain so you don’t have to keep buying plastic bags.

 2. Enroll the kids in a local Verein or sports club to get a flavor of German culture and to learn German. It might be tough in the beginning. The Germans don’t believe in giving everyone a gold medal for showing up, but it’s never too early for a dose of reality. Viel Spaß!

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Meet the Sabanegh Family

We are the Sabanegh family, which means Spinach in Arabic. We're new to BBIS and Germany this year. We have three children - Cecilia (Grade 5), and identical twins Oliver and Emiliano (Grade 1). I (Alexa) am American (Canadian-border New York) and my husband, Rami, is Italian (Rome) of Palestinian origins. Rami and I met in university in the United States over 20 years ago, and lived in NY State, NYC and Boston. With Rami wanting to return to Europe, and me being happy in the U.S., we compromised on the United Kingdom. We first landed in London where Cecilia was born. Our journey then took us to Norway where we had the twins, and lived the full Viking life, including sledding to kindergarten in the winter and being ok with 12E beers. After nearly six years, we moved to Brussels and now we're here in Berlin, where we're all hoping to stay a few years.

 

Languages

We speak English at home but I also speak French and I'm learning German. Rami speaks Italian, Arabic, Spanish, French, some Norwegian and is learning quite a bit of German! The kids speak

English together. The twins went to nursery school in Norway and speak some when they are reminded. All of them also speak some French. 

 

Hobbies

As a family we love to be outside. Norway was amazing for us as we spent a lot of time both downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. Rami also developed a love of biking there and continues that hobby here in Berlin. He's also a die-hard Juventus fan but can easily be sucked into watching any football game whoever's playing. I love to read, cook and exercise (outdoors and gently!).

 

Favorite Vacation

The kids always seem to think the last vacation we took was the best one - so we're doing pretty well! But we loved Norway, any ski vacation ever, Thailand, LegoLand (Denmark) and recently beach time in the Dominican Republic. We also enjoy the 2-3 weeks we spend with Rami's parents in Amman (Jordan) every summer. 

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Meet the Roberts Family

We are the Roberts family from Johannesburg, South Africa. Trevor is an industrial engineer and currently the COO of Schirm GmbH, a chemicals company. Jeanie is a chartered accountant and is currently enjoying time with Mila after spending 17 years in the auditing profession. We have been married for 17 years. Daniel (10) is in grade 4; Benjamin (7) is in grade one; Mila is three-years-old.

Places We’ve Lived
We have only lived in South Africa, this is our first expat adventure as a family. Before kids, we spent seven exciting months in New York City. 

 

Languages We Speak

We speak Afrikaans at home. Unfortunately very little German, definitely planning some lessons!

 

Favorite Holiday Destination

Our beach house in Kleinmond, Western Cape. It is a small coastal town surrounded by mountains, fynbos and beautiful beaches. We love to spend

time on the beach, visiting wine farms and having "kuiers" with our family and friends. 

 

Family Pets

Our favorite pet is Luna, a goldendoodle. We sadly had to leave her behind; she is much loved by her new family.

 

Favorite Books

Daniel and Ben prefer the Harry Potter series, Trapped in a Video Game series, and the Treehouse Series. Mila enjoys Where the Wild Things Are and anything Paw Patrol. 

 

Family Tradition

On Friday nights, we watch a family movie together at home and eat pizza. We also love to play boardgames - Monopoly and Dixit especially.

 

What are you looking forward to doing this year? 

Learning German, travelling in Europe, making new friends and having great adventures in Berlin! 

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Meet the Hargreaves Family

Hello from the Hargreaves Family - Gillian, Andy, Oliver (6th) and Madeline (4th).  We have been here in Kleinmachnow for exactly a year and a half; it’s remarkable to think of how settled we feel, in such a short time. This year I took on the role of Co-chair of the PTA, so that’s why you see more of me than you probably should. It can be a lot of work but I’m surrounded by so many awesome people, in the end the “work” mostly feels like play. Mostly. 

Places We’ve Lived

Andy grew up in the northwest of England, and I (Gillian) in midcoast Maine; we met in the US and after many years in Connecticut and New Jersey, the lure of Europe was too hard to resist!  

What has been your favorite family trip?

