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September 6, 2022

Interview mit Dual Diploma Program Director John Lazaridis

Interview mit Dual Diploma Program Director John Lazaridis

Wie ist Ihr Name und was ist Ihre Aufgabe innerhalb des Dual Diploma Programms?

My name is John Lazaridis. I am part of the Dual Diploma Germany Admin team and a Program Director for our German Dual Diploma students. Every student has a Program Director who acts as a pedagogic contact person between the student in Germany and the teacher in the USA. You’ll also see me in Info Webinars or at Expos from time to time.


Welchen pädagogischen Hintergrund bringen Sie selbst mit bzw. würden Sie zukünftigen Program Directors empfehlen?

I have been an English Teacher for over 15 years, a native speaker, as well as the Director of Studies (Pädagogischer Leiter) for a language school. As a Teacher Trainer, I’m interested in teaching innovation and new methods. Teaching is not a stagnant profession and I believe in lifelong learning.


Erinnern Sie sich noch an Ihre ersten Schüler*innen im Programm, was waren ihre ersten Fragen oder Ängste?

A couple of common questions are ‚How much time do I need to do the DD program and can i manage it during my Abitur‘. This is an important question and thankfully many of our students can answer this through personal experience. I would say on average a student needs 2-3 hours per week per subject, but this is flexible and every student finds their own system. What we know, is that the students learn great time managment skills and how to take responsibilty for their own learning. These are great life skills that we all need. Importantly also is that the Academica teachers in the US are very helpful and supportive. They want the students to succeed and do everything possible to support this process.

Wie verlaufen die Admissions Tests, kann man sich als Schüler*in irgendwie vorbereiten?

The Admissions Test sounds scarier than what it is. Luckily, we have prepared some sample questions, so students can have an idea of what to expect. Up to now, our German students have performed really well in the Admissions Test. They need a B1 level to pass, which we think is a typical Year 9 German school student level.

Wie ist der Kontakt zu den US-Amerikanischen Lehrkräften von Academica International Studies? Und wie können Eltern aus Deutschland mit Ihnen oder den Lehrkräften in Verbindung treten?

As Program Director, I get a an invitation to meet my students’ teacher at the beginning of each school year with video chat. This is a chance to develop a personal relationship with the teacher and therefore be able to deal with any issues that may come up in a more personal way. In a sense, we are colleagues sitting in different countries, so it’s fun to chat with teachers from Miami.

Otherwise, I have a login and I can see what the students are doing. The Academica teachers take care of everything once the program starts.

Parents can also contact me and the Academica teachers at anytime about any pedagogic questions or concerns they may have. Parents also get a login and can follow the progress of their kids and see the content of the program.


Worauf sind Sie am Ende eines Semesters stolz bzw. was würden Sie gern als Program Director verändern?

Two things impress me the most. Firstly, hearing positive feedback from our students. This for me is the key. It’s all about our students and offering them possibilities to broaden their skills, to network, and to build their characters. Secondly, I have attended webinars from the Academica teachers on ‚online teaching strategies‘. I could see that these teachers are experts and highly skilled and comfortable teaching online. I could learn a lot from them as an online teacher myself.

Academica even has a School Council, where students, parents, teachers, and the Academica International Studies Principal, Gina LaLicata, meet online and we all have the chance to give feedback and exchange ideas. This is for me and all particpants (from around the world) a great chance to express our thoughts. An example, is that next year, new clubs like a Cooking Club, Book Club and more will be introduced and this was an idea that came out of these meetings.

Haben Sie persönliche Tipps für die Schüler*innen?

Good planning and time management. Use the chance to meet students from around the world and share your experiences. Perhaps you’ll meet in-person one day. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions or problems. Your teachers are in the US, but they are always there for you. They love to hear from you and want to support you.