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Winner of the 2018 Relocate Award for School Offering Outstanding Relocation Support

Strothoff International School

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Above: Karen Smart (Judge), Bettina Otto, Birgit Thissen-Ackermann, Sue Boek

This year’s launch of a school relocation support category saw school entries from all over the world with impressive submissions from Germany, Paris and The Netherlands.

Strothoff School was hailed for outstanding services to relocating pupils and their families at the 2018 Relocate Awards. The private IB school based in Dreieich, a stone’s throw away from Germany’s banking capital Frankfurt offers education to students from kindergarten to grade 12.

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Frankfurt has been pinpointed to see a significant demand for international school places due to an influx of corporates set to be posted in the financial hub along with their families. The opening of King’s College Frankfurt in August – the first British curriculum school in the city – being a prime example of new schools in the region, as the city strives to meet capacity.

Attention to detail

Strothoff School uniquely stood out among the judging panel for its “dedication in providing support for the whole family and its attention to detail”, such as meeting new families at the airport and settling them in with a working mobile.

The school not only educates students coming from all over the world but is also an employer for faculty and staff who have lived in foreign countries.

“A smooth relocation process is important to us not only to allow for a positive start into our school for students, but also for our colleagues who often bring children with them as well. We offer a unique and individual support system, looking after our employees and families throughout the whole process in order to ensure that they are well informed, totally involved and above all, happy,” says Birgit Thissen-Ackermann.


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Read about the winners of the other Relocate Awards in the Summer issue of Relocate Magazine.


With an array of connections to real estate agents, schools and other supply companies, the school has proved to be proactive in helping not only find families a new house, but a new home. It also provides a comprehensive ongoing support system that includes a bespoke nanny search, English tutoring and German lessons for new employees and families relocating from outside Germany. In addition to its unmatched service, the school provides extracurricular activities, free playgroups, a supportive parents network and a job search service for spouses.

The judges commended Strothoff for its caring approach and progressive use of technology in relocation support. Particularly its WhatsApp groups for employers and families, its closed school community Facebook group for staff and parents and its efforts in creating a vibrant, safe and tight-knit expat community network.

Staff at the heart of the matter

Strothoff school attributes its winning formula to its dedicated staff and teachers who have significant expat experience, maintaining a strong belief that their staff are their greatest resource for keeping families supported and feeling at home.

“Empathy and compassion during an often stressful move to a foreign country is key for us. There are a variety of concerns and issues that need to be solved and therefore it is never just one staff member responsible for relocating people and families. We always find out about the whole situation of the family, their interests and personal needs, to connect them with a matching buddy in school.”

Committed to their students’ wellbeing, she added “From the very beginning, our students have a mentor in school and as soon as the new family arrives, the two families get together and their children can play together to make them feel immediately at home.”

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©2018. This article first appeared in the Summer 2018 edition of Relocate magazine, published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein. 

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