Brexit: And so here it is

Friday, 31st January 2020, was the last day of UK membership to the European Union. The school regrets this step, but we also respect it. Despite Brexit, life continues and so does the great relationship between the UK and other European countries. Our friends from the United Kingdom please do continue to feel welcome at the European School Munich. You are an important part of our community. We need you!


On Friday, the school received a very touching and personal account from our former pupil Renate Mason, who attended the European School Munich from 1976 to 1985. We are very pleased that she gave us her permission to publish it here:

And so here it is. Brexit day. My thoughts turn to my time at European School in Munich and I am so grateful for it.

In 1976, I arrived in Munich when I was just 5 years old. My mum was one of the first 20 pioneers of the European Patent Office. We lived at what was the Penta hotel at Rosenheimer Platz and she worked in the same building. Every morning a mini bus would collect me and 3 others to take us to the European School at Berlep Strasse.

There were probably fewer than 20 children in the school at first, with three of us in the Kindergarten - myself (British), Pascal (French) and Stefan (German). Our teacher was Stefan's mum. None of the three children spoke each other's language. At first we communicated using games and our imagination. With Stefan’s mum’s help, my German was almost fluent by the end of the first year - I had learned a fair amount of French, too. How fortunate I was to be placed in such a rich learning environment at such a young age. One where different nationalities come together as one.

Later the school moved to Neuperlach. I remember the exciting day, of visiting what was a building site for the foundation laying ceremony. I progressed through the Grundschule to the Höhere Schule. What a journey! Languages and nationalities were celebrated. I was in the English section, but remember Art lessons were in Dutch, PE in German. I will never forget that sense of togetherness and friendship across borders.

One teacher in particular had a major influence: Mr Cook. He was so passionate about the school and most importantly about being a European. We spent a whole term learning and writing a project about the EEC - explaining in great detail how it worked, and why it was so brilliant! At the end, I remember him standing at the front of the class. He simply said "I am a European" and everyone called back in unison "We are Europeans". I remember it clearly. He then went on to learn Esperanto and started to teach it to us! A remarkable man.

For this I want to thank the European school, because despite Brexit, I know that in my heart, "I am a European". My thanks also go to the EPO for the opportunity of attending such a great school (besides being the reason we were in Munich). I left Munich to go to boarding school in England to take my GCSE's but my mum stayed with the EPO for over 25 years.