Language Schools

The Ultimate Guide to Learning German Abroad

Photo of Mel Hattie
Mel Hattie
Topic Expert

Mel Hattie grew up on Canada’s east coast where she studied journalism. She has done a student exchange in Germany as part of her extensive world travels.

Once you’ve decided to go abroad, the next question you often ask yourself is: To learn the language or not learn the language? Learning another language is incredibly empowering. Navigating the world in a tongue that's not your own kind of makes you feel like a wizard. Like a chameleon. Like a spy. If you can order your own pretzel in a foreign country, you can take on the world.

I spent a semester abroad in Germany and did two weeks of intensive German language courses before my classes began. It was one of the best investments I ever made in my learning, both for language, culture, and opening my mind, and set me on the path I’m on today.

The best part about learning German abroad was the friendships it opened up to me during my time as an exchange student. It made it so much easier to find out from my classmates where they were hanging out or to get invited to parties. It made me an independent agent. It also meant that I didn’t need a German to come with me to do my shopping or help me get around town. This opened up a lot of doors and gave me the freedom to explore the city at my own whims.

Actively seeking out some formal language education can really help push your language skills to the next level, and push you beyond the token tourist phrases. Welcome to your complete guide to learning German abroad!

Why You Should Learn German Abroad

Learning German Abroad: Why Study German Abroad

Photo by Hisham R., The Excellence Center Alum

To this day as a traveler, I still use my German language skills all the time. You don’t have to go back to Germany for speaking German to be useful.

Literally, as I write this I’m spending three months abroad on a tea farm in Japan. The other side of the world from Germany. And yet, there are two Germans currently working here. Another is coming next week.

There are more than 80 million people in Germany. It’s inevitable you’re going to run into some Germans no matter where you are in the world, and having a common language is a nice excuse to chat.

German is the 11th most spoken language in the world and the most widely spoken native language in the E.U.

A couple of years ago I was at a temple in South Korea, and who ended up showing us some of the temple’s hidden gardens and pathways? A German ex-dermatologist who had been living there with the monks.

The opportunity to use your language skills -- be they in German or another language -- pops up everywhere. Even when I was back in my hometown, I started suddenly meeting and having conversations with all these German tourists I’d never noticed before.

Aside from Germany, German is also the official language of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, South Tyrol (a northern province of Italy), and recognized as a secondary language in Denmark, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. That’s a lot of mileage for one language.

Whether your goal is to correctly pronounce ‘Eichhörnchen’ (squirrel) and ‘Quietscheentchen’ (rubber ducky), or you have aspirations of being an international ambassador, there are plenty of great reasons to learn German.

Have I convinced you yet? If so, let’s take a look at some tips for learning German abroad, and also the great language schools you can enjoy while on the road.

What to Know Before Learning German Abroad

Learning German Abroad: What to Know
Photo by Morgan T., Greenheart Travel Alum

Everything has a Gender

Unlike English, all nouns in German have a gender. That’s why they say: ‘der Teller,’ ‘die Tasse,’ and ‘das Foto’ (the plate, the cup, the photo). Words can have either a masculine, feminine, or neutral connotation. They can also be plural (which always uses ‘die’).

(That’s ‘die’ pronounced ‘dee’ by the way… not like the verb ‘to die’ as in English.)

Combine this four articles with the four German article cases (nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive) and you’ve got a grand total of 16 ways to say ‘the’ in German.

  Masculine Feminine Neutral Plural
Nominative der die das die
Accusative den die das die
Dative dem der dem den
Genitive des der des der

The nominative case is the subject. The accusative case is the direct object. The dative case is the indirect object. The genitive case shows possession or belonging.

I know… don’t run away yet. I promise it gets better! The truth is that German kind of turned me into a grammar geek. When you return home you can even start your own ‘stammtisch’ (regular’s table) study club at your bar or library back home to practice your German.

The good news is, there is some rhyme and reason to how German word genders work. The truth is, most Germans don’t even know these tricks because they just grew up with the words.

