So here you are – you came to Germany. To study here, to work, to find your place. You may not know yet how long you will live here – maybe this is just a temporary stay, but maybe not. In any case, especially if you are planning on living in Germany for a while, knowing German language will ease your life, in every single aspect of it – starting from everyday little activities like shopping, through more challenging tasks like studying, till building up deep and meaningful relationships with the new people you will meet here. People, whose native language is German. And to take part in some German courses is the best way to do it.
We have great news for those of you who study either at THM or JLU, are on Bachelor/Master degree program and are going to graduate in Giessen – you are entitled for two different, free of charge German courses. If you are a PHD student, guest lecturer/researcher or a student who is not taking part in any exchange program and is not going to graduate in Giessen, you may also take part in the course, however the fee will be charged.
Are you ready to find out more? Let’s have a closer look on the two mentioned options.
Winter / Summer Semester German Evening Classes
These courses allow you to have contact with the language during the semester. For winter semester, classes usually start in the last week of October and last till mid February. In summer semester your first lesson will take place at the end of April and classes will continue until July. One week before the course starts, you will be obliged to write a placement test in order to assign you to an appropriate group. In two cases you do not have to write the test – either you have never learnt German before or you have a language certificate of an accredited exam provider (e.g. TELC, GI, GAST) that was issued not longer than three years ago.
Normally, after the placement test, ten groups are created. The first one is for those with no prior knowledge of German, the 10th group usually means C1 level. The content of classes will naturally vary between the level of groups. If you are the beginner, you can count on a smooth introduction to the German language world. If you are more advanced, especially in the highest groups, the emphasis is on speaking. Usually you will work with real life texts from magazines and discuss them on class.
So how do you participate in this course? It is very easy – requires just a registration and writing the placement test mentioned before. Usually the registration time is limited until one week before placement test (so two weeks before classes start). All the information, along with link for registration, is available here
Please note: if you are not eligible of free course, you have to pay a nominal fee – in the winter semester, around €100, and in the summer semester around €90. After successful completing the course, you are entitled of getting 3 ECTS points.
German Evening Classes Course during semester break (Brückenkurs)
If you are staying in Giessen for the break between semesters and you still want to participate in the language course, this option may be great for you. The principles are very similar like in the winter/summer semester course. The course is free of charge for the same group of people as before (for all other the fee is €12.50), classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 18:15-19:45. Usually there are eight meetings, four weeks in March. As most of the international students are leaving Germany for the semester break, in March there are fewer groups (these year there were only four) with fewer participants.
Other options of German courses in Giessen
In this article I wanted to emphasize mostly two courses that for majority of the students are available for free. But they are many more, offered by JLU (often in collaboration with THM), for which unfortunately every participant is obliged to pay. You can choose between Intensive German Courses, International Summer Courses, International Spring Courses and others. If you are interested, all useful information is available under JLU German courses as well as THM German courses
Of course, in Giessen you may also choose from variety of German courses provided by private language schools. These are usually more expensive than the ones offered by universities, however may be more flexible in terms of scheduling.
As you can see, being in Giessen brings you many possibilities when it comes to working on your German. And keep in mind a very well known saying – Übung macht den Meister . Try to use the everyday opportunities to practice your language. Not only on the courses, but also while shopping, scheduling appointments, making friends. It may be hard at the beginning, but after some time it will pay off!