Learning German before you arrive
In many places around the world, it is possible to learn German even before you arrive in the country. The branches of the Goethe Institute which are to be found in many cities are one of the main ports of call for those keen to learn the language. They are charged with teaching and imparting German language and culture abroad. To this end, they offer language courses, prepare teaching material, and organise cultural events.
Another option for acquiring German language skills abroad is to attend a German school, many of which offer suitable courses. But there are also plenty of ways of learning German available online, and these are often free of charge.
The online learning portal Ich will Deutsch lernen (I want to learn German) offers a digital integration course for beginners and more advanced students at levels A1 to B2. You can learn and improve your German in thirty scenarios from working and professional life covering a range of industries. The free version offers sixteen different languages.
Learning German in Magdeburg
The first place to ask about all sorts of language courses is the Volkshochschule (VHS) (adult education centre). German is taught there at every different level. They also offer intensive courses; if you wish to extend your residence permit, your attendance at these could well count in your favour. The VHS also offers many other courses which you can take as soon as you have an adequate level of proficiency in German.
One option students can take advantage of is the free conversation classes, which are arranged by the student organisation ikus. Although no certificates are awarded for these, they give you an opportunity to learn German in a relaxed atmosphere alongside other students, and are a fantastic add-on to formal language courses.
Both universities in Magdeburg also offer programmes where German is taught at various levels, depending on your proficiency. Additional languages can also be learned at the language centre of Otto von Guericke University, although these are mainly for the benefit of students. Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences offers several courses in German as a foreign language (DaF) as part of its Studium Generale; these are taught at levels B1 to C1.
There are also a number of private language schools in Magdeburg where you can learn German. It is important to note that not all schools teach the language at every level. Some also offer courses specialising in German for particular professions such as medicine or engineering. Tuition fees can also vary widely between the different schools, so it is always worthwhile making a comparison.
Here is a list of language schools in Magdeburg:
• Akademie Maris
• Berlitz Sprachschule
• Sprachenzentrum Germany
• UNIKOM (specialising in German for medical practitioners)