  • Any German words that end with -keit or -heit, -ung, are feminine.
  • Some examples are die Krankheit (illness), die Natürlichkeit (naturalness), die Gleichheit (equality).
  • Most words ending in -ung, -schaft, -ik, -ie, -in, -sion, -tät, or -ur are feminine.
  • Most words ending in -ig, -ling, -us, -ant, and -en are masculine.
  • Most words ending in -tum, and -tel are neutral. As are any verb infinitives turned into nouns.

Jotting down a few quick rules like this and memorizing them can make it a lot easier to at least have an educated guess at a word’s gender.

Learn German Words as You Need Them

Let me tell you something -- there is nothing harder than staring at a list of foreign words and trying to memorize them with absolutely no context. They’ll slip out of your brain like water because your brain has no reason, no meaning to memorize them.

It’s much easier to acquire words as you go. Heading to a cafe for the afternoon? Perfect time to learn the words for ‘coffee,’ ‘sugar,’ ‘cup,’ and ‘for here.’ When you need them.

Try and learn the words around you in your context first, then branch out. For example, are you staying at a ski lodge in the alps? Then it would make sense that you learn the words for ‘snowing,’ ‘skis,’ ‘snowboard,’ ‘cabin’ and such.

I find it helps to think of the place you’re going and the conversations you’re likely to have there. If you’re at a ski lodge, you’re much more likely to need to say ‘How much are ski rentals?’ than ‘Today I’m going swimming.’ I like to make up little stories in my head and imagine what might get said. This helps me practice the language.

Write down some key sentences you can imagine yourself using and then look up the vocabulary for them. Then, when you use them in context, they’ll stick much better.

This is also a lot more fun than rote memorization, and just makes more sense.

Don’t Fear the Compound Noun

Germans love squishing words together. Sure, we have compound nouns in English -- rainbow, racecar, butterfly, toothpaste. But the Germans? The Germans LOVE compound nouns.

You’ll see words like ‘Streichholzschachtel’ (a little matchbox), or ‘Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften’ (insurance companies providing legal protection), which might have you searching the page and wondering if someone forgot to hit the spacebar on their computer.

There are also more straightforward ones, like ‘Jugendorchester’ (youth orchestra).

The trick with long, compound nouns is not to take a running leap at them and hope for the best. Just starting at the beginning of the word with a lot of air and hoping for the best is like trying to swallow a foot-long sub in one gulp. Calm down. There’s no need. Take your time.

One trick I use is to take a pencil and go through the word making little slashes where the separate ‘words’ inside the larger word were.

For example: ‘mit/fahr/gelegenheit’ (ride sharing opportunity)

This really helps to pronounce words correctly, and also helps you understand how the words are ‘built.’ German is a very blocky language, in that things can often be structured together to build meaning.

When the long compound nouns start pouring out of you with no effort, you’ll feel very proud of yourself for not giving up the first time someone threw a 20-letter word at you.

Learning German Abroad: What to Know
Photo by Jonathan S., Stoke Travel Alum

Learn Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are common, everyday verbs that we use in a lot of sentences to express possibility. Things like can, must, want, and may.

Learning a few modal verbs and their conjugations along with an infinitive (unconjugated verb) can give you a high degree of fluency from the beginning without having to memorize the conjugation for a lot of other verbs. Wunderschön!

For example, even it you know the conjugation for können (can), then you can easily put it together with common verbs like gehen (to go), lernen (to learn), arbeiten (to work), spielen (to play) and any other verbs you know the infinitive form for.

I can go to the airport. Ich kann zum Flughafen gehen.
I can work Mondays. Ich kann montags arbeiten.
I can learn German. Ich kann Deutsch lernen.

Sure, you’ll still have lots of gaps in your vocabulary and grammar, but you’ll be able to form some simple sentences and concepts!

Whenever I learn a new language, I always try and find a way to use modal verbs to help me get into the game, quickly.

Apps & Movies are Your Best Friend

Finally, an excuse to play games on your phone! I’ve put a lot of hours into Duolingo getting those German experience points, and they’ve helped me INFINITELY.

