Nelson Mandela School Berlin
Reviews & Information

3.3 from 25 reviews
School Overview Reviews

About Nelson Mandela School


Nelson Mandela School Berlin provides quality bilingual education to children from a wide variety of backgrounds. English and German are our school’s official languages, but we do not stop at introducing our students just to German and Anglo-American values and traditions.

As a truly international school and a member of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network (ASP), it is our business to acquaint our students with as many different aspects of life on this planet as possible – and to enable them to make a positive difference wherever they go.

Being named after Mr. Mandela, sub-Saharan Africa in general and South Africa in particular have a special place in our hearts, and we try and let that show wherever and whenever we can – be it in our classrooms or beyond. 

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Curriculum

German, IB

Primary Language

English

Ages

6 to 18

Max Class Size

Unknown

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25 Reviews of Nelson Mandela School

Average Ratings

Overall 3.33
Facilities 3.30
Academics 3.20
Teachers 3.15
Sports 3.05
Music & Arts 3.55
Science & Tech 3.25

Reviewer Nationalities

Irish (1) Canadian (1) German (8) British (3) American (4) Dutch (1)

How would you rate Nelson Mandela School?

nico bennhold, 24/06/2022 @ 08:03:36
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International school is a stretch. It forces you to learn german if you don’t already, which is difficult for students only staying short periods of time. The curriculum doesn’t involve other cultures and is claimed to be half english half german, when in fact it is around 90% german and 10% english, however most teachers speak decent english but make students translate for those who cannot understand taking away learning time from some. Other things to note are also the school time to homework ratio, which is; long:a lot. School budget is spent unfairly and could be put to better uses such as fixing all the bathrooms which don’t work, are in poor condition, smell like cigarettes and completely vandalized, which doesn’t affect use and is how most of Berlin looks. All in all if you're coming from abroad without german and you’d like your child to learn about world history and culture, not just western, then this may not be the place for you. If you are an international family who speaks german well and are looking for a more typical german public school experience, then a this is a good enough mix.

ZC&C, 26/04/2022 @ 15:59:07
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While it is pretty diverse in terms of ethnicity, Most of the older kids here do drugs in school. I mean hard drugs, they can purchase it in the school!! I’m a senior now and I truly wish I went to another school so I can interact with people similar to me, instead of feeling so limited here. Also, the classes have been ridiculously easy for my time here; cheating is everywhere and most teachers are completely oblivious to it This school sucks and tries way too hard to seem like they’re diverse and the best, but they’re really, really not.

cb, 17/02/2022 @ 06:29:00
Relationship   Parent

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Our daughter is in 3rd grade and we're super happy with the school. I personally can't understand other negative feedback listed here. I think it's a perfect mix of international and local students, also our daughter finds the teachers inspiring and we also got good support in Covid times plus the school is free of charge. In case you're used to private schools with all inclusive mentality then perhaps NMS doesn't score 100% in every dimension as its a state school, but comparing to state schools we see very engaged teachers with even individualised learning programmes, small classes, diverse extracurriculars, great parent spirit, good social learning etc. etc. We're big fans and look forward to the next years. Of course, the admission process is tricky, but that's the responsibility of Berlin senate and a matter of not having sufficient resources for this kind of offering.

Anne, 16/12/2021 @ 05:58:06
Relationship   Teacher

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The Nelson Mandela School has become an institution in Berlin. One of two (free) international state schools with very good school facilities,, like libraries and digital infrastructure, thanks to the support of engaged teachers and parents. New students are tested for their proficiency in either English or German at this bilingual school,. NMS offers the German Abitur or the International Baccalaureate. This is a truly international state school in the heart of Berlin with a diverse and motivated student body and engaged bilingual staff and volunteers.

Ciao, 11/11/2021 @ 14:07:04
Relationship   Other

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Corrupted institution. Make sure you have money to start a lawsuit before you approach this criminal school! It's a third world school. Stay away from this place. Secretaries and teachers act as terrorists. The "Sprachtest" process is ridiculous as the admissions team already knows who will pass the test and who will fail it. There is a heavy atmosphere all around and the school is lead by negative people.

