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Berufskolleg an der Lindenstraße Köln, Berufskolleg für Wirtschaft und Verwaltung, Cologne, Germany

The vocational college "Berufskolleg an der Lindenstraße" is located in Cologne, in the west of Germany. The city has nearly 1,000,000 inhabitants and is Germany's third largest city and the largest one of the federal state Northrhine-Westphalia. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 38 BC.

Cologne lies on the River Rhine. The city's famous Cologne Cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. The University of Cologne is one of Europe's oldest universities.

Cologne is a major cultural centre of the Rhineland and has a vibrant arts scene. Cologne is home to more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archaeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The Cologne Trade Fair hosts a number of trade shows. The city is also well-known for its celebration of Cologne carnival. Within Germany, Cologne is known as an important media centre.

"Berufskolleg an der Lindenstraße" provides vocational and general education to about 4,000 students. It comprises a higher commercial school, a sixth form college specializing in economics as well as its vocational school. The vocational school's faculties are e.g. retail trade, office communications, real estate, sports and fitness, occupational qualification, administration. We have a class of technical education and some courses for adults.

Some students - especially in our occupational qualification but also in commercial school - come from a low social family context (often with economic problems due to unemployment) and they are not always motivated to study. They would like to work but often they lack motivation for learning. They are therefore at risk of social exclusion.

We are constantly in contact with local companies, where we send our students for practical training. The expectations are mainly to build a larger European network of organisations and schools working in the same field, the personal enrichment and mind opening of all participants, to exchange methodologies and good practice between staff, to benefit from each other's knowledge, to exchange experiences and methods in the chosen theme.