I did love taking the kids to Amsterdam, by train.  Our bike tour on day 1 was fantastic, and we had so much fun on it that we decided to keep the bikes for an extra 24 hours, which opened up the city to us.  Had a great boat tour that we highly recommend, from Those Dam Boat Guys. The memorable highlight was visiting the “Cat Boat,” the world’s only floating animal sanctuary.

What are you reading?

I’m just starting In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson, which the BBIS Book Club chose for its next

meeting. It is based on true events – it follows the family of the U.S. ambassador in Berlin, during the early years of Hitler’s rise to power.Consider grabbing the book and joining us at our next Book Club meeting!

 

Any favorite restaurants?

Did you know that the super-swish Gendarmerie near Gendarmenmarkt is surprisingly affordable at lunchtime? And very delicious. Most often we go to Nolle, at Friedrichstrasse. Our favorites in Kleinmachnow are Noi2Due and August 1928.

What is your best tip for living in Berlin?

Get the BVG app, and wander.  I typically get a day pass so I can pop from place to place all day, especially with the kids, as they’re free on my day pass. I adore public transit in Berlin.  Even just getting around can provide a history lesson… after marveling at the cool station signs one day, I found this article about U-Bahn typography

 

What are you looking forward to doing this year?

Improving my German. Exploring more cool stuff in Berlin.  Finally getting internet at home that actually works (a girl can dream). And, as always, hanging out with the MOST fun and interesting people – friends from BBIS.

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Meet the Steward Family

We’re the Steward family! I am Jacquelynn and my husband is Michael. Our son Noah is in fourth grade, Silas is in a kita and Jackson stays home with me.

Places We’ve Lived

In the United States we have lived in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia. We moved to Germany last year.

Languages We Speak

English is our primary language at home but the children are learning German at school and through friends.

What has been your favorite family pet?

We had three pet moon jellyfish last year! They were iridescent and the tank had a light that changed colors so you could make them any color you wanted. They were so mesmerizing.
 

Have you had any embarrassing experiences as a family?

When we first moved to Berlin we couldn’t read German at all and it made shopping difficult. For example, one time I went to the store and bought premade meatballs stuffed with cheese for our spaghetti. As soon as we bit into them we discovered they were actually filled with mustard and not cheese. This surprise was not a good combination with the sauce!

What is your favorite family tradition?

We absolutely love to load everyone into the car with hot chocolate, play Christmas music and drive around to see everyone's Christmas lights.

What meal reminds you of home?

Being from a Southern state, food that remind me from home include: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits with honey, and a big glass of iced sweet tea.

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Meet the Jeager Family

We are the Jaeger family! We’ve been living in Berlin a little over a year. I (Muugii) am originally from Mongolia and my husband, Andy, is from Wisconsin. We have three children: Misheel (8th grade), Saraa (5th grade), and Temujin (3rd grade).

 

Places We’ve Lived

We’ve lived in Ulaanbaatar, (Mongolia), Vienna (Austria), Virginia, Wisconsin, and Beijing (China).

 

Languages We Speak

English and Mongolian.

 

Favorite Trips

Our favorite places to travel are: Bali, Siem Reap, Indonesia, Phu Quoc Island, Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam, Seoul and Hong Kong. 

 

Best Tip for Living in Germany

Ask family and friends to visit you during the cold gray winters so that they don’t seem as long. And take vitamin D.

 

Weekend Activities

As a family, we like to walk in Grunewald Park and play the Ticket to Ride board game. The Asian, European and U.S. versions are all fun.

 

Favorite Restaurants

Our favorite food is Korean so we like to go to Hodori, Arirang, and Mmaah.

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Meet the Fitzgerald Family

We are the Fitzgerald family! I (Lisseth) am from El Salvador and my husband Liam is an American from Connecticut. My daughter (Mariel) is in eighth grade and my son (Michael) is in fourth grade. We also have two dogs, Kalu and Topaz. Topaz is from Brazil and Kalu is a rescued dog from the streets of New Delhi, India. 

Places We Have Lived

I met my husband in El Salvador and since them we been moving around the world - United

States of America, Brazil, India and now Germany. 

Languages We Speak

English and Spanish are the primary languages spoken in our home. I also speak Portuguese. My daughter speaks German and French. My husband speaks German and Finnish.

Favorite Trip
Our favorite trip was Finland but we like to explore new places and new continents.