Gamification of language learning helps you retain a lot without feeling like you’re really learning. You also get more experience points per days you practice in a row with Duolingo, which encourages daily practice.

Whenever I go abroad, I’ll always try and start doing some Duolingo course a month or so in advance to start getting into the language.

This is also a great time to rewatch all your favorite childhood movies -- auf Deutsch! Watching your films you already known in German (with or without English subtitles) is a great way to open up your ear to common phrases. Childhood films are great because they’re written with a young audience in mind, and keep it simple with language.

FluentU is another online language learning service that takes YouTube videos, movie trailers, commercial clips, and turns them into German language lessons. This is super fun and can also keep you up to date with current German pop culture.

Learn How the Language Works

One unique thing about German verbs is that they can have prefixes which separate from the word when conjugated.

For example, anfangen (to start) separate into ‘an’ and ‘fangen’ when conjugated in the present. So the separable prefix gets put at the end.

We’re starting now. ... Wir fangen jetzt an.

They’re hard to memorize, but once you start listening for the prefixes, you’ll understand why the German verbs seem to be splitting apart at the seams. ab/holen (to pick up), an/rufen (to call), aus/gehen (to go out), and vor/stellen (to introduce) are all separable verbs. Often the ab-, an-, and vor- prefixes are separated. You’ll learn to recognize others as well.

Some prefixes don’t separate but remain with the verb. For example, ver- prefixes always remain with the verb, like in verstecken (to hide).

I hide the game. ... Ich verstecke das Spiel.

I know it seems a lot right now, but eventually, you’ll start putting words together and guessing their meaning as you develop a feel for the language. It’ll become less thinking and more responding before you know it.

Confidence is Half the Battle

I’m Canadian and we learn French in school from a young age, yet when I remember visiting Ville du Quebec as a teenager and still feeling awkward and embarrassed as I stumbled through asking how much a souvenir cost.

When we feel awkward, we tend to talk more softly, mumble our words, thus ironically increasing our problem of being understood! Even if you’re not sure you’re using the right grammar, sound confident, speak clearly, and don’t be embarrassed about your language skills. It’s awesome that you’re trying!

Where to Learn German Abroad

Learning German Abroad: Where to Learn German Abroad
Photo by Alison H., AFS-USA

One of the most exciting things about German being so widely spoken abroad is that there are a lot of places you can learn the language, not just Germany.

Austria

As famous for its beautiful mountains as it is its former inhabitants, such as Mozart, Strauss, Freud, and others, Austria is a German-speaking country just to the south of Germany. It’s mountain villages, baroque architecture, Bohemian Forest, storybook-perfect lakes, palaces, and perfect skiing terrain.

Vienna

As Billy Joel once sang, “Vienna waits for you.” Austria’s beautiful capital is the cultural, political, and economic center of the country. About one-third of the country’s population lives within the metropolitan area, and its extremely liveable layout is often used as a case study by urban planners.

This is also where the United Nations is based, for anyone who has dreams of future international development work, Vienna might be the place for you. The city is also legendary for its musical history, especially in the baroque period.

Innsbruck

Now, we ski. Tyrol is a western Austrian state in the Alps known for its ski resorts, historic sites, and folk traditions. The state’s capital is Innsbruck, and it’s legendary as being a center for all winter sports. Who doesn’t dream of learning German with a cute ski instructor?

I visited Innsbruck with the youth orchestra I played with during my German exchange, and It was one of my favorite cities. The food was delicious, the city unbelievably beautiful, and the mountains around you seem so surreal, it’s like you stumbled upon the set of ‘The Sound of Music.’

Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel is a small Alpine town east of Innsbruck, still in Tyrol. It’s got more of a medieval classical town vibe than Innsbruck.

The town’s legendary Hahnenkamm downhill alpine ski race is one of the most dangerous and challenging in the world. The challenging trail is known as the ‘Streif,’ where racers start at 5,500 feet above sea level, and propel themselves downwards, enduring forces of 3.1 g and flying up to 260 feet over the steepest sections.

