Learning German

If you want to make use of your time in Germany to improve your knowledge of German, a language course is a useful option. Humboldt-Universität primarily offers German courses for doctoral students, with additional courses available from numerous private language schools in Berlin.

German courses at Humboldt-Universität

Language courses at Humboldt-Universität are run by the Language Centre. The courses generally start at the beginning of each semester, i.e. in October and April. Some German courses are also available during the semester recess, before the new semester begins.

As an academic from abroad, you will generally only be able to book a language course online if you have registered for doctoral studies. You will need a student ID number to be able to register for a course online. There are also special courses for doctoral students who have specific linguistic needs.

Not registered as a doctoral student?

Academic staff, visiting academics and doctoral students who have not enrolled are considered ‘auditors’ and cannot register online. Auditors have the option of asking the lecturer on the first day of a course if there are any places open. If places are available, they can register in person at the Language Centre and pay the fees in cash. It’s worth a try! Look for your chosen course in the course overview to find out where the first session will take place.
Adult education centres/ “Volkshochschulen”
The Berlin Volkshochschulen have facilities in each borough of Berlin and are offering cheap-priced German classes. There are courses specialising on grammar, conversation or exam preparation. An additional program offers thematic specialities such as philosophy and literature, application training, professional orientation etc. Courses begin all around the year and are conceptualized either for anyone or specific target groups. There are intensive and extensive classes. In order to register future participants need to pass a personal consultation.
A language tandem is a great opportunity to learn German on the one hand and to teach your mother tongue while making the acquaintance with locals on the other hand. There are several possibilites to find a tandem partner in Berlin.
The HU language centre has a tandem database in which interested people can sign up.
TandemPartners: https://www.tandempartners.org/en
Cafelingo: https://cafelingo.de/tandem/tandem_partner_berlin.html
Tandempartner: https://www.tandem.net/en/partner/language-exchange-berlin/
Tandem by Goethe-Institute Berlin: https://www.goethe.de/ins/de/de/kur/ort/ber/tan.html

German courses from other providers

Berlin has a wide range of private language schools. We have compiled a small overview of the language schools near Humboldt-Universität that are easily accessible by public transportation. The course prices, group sizes and language levels offered can vary greatly. Most schools have both evening and day courses, and some also offer a supplementary cultural programme.

Goethe-Institut Berlin, Neue Schönhauser Str. 20, 10178 Berlin

GLS-Sprachenzentrum Berlin, Kastanienallee 82, 10435 Berlin

Berlitz Language School, Friedrichstr. 95, 10117 Berlin

Hartnackschule, Motzstr. 5, 10777 Berlin

Prolog (Alpadia) Language School, Hauptstr. 23/24, 10827 Berlin

Sprachenatelier Berlin, Frankfurter Allee 40, 10247 Berlin

Online courses for independent study

The HU Berlin Language Centre offers online independent study courses in German, English and Russian for a fee.

‘Deutsche Welle’ is Germany’s international broadcaster. It broadcasts in 30 languages, with programmes designed for foreign listeners. Deutsche Welle offers an online interactive programme for the independent study of German.

Other private providers that offer online independent study options (generally at a cost) include:

Busuu – a social network for language learning

Goethe-Institut - distance education German courses

For another useful overview of the various online programmes available, visit www.learn-german-online.net


How we help:
  • We provide information about HU's Sprachenzentrum and other language course providers in Berlin.