< Study in Germany guide

Learning German

The recommended way to learn German language for international students

November 24, 2023

We asked a lot of friends / students from other countries who went through the language learning journey in Germany, here's the result.

The best approach to learning German

Language schools (Sprachschule) are the most effective way to learn the language. This combined with daily immersion (talking to friends, Netflix, songs) can take you from 0 to B2 level in a year. It is well worth the cost in our opinion. Plus, you make a lot of friends in a new country thanks to Deutschkurs :)

How much do language schools cost?

Around 200-800 Euros per level. The levels are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1.

Avoid these approaches to learning German

  • Pre-recorded courses: They don't cover speaking & writing. Only reading and listening. Also not how native speakers use the language. People who learn from these mediums sound ridiculous.
  • Apps like Duolingo: After a 150 day streak in Duolingo, you can't form basic sentences. With a language school, you'll be able to speak to others in the same time.

Language learning hacks

  • Learn a little beforehand - The initial A1 lessons feel much better if you've done some learning on your own. Watch a few youtube videos or the NPTEL german course before starting at the Sprachschule.
  • Try Tandem language exchange - You get matched to another person, speak for 30 minutes in your language (English/Spanish/French etc.) and 30 minutes in German.


How long before I can speak fluent German?

Thanks to the similarity to English, if you continue regular practice, within 6 months you'll be able to order at restaurants, understand signs at train stations / public places, speak small sentences. In one year, you'll be able to hold conversations.

Without practice: There are people who have been living in Germany for 5-10 years, and still can't speak a word, wishing they had started learning seriously when they moved to the country. Don't make this mistake!

Do I need to know German to live in Germany?

In big cities, you can easily live without speaking a word of German. Small daily interactions like getting a doctor's appointment, finding an apartment, describing your haircut, or discovering your favorite bread at a bakery will be much better with German. Otherwise might find yourself on a subreddit complaining why social life in Germany is bad for a foreigner.

Can I study in Germany without knowing German language?

Yes, there are more than 1500 graduate programs in English language in Germany. International students without any knowledge of German can apply for these programs.

How much German should I learn?

B1 level is sufficient for covering all the grammar you'll need for conversations. Then it is a matter of developing comfort which comes with practice. Native German speakers are usually at B2 level.

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