If that’s not your speed, the town also has beautiful cafes, upscale shops, and sweeping views. It is, after all, a fashionable winter resort destination.

Germany

Of course you can also learn German in Germany! This is where I picked mine up. I spent a semester as an exchange student in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg is in the country’s north, and I’ll forever think of it as the city that taught me how to love marzipan.

There are a lot of places to learn German here. The country’s great university and student culture means that no matter where you go, there’s bound to be some language learning opportunities. Here are just a few of the unique cities to study in.

Berlin

Berlin is Germany’s capital and the country’s largest city. As famous for its nightclubs as it is its political goings-on and modern history, this is the place to come in Germany if you want to get lost between neon signs and tunnels of graffiti sprayed on the old wall that used to separate west Germany from the Soviet DDR.

This is where politics meets art. Where you can get currywurst from a street vendor and then duck into an old theatre to view Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic, ‘Metropolis.’ It’s also one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities to live in. Perfect if you’re a student.

Munich

Travel further south in Germany and you’ll discover Munich in the heartland of Bavaria. This is where you come to let the good times roll. This is the home of Oktoberfest. If you like brass bands, beer, and bratwurst… this is the place for you, my friend.

In my travels through Germany I thought the south was the most ‘fun.’ In a nation not always associated with lighthearted good times, what I found in Munich was a lot of people with a great sense of humor, and always willing to have another cold pint.

Munich might be one of Germany’s primary tourist destinations, but its citizens also enjoy a very high standard of living. The city’s also a great jumping off point for weekend trips to Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

Cologne

Heading to Germany’s west side, located closer to Brussels and Amsterdam than it is to Berlin, this 2,000-year-old city spans the famous Rhine river. During World War II almost all of the city was bombed, and it’s modern rebuild makes it one of the most unique looking cities in Germany.

My other favorite thing about this city? Beer.

Beer is a way of life in Cologne. Places like the Malzmühle Brewery have been serving beer the last 150 years. Maybe a pint would help to loosen your tongue and improve those language skills.

If you’re in the city in November, you need to experience the Cologne Carnival. It’s an alternative carnival created in the ‘80s that nowadays features colorful costumes, a parade, and lots of celebrations in the pubs and streets of the city. This is Cologne’s so-called ‘fifth season of the year.’ The craziness starts after Shrove Thursday, the Thursday before Carnival Monday.

Italy

Who'd have thought the country best known for pizza, wine, and classic architecture would be a great place to learn German. There's actually a really unique province in the north of Italy called 'South Tyrol.' There are about half a million people there and German is the first language of about two-thirds of them.

South Tyrol used to be a part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, until it was gifted to Italy in exchange for their participated in the Allied Powers during World War I. To this day, people there use German in public schools and in its official documents, making it an unconventional and interesting place to learn German, and also a place where you can experience multiple cultures and styles of German at once.

Bolzano

The capital city of South Tyrol, Bolzano is known for its good quality of life, lived in English, German, and Italian. You might even pick up some 'Ladin' while you're here -- the language of the Dolomite Mountains, spoken by only around 40,000 people.

Bolzano is a bridge between northern and southern cultures. Its medieval city center really feels like a smaller city. Rolling vineyards, hot summers, and cool winters are what you can expect here. For weekend trips, drive to nearby Slovenia, Austria, Liechtenstein, or Swiss Germany.

Tirol

If you're looking for a more German pastoral experience, then Tirol in Tyrol is where you want to go. In this small town located 15 miles northwest of Bolzano, 97% of the population speaks German. You're so close to the Austrian border you can basically throw a stone over to it.

It's nestled at the foot of a beautiful nature park and mountain area, so if you dream of learning German in the morning and hiking in the afternoon, then Tirol is the place for you.

Switzerland

Known for its banks, chocolate, cheese, and involvement in international peace building, Switzerland is a country situated on a plateau surrounded by the handsome Alps.