The Dish That Reminds Me From Home

The food that reminds me of home are pupusas (the most traditional Salvadoran dish).

Family Time

As a family we like to hike and enjoy road trips.

 

Favorite Restaurant 

So far one of my favorite restaurants is Brasil Brasileiro.

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Meet the Glauser-Ludviksdottir Family

We are the Glauser-Ludviksdottirs; a very international family of six.  I, Erna, am Icelandic and have dual citizenship with the United States. Erwin grew up in Switzerland. Smari (Grade 9) and Björk (Grade 8) are from South Africa. Shadow the cat is from the Czech Republic, and finally our Coco Labrador, Prince, is German. This is our 5th year at BBIS.  

 

Where we have lived

Before moving to Berlin 4 years ago, we lived for eight years in Sweden and six years in China.  

 

Language We Speak

The languages we speak are German (Swiss-German), Icelandic, Swedish, English, French, and Bjork is also learning Spanish. At home Erwin and I speak German together. My kids speak English to the family because it is their first language. I speak Icelandic to my kids but they usually reply in English.  

 

Favorite Vacation

While living in China, we were able to visit many beautiful places like Thailand, Vietnam and

Australia. Our favorite trips were to Australia, where we drove up the Sunshine Coast, went surfing and stayed some nights at a farm which produces honey. Last summer we visited Kenya. It’s a stunning country and the highlight was a two-week safari.

 

Living in Berlin

We like Berlin and its variety. The list of what to do is endless.  As a family, we like to take a bike ride to Potsdam, walk through the beautiful outdoor spaces, or visit Treptower Park. 

 

Eating in Berlin

We love Asian food and one of our favorite meals is a Korean style chicken made by my daughter. Sushi is also high on the list and almost weekly we order home delivery from the Restaurant Hikari in Zehlendorf. Two of our favorite restaurants are Kimci Princess in Kreuzberg and  893 on Kantstrasse in Wilmersdorf.  

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Meet the Miles Family

We are the family Miles. Berlin has become our new home for nearly four months now.  Bernie and I have two children - Willow in grade five and Cecilia in grade two. We have moved from Sweden which we considered our forever country until we decided it is never too late for another adventure and Berlin was our first choice! We are an English speaking family, although I would say Willow’s Swedish is pretty good. 

 

Bernie was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and I was born in Kent, England. Bernie moved to UK when he was 14 and grew up in Bath.

 

We met while living in London. He was a Musician, and I was an Actress. Once married we left our creative/performing jobs behind and started on our ‘grown-up’ journey. We moved to Seattle In 2007, where we had our first daughter, Willow before moving back to London.  Then Cecilia came along. When she was two we moved to Sweden. 

 

Road trip to Berlin 

Bernie and Willow decided to drive to Berlin. Willow figured this would be a great start to moving. The proviso from Willow was that they only ate junk food and threw the rubbish on the back seat! I am still finding coke bottle tops and sweet wrappers now…!

Cheer in Berlin

Whilst living in Sweden, both the girls developed a passion for gymnastics. On a cold winter's night in

Sweden, I did some research and found an excellent cheer team which I thought would be almost as good as gymnastics. I registered them both. After living here a few weeks Willow and Cecilia were asked to come and try-out. They both were delighted to be accepted on the teams. Willow is now learning choreography for a basketball game held at the JFK school next week! Go Willow!

 

Markets

On our first Saturday living In Zehlendorf we wandered out for an explore. We discovered the wonderful little market that sells a fantastic variety of local food produce and has a great atmosphere. We now walk up every Saturday and find a few treats. Sometimes there is a small band with a live singer which adds to the atmosphere. We have also started to explore flea markets on a Sunday. We had a great day looking around the Berliner Antik und Flohmarkt, finishing with a great kid-friendly brunch in the cafe there.

 

80s pop

The girls’ Aunt (my sister in law) is the 80’s popstar, Kim Wilde. A bonus moving here is that Kim often tours Germany. Luckily we are able to see her perform in Berlin next week.  Willow is very lucky as we have VIP seats and backstage passes. You have got love a bit of 80’s Pop!

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Meet the Tierney Family

We are the Tierney family and Berlin has been home for us for the past two years. Marty and I have three kids: Sydney who is a sophomore at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, Jamison who is a senior at BBIS and Kevin who is a junior at BBIS. We have lived in many places in the United States but we consider the state of Virgina to be home. This is our first overseas assignment and we are having a wonderful time exploring Europe.

