Frequently asked questions
We have been collecting questions from parents, teachers and students, providing the answers below. We are doing our best to keep this FAQ up to date and expand it over time. Should you have a question yourself, which has not been answered yet, don't hesitate to get in touch and have the question added to our list. You can reach us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about ASTUR
ASTUR is an acronym, referring to "Agentur für Sprach- und StudienReisen" - Agency for Language and Study Trips. However, over the course of our 30-year company history we have moved on to become a language tour operator and are no longer an agency.
ASTUR is one of the largest operators of summer language courses in Germany and leader in the field of class trips for international guests to Germany. Moreover, we are operating the largest host family network in the country. In 2016 we were excited to welcome over 15.000 guests to Germany via our various programme portfolio.
Questions about supervision
During our summer language camps all students are being looked after by an international group of ASTUR supervisors. They are vetted by us and have taken part in our supervisor training programme before the start of camp. They are trained to supervise camp activities and take responsibility for the students' well-being. It is important to ASTUR that the team of supervisors are well rounded, consisting of young men and women, experienced staff and first-timers, with a broad intercultural background. Typically, beside their sense of duty of being perceived as role models, our supervisors are cool and approachable guys who are more than capable of motivating camp participants. On average camp supervisors are between 19 and 25 years of age. The majority are students in the fields of linguistics, teaching or social sciences.
During group travel and study tour programmes groups will either travel with their own supervisors or ASTUR will provide adequate supervision.
When it comes to bookings of individual programmes, supervision may be added upon request.
Firstly, all ASTUR supervisors are of age. Secondly, all supervisors have attended our training, before taking up their supervisor duties. Finally, they have to present a clearance certificate as well as proof to be able to provide first aid.
We guarantee that the ratio of participants' numbers to camp staff is well balanced. The supervisor-participant ratio of 1:10 (for students who are 12 - 14 years old) or 1:15 (for students who are 15- 17 years old) respectively is keenly observed.
For the entirety of camp season we ensure care 24/7. In a case of emergency, you will be able to reach a supervisor around the clock, including at night. For students who are accommodated with host families, procedures vary slightly: In these cases the host family assume supervision of their guests in the evenings and at night.
All participants as well as their parents will be provided with the emergency contact number. A supervisor will be available via that line 24/7. This allows ASTUR to be able to react quickly to unforeseen events.
When taking part in a group travel programme, responsible teachers or supervisors possess the contact numbers of all host families involved.
Questions about homestay
Every host family within our homestay network is looked after by one of the 40 ASTUR Center Managers. Host families have to comply to strict guidelines in order to provide comfortable accommodation for their guests. The foundation of our guidelines is laid by the European language travel norm DIN EN 14804. Here a detailed and unambiguous frame work with regard to homestay accommodation is provided.
Questions about language courses
This depends on the programme which has been booked: On the international summer camps you can attend language courses in German, English and French. Other ASTUR programmes include language courses in German (One-to-One tuition, Mini Groups etc.).
Upon special request we are capable of arranging language courses for other languages, too.
This is simple: You book a language course and show up for class. At the beginning of each language course you will take a placement test to better evaluate your language skill at that time. Your results here shape the lessons you will attend for the rest of the week. Should your language course exceed the duration of one week, you will take another placement test at the fist day of the second week etc.
Over the course of our 30 years of experience we developed learning material, tuned to our to our teaching goals. Learning to use the language actively is the primary aim of the lessons. Our teachers create their own motivating, cultural and original lesson plans. They can be about a whole range of topics that are taken from “real life”. You are encouraged to just talk and not be afraid of your mistakes. Seize this opportunity as speaking the language freely will boost your learning success and motivate you to continue mastering the language in the future.
We teach in accordance with CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages): Depending on the language and programme, we teach from level A0 to B2.
No, costs for learning material are included in all ASTUR language courses.
All intensive ASTUR language courses comprise 20 units of 45 minutes each per week. Other programmes comprise 15 units by default. Please check your programme description for the exact number of lessons.
Our language courses on average consist of 12 participants. The maximum number per class is 15 participants.
Questions about accommodation
Yes, we will pick you up and take you where you need to be for your programme. Depending on your means of travel, transfer may incur an additional fee.
Participants of summer camps in host family accommodation will travel to their class rooms individually. If you don't want to get there on you own, we recommend residence accommodation. All summer camp participants in residence accommodation walk together to class.
If a language course is part of your group travel programme, your coach will take the whole group to class together.