Home to major global cities like Geneva and Zürich, aspiring bankers and global players might consider learning German in Switzerland. It’s by no means the cheapest place to learn German, with quite a high cost of living compared to places like Berlin. But hey, people don’t come to Switzerland to save money.

Zürich

In Zürich, you’ll find yourself in the largest Swiss city. Build on the strength of its banking and financial institutions, as well as the charming Lake Zürich and the banks of the river Limmat, it’s one of the wealthiest and most liveable cities in the world.

If you’ve got the money, this is a great place to be, with its beautiful lakeside restaurants and shops, plus walking paths through the Altstadt (old town) that shows its medieval history.

Bern

The Swiss capital of Bern is built around a crook in the Aare River and can trace its beginning back to the 12th century. Although it’s the capital, it’s a smaller city with a population of around 142,000. Swiss German is the standard here, but you might also pick up some Bernese German, the local dialect.

Bern’s historic old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city is known for its high quality of life. This is also the hometown of the Bernese Mountain Dog, aka a ‘Berner’ here.

Czech Republic

You might not have expected the Czech Republic to be where you’d pick up German, but the Czech Republic shares a 500-mile border with Germany, just to its west. The large proliferation of German migrants to the Czech Republic make up about 10% of its population. Older people especially often speak Russian and German.

The Czech Republic is ranked at the 7th most peaceful country in the world by the global peace index, and its beautiful capital city of Prague make it a great alternative location to learn German.

Prague

There are pretty cities in Europe, and then there is Prague. This city is gorgeous, known for its complex castles, beautiful beers, and age-old history. The old Bohemian heartland is one of the most visited in Europe.

You might even see some familiar backdrops here -- movies like Mission Impossible, xXx, Blade II, Doom, Van Helsing, and the Chronicles of Narnia all have scenes shot in Prague. Kanye West and Rihanna have also seen fit to shoot music videos here.

There are hundreds of concert halls, galleries, cinemas and music clubs in the city, and music festivals for every taste, and established halls of worship for the arts, such as the National Theatre, The National Museum, the National Library, and National Gallery. It’s a place that’s easy to visit for a long time. Everyone who comes to Prague has a good time -- unless you’re really trying hard not to.

Prague is also known for its affordability compared to other big European tourist cities like Paris. This means you’ll have all the more cash in hand to pay homage to the cities many, many breweries.

The city is also less than two hours southeast of Dresden, meaning weekend trips into Germany are easy to make.

How to Choose a Good German Language Program

Learning German Abroad: How to Choose a German Language Program
Photo by Otis B., Berlin Consortium for German Studies

Looking at all the choices of German languages programs can be overwhelming -- home stays, intensive classes, Stammtisch, one-on-one meetings, and so on. Finding the right fit for you is a deliberate decision that needs a lot of thought. Here are some tips to help you get down to the brass tacks and discover the German language school that’s right for you, and your trip overseas.

Make Sure You Can Devote Enough Time to the Program

You might have a lot of plans for your time overseas, no matter which country/countries you’re traveling to. You might have some travel outings planned, some weekend adventures, or you might be studying and have fixed course dates.

While many language schools offer flexible learning plans, many others have set dates and schedules. If you miss a class, you might not be able to get your money back, or easily reschedule.

So consider: are you looking for something more casual? Maybe you’re just looking to pick up a few phrases and meet other people visiting the country and interested in the culture. If so, a drop-in or weekly meetup situation where you pay per class might be what you’re looking for.

If you’re a more serious student, looking to really understand and use the language at a professional level, you might look for a several-week-long intensive course. I took a two-week intensive course before the start of my studies and it was one of the best decisions I made while studying abroad.

I also recommend attending language school before your school time begins, not after. It’ll just serve you so much more and take you so much farther with your time if you have a grasp of the basics at the start of your adventure.

Decide What Kind of German You Want to Learn

Depending on whether you’re studying in the northern harbor city of Hamburg, or on the plateau of the Swiss Alps, you’re going to hear a different kind of German accent.