Phillip, 10/07/2021 @ 23:58:29
Relationship   Parent

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The drug and bullying culture is extremely real. The faculty is aware of the bullying problem and none of them are concerned. The nelson Mandela school has all the potential to be this amazing school that it's reputation promotes. Unfortunately, it's a nightmare. We all know that drugs and "hook up" culture are all over Berlin. But the dominance of the drug culture at N.M. trumps all else that is good about it. And with a drug culture comes the hyper social, hyper sexual, hyper aggressive social scene. It is a tragedy. Everyone says...had I known the drugs were so bad, I would never have allowed my child to come here. I had to remove my child, as many are doing now. It is so unfortunate the administration won't take on the drug culture to let them do a better their work.

razz, 10/03/2021 @ 07:41:13
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I think nelson Mandela is a great school i had luck with the teachers to this year very encouraging teacher team though last year the students weren't very open they are this year though teacher team talks a lot about being open and to all genders colors and sizes . now going back to school to homeschooling was really well thought

Allison, 25/11/2020 @ 10:10:22
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A wonderful international school 1-13 with a strong parent community, diverse staff and student body, internationally acclaimed art department and an active media education approach. German Abitur and IB certification. Language skills required for application; either native speaker level English and partner language German or vice versa.

Amanda, 19/11/2020 @ 13:33:05
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Nelson Mandela School is absolutely amazing. Over the years facilities have been improved more and more for the best possible learning experience. It goes all the way from 1st grade to IB or Abi. Best possible ratings from me.

Mary Smyth, 05/08/2020 @ 21:01:25
Relationship   Parent

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The elementary school is diseased from the top down. Disinterested and non communicative teachers doing the bare minimum is accepted as the norm. The idea of this school is a far cry from the reality. The head of the English department is beyond lazy.

Reviews from Google

Recent reviews posted on Google.

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Emily Smith, a week ago


We have been very happy at NMS with two kids starting in 2010. The community is strong, the international perspective of kids and families in refreshing, and the education is mostly on target. It is not as "highly mobile" as advertised but we see this as an advantage. Families are committed to Berlin and friendship flourish. As a public school, there are not as many resources as private schools, but it also means the economic backgrounds of families is diverse. Most kids are fluent in German AND English at home, many bringing a third language into the mix. Kids are more than just tolerant of differences, they seem to celebrate it when new kids enter the school who might come from unique backgrounds. I feel like my kids are challenged, without being anxious about learning. In 9th and 10th grade, they are still curious and active learners in almost all of their classes. Kids care about grades, but not so much that they lose sleep over it. The main drawback would be at times the administration and scheduling can be unorganized. On the optimistic side, kids learn to respond to a little chaos and be flexible. Lastly, we chose NMS so we would not have to change schools later on and face the lottery/crapshoot of applying to schools again after 6th grade. Knowing that our kids would be at NMS until high school graduation (they can choose from IB or Abitur) was a big selling point as we found navigating the German system as foreigners a challenge.

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Kerstin Rome, 3 months ago


Best school ever!!! I’m miss it so much

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Karsten xxx, 3 years ago


Simply the best international school in Berlin.

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Ralph Size, 10 months ago


We moved to Berlin from Asia some time ago and our son was admitted to NMS - we were in for a terrible and surreal experience. This school fails on so many levels, where to start..? - Above all, this is NOT an international school, so if you are an expat moving to Berlin stay clear. On paper, the school caters to "highly mobile" families but in reality, none of the kids in our class had ever lived abroad. It seems to be enough that one parent is non-German, but come on, 30% of Berlin's population is foreign, so that's the wrong criterion! As a result, parents at the school are not open-minded and there is no sense of community as you would normally find in expat circles. - Some people have commented on the school being racist. I guess that is partly true but it's not the kind of racism you would expect - what we experienced was a form of reverse racism. The school has a strange fixation on Africa. The curriculum and the school calendar are all about Africa - other parts of the world are ignored, and people seem to hold reservations againts the US and Asia in particular. As a result, children with at least one African parent are treated better than kids with parents from other parts of the world. As our child grew up in Asia, we wanted to make sure that he will be at an international school where his Asian background is cherished and appreciated. At NMS, the opposite happened. No one ever talked about Asia, Asian traditions or history, it was all about Africa and North Africa (Maghreb), so our son felt marginalized and unappreciated. - Academic standards are lower than average, so you will have a hard time changing schools once your kid is older. Several of our friends from school failed to secure a spot for their kids at other schools because they were too far behind academically. - As many have pointed out, the administration is a mess, teachers are not motivated, staff are calling in sick frequently. - Sex education in first grade: Our child was taught all about sexual intercourse, how it works, the technicalities of it. I kid you not, in first grade, at the age of seven! What is wrong with you people? - Safety concerns: As pointed out by others, accidents happen frequently at this school due to a lack of monitoring, sloppy staff and a chaotic administration.

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Alperen ergur, 9 months ago


I learned this place is self-contradictory: schools' target is highly mobile international families, BUT the school only admits students whose mother tongue is German or English.

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