 

Languages spoken

Marty and I only speak English, but the boys are working hard to pick up German as well.

 

Family Pet

We have the most amazing Great Dane, Manny. He is super friendly but his size does surprise a lot of people.  He weighs about 170 pounds. Manny loves to “hug” people, so if he sees anyone hugging he will jump up and join in.  

Favorite Meal From Home

Being from the East Coast of America, Blue Crabs and seafood are the  foods that most remind me of home. Nothing beats sitting outside in the

afternoon, picking crabs covered in Old Bay seasoning, and drinking a beer with family and friends. 

Local Hot Spot

Luise Dahlem is our favorite place to meet with friends for dinner. It is always lively and has a welcoming atmosphere.  There is plenty of seating outside and a small playground for families with young children. The menu is varied,but the pizza is a must have. The large patio is lit up at night by strings of lights so the good times don’t have to stop when the sun goes down.

 

Family Time

Our kids have always been involved in

sports. All three children swam competitively through elementary and middle school, all three played lacrosse, and one wrestles.  When the kids were younger, we loved to spend our Saturdays together as a family cheering each other on. It is never easy to get everyone to all the different practices, competitions, and games, but the experiences they have and the friendships we have all made on-and-off the field make it all worth it.

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Meet the Patel Family

Our family is of Indian origin but from different parts of the world! Kanika is a full time mom and was born and raised in India and Ketan was born in Zimbabwe. Ketan spends two weeks a month in deep rural African communities providing pathways out of poverty to those without energy, water and sanitation. The family moved to Berlin last year leaving behind a politically turbulent Zimbabwe. Our son, Hridhaan, is seven-years-old and in second grade. He grew up riding a motorbike and in the streams around the neighborhoods of Harare. 

 

Places We’ve Lived

Prior to Germany, we have lived in Harare in Zimbabwe, Lagos in Nigeria, London, Atlanta, New Delhi, Lusaka in Zambia and now in Ku’damm Berlin.

Languages We Speak

Kanika is multilingual and speaks English, Hindi and Gujarati. Hridhaan attended a Greek kindergarten school  where he was taught French, Greek, and Shona but he speaks mostly English. Ketan speaks only English! 

Favorite Book

Our favorite book we have read aloud as a family more than once is Half Magic by Edward Eager, a perfect summer time adventure with children and magic coins.

 

Favorite Family Tradition

We try to get in one family hug a day - the best feeling ever!

 

Favorite Family Trip

Our fav holiday destination is the Seychelles. African hospitality at its best with never-ending blue skies and turquoise waters - perfect for spending family time together!

 

A Berlin Tip

Our top tip for living in Berlin is to try the lunch menus at various restaurants across the amazing and diverse neighborhoods of the city. If you’re new to the cuisine, the restaurant makes it easier to choose their scrumptious specialties with preset lunch menus.

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Meet the McFaddens

We are a family of four new to Berlin this year.  We moved from the Washington DC area in July and are looking forward to getting to know our new home city.  Joel works for the US Embassy, Karri is an elementary teacher taking a little break while we get settled, Ainsley will be starting grade 1 at BBIS and Rowan is two and half and is very curious.

 

Places We've Lived

As a family we have lived only in the Washington DC area, specifically Silver Spring, Maryland.  Karri is a born and raised Californian and Joel was raised abroad, mostly in Taiwan and Singapore.  Other places we've lived include: Shanghai, Beijing, and a couple summers in Spain. 

Languages

Only Joel can claim much fluency in a language outside of English, he speaks Mandarin.  Karri speaks some Spanish and we all hope to learn at least some German.

Favorite Pet

Mackey, our 12 year old Cairn Terrier.  We chose this breed because it has Scottish roots like the McFadden family.

 

Favorite Books

As a teacher this is a hard one...I would say we really enjoyed reading the "My Father's Dragon" series as a great beginner chapter book and fun read aloud. 

 

Favorite Family Trip

Every fall we've gone to Shenandoah National Park as a family to hike and take in the spectacular fall colors.  This year we will be looking for a replacement for that trip and would love suggestions!

 

Favorite Family Weekend Activities

Trying new restaurants and exploring new places.