In Austria alone there are two types of German dialects: Austrian German and Austro-Bavarian German. Most Austrians speak Austro-Bavarian German, which is the same as many people in southern Germany (Munich and Bavaria area) speak. Austrian German is a more official language used by the government and in official documents.

If studying in Germany, you’ll probably be learning Hochdeutsch (‘high German,’ an English equivalent would be the “Queen’s English” in the United Kingdom), which is what most Germans speak. It’s pretty similar to Austro-Bavarian German, but the main difference is in vocabulary and slang words. Even some Hochdeutsch speakers have trouble understanding Austro-Bavarian German (also known as ‘Bairisch’), so don’t worry if you don’t understand it right away either.

If you listen to Hochdeutsch and Bairisch side by side, you might find that the latter is more ‘bouncy’ to listen to. Kind of like their words are traveling up and down the mountainside. Bairisch also tends to be full of fun euphemisms and more playful. The Bayrisch are kind of like the Irish of Germany.

Learning German Abroad: Choose a Good German Language Program
Photo by Chloe V., American Association of Teachers of German Alum

Choose Which Level of Language Immersion You Want to Experience

Immersion in the classroom is one thing, but immersion outside will also contribute to how quickly you pick up the language.

If you study in a more metropolitan city like Berlin, there’s a good chance you’ll meet a lot of other international students and be tempted to speak English more often, cutting down on your German practice time, whereas in a smaller city you’ll be forced to speak German more.

When choosing where you’ll attend your German Language school, also consider how the place will likely impact how many opportunities you have to practice German. Your accommodation can be a big factor too.

Some language schools also offer homestays, where you can spend time with a German family. This can give you the opportunity to interact with German children, too. There’s nothing like a test of your language skills as trying to understand what kids are saying.

Also if you’re looking to interact more with your classmates and teacher outside of class, look for schools that offer cultural outings. This can be a great opportunity to explore your host city and learn more about it, while also practicing your German.

One of my favorite cultural outings while studying in Hamburg was to Lübeck, a city to the north famous for its Marzipan.

There I sucked on sweet bricks of almonds, sugar and egg whites while admiring more stark gothic architecture than I had ever seen before. It might also have been Christmastime and involved a fair amount of glühwein -- mulled German wine.

This could also be why my memories of that time are so incredibly fond.

Find a Price that Suits your Budget

There’s no point in pretending price is not a factor when learning a language abroad. Language schools can get very expensive or can be very affordable. Some offer many cultural excursions and weekend outings, and some are more casual, or drop-in.

Prices can vary depending on many different factors so it is a good idea to contact the school and ask them exactly what you can expect to spend, both for the course itself, and then possibly any extra you might need to be responsible for if you want to participate in other activities they offer.

To help answer your questions, the school will need to know what you want to study, at what level, and for how long. It can also be helpful to tell them your age, your school, and where you’re coming from. They might be able to help you find some German language learning scholarships and ensures you get the best prices and put in the best class for you.

It’s always worth it to check out the German Academic Exchange Service Website. They have a lot of resources to help students studying abroad find scholarships to fund their studies, German language courses included.

Consider Your Learning Style

Do you prefer to learn German casually, maybe while playing sports or enjoying food? Do you want a more open, conversation-style of learning with lots of role-playing? Do you prefer to watch movies? Do you prefer to study from the books?

Knowing what learning style suits you best will help you choose a German language class that works best for you. If you prefer to learn some German while playing soccer, it can be quite frustrating to instead be put in a classroom with a textbook for an 8-hour day.

On the other hand, if you’re serious about learning the German language, you might hate learning German while playing games at a cafe when you’d prefer to be in a classroom where you’d be investigating the curious quirks of German grammar, and mastering the use of the dative clause.

Another consideration is homework or no homework? If you want to spend all your free time exploring and not conjugating verbs, this is something to consider too.

Figure out your learning style and seriously ask yourself what you want from your trip. Write it down, then try and find a language school that embodies as many of those qualities as possible.

If you’re having trouble nailing down what your learning style is, ask your parents or friends. They’ll probably be quick to tell you.

The Best German Language Programs

Learning German Abroad: The Best German Language Programs
Photo by Grace S., FU-BEST Alum

While there’s something for everyone out there looking for a German language school, here are a few of GoOverseas highest-rated programs, the tried, tested, and true of the German language learning world.

Goethe Institut: German Courses in Munich

Named after the famous German poet, the Goethe Institut are ‘the OGs’ of German language schools. Founded in 1951, the Goethe-Institute is a non-profit German cultural exchange association with schools worldwide.

You might even be able to get a head start on your studies if there’s a local institution near you. Here’s a global list.

This original German language school was huge in the ‘90s and is still highly regarded, although it faces more competition today as there are more language schools than ever.

The Goethe Institut also makes it easy to receive internationally recognized certificates of German competency. If you’re learning German with a view to working in banking or the U.N., this certificate might be very valuable to you.

Learn German in Munich or Berlin with EF International Language Campuses

EF is a world leader in international education, offerings school trips, study abroad programs, and immersive courses for youth and adults alike.

In Munich or Berlin you can enjoy life on EF’s campuses, where you can also take specialized classes like Public Speaking, German Culture & Film, and Exam Preparation. They have a long list of unique courses, so if you have a specific interest in German culture and language they’re one of the best, with a developed curriculum and proven track record.

The classes you take on the EF campuses that are four weeks longer or more can also be transferred to many colleges in America and abroad. Be sure to ask someone at EF and your school if this is what you plan to do, so you can start coordinating the process early on.

EF also has a very flexible schedule, where you can study from two weeks up to a year, and you can start any Monday, making it easy to plan around your travel schedule. For housing, EF can also place you with a host family, or in the EF Residence, their international dormitory with students from around the world.

Sprachkulturcamp: Learn German in Austria - Language, Lifestyle and Culture

This language culture camp run by locals will have you practicing your German while experiencing local activities like skiing, cooking, biking, hiking, and eating famous German "Apfelstrudel.” You can even join a brass band!

For people looking for an experiential way to learn German instead of just from textbooks, this is the ultimate adventure.

If you’re traveling as a group, Sprachkulturcamp can also arrange a schedule of German activities for you. This might be a great way to enhance a family trip or a week with friends.

Sprachenatelier Berlin: German Courses in Berlin

This German language school in Berlin is known for its small classes sizes (8-14 students) and Kulturprogramm, which takes you somewhere different in the city every week.

The school offers classes for beginning students to more advanced and also has evening courses for people living and working in the city who want to improve their German in the evenings. This is a great resource for anyone spending time working abroad in Germany.

The Sprachenatelier Berlin also offers private tutors and exam study programs for those looking to achieve official certificates in German for work or study.

TravelEdventures Language Courses in Berlin and Vienna

TravelEdventures is a European language school that has programs in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and German.

Their teaching philosophy emphasizes conversations and role-playing between students and teachers. While there is some bookwork as well, the atmosphere trends towards a more relaxed and fun style, with lots of multimedia learning.

One unique offering of this school is that they also offer courses about the German medical language. If you’re a medicine or pharmacy student, this is a great opportunity to specialize within your field.

They also offer internships abroad, high school immersion trips, and facilitate teacher training abroad. If you’re planning to work abroad, this is another great one to check out.

Good Luck on Your German Language Adventure

With that we come to the end of this guide. I hope by now I’ve convinced you both that studying abroad is absolutely worth the effort, that it will enrich not just your time in Germany, but also your life afterward.

We’ve also looked at a number of German language school options, and how each can shape your experience and help you achieve your goals with German.

Remember that no language is learned overnight and that it will be days, months, even years of making up stories in German, muttering to yourself in the shower, and awkward restaurant ordering experiences before you will feel you’ve gotten a handle on the language.

Any language is a lifelong pursuit, but one that’s incredibly fun. This one often includes beer and schnitzel but also opens you up to some incredibly powerful global cities and cultural experiences in the world.