International friend group in Berlin

Language classes

It is worthwhile learning the German language before entering Germany. Find German courses in your area.

Key facts at a glance

Initially, you will be able to get by in English in many parts of Germany. However, it is essential to learn German if you plan to stay in the country on a fairly long-term basis. You will quickly find that it is difficult to get by without German, especially at work, when dealing with the authorities, when shopping or in your private life. Learning German is therefore highly recommended. Ideally, you should start learning the language in your home country.

You can start learning at the Goethe-Institut, for example, since the cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany is responsible for promoting the German language and culture. To this end, the Goethe-Institut offers German courses at 158 locations in Germany and abroad. To find a Goethe-Institut near you, go to our world map of “Advisory & contact services”. The Goethe-Institut’s German certificates are officially recognised for many different purposes.

Did you know?

The Goethe-Institut has compiled quality criteria for language schools abroad which you can use to identify language schools that offer good German courses abroad.

Looking for other ways to learn online? Here you will find a range of options:

Deutsche Welle’s Deutschtrainer

You can use the Deutschtrainer to learn vocabulary and improve your pronunciation. 

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The Goethe-Institut’s Deutsch für dich learning community

Here you can communicate with other learners of German in the forum, via messages or in the chat, help each other and practise together.

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vhs learning portal

In this B1 German course, you can build on your knowledge of German from the A2 course. You will also learn how to communicate in a variety of situations, both orally and in writing.

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vhs learning portal

In this portal, you will find free online German courses at different levels from A1 to B2. The courses are suitable for self-study. You are accompanied by an online tutor who corrects your tasks, gives feedback and provides individual advice.

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The Goethe-Institut’s podcasts

You can listen to podcasts on a variety of topics on the Goethe-Institut website. You will also find Podcasts with work sheets and solution sheets.

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Website „Mein Weg nach Deutschland“

On the Goethe-Institut’s “Mein Weg nach Deutschland” website, you will find free German exercises (levels A1-B2), podcasts and videos, as well as informational texts on working and living in Germany in 30 languages. You will also find a glossary with important terms related to living in Germany.

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The Goethe-Institut’s free digital library

This is where you can borrow audio books and films free of charge.

Learn more – App

In the free app of, you can read news and gain insights from Germany in several languages yourself or have them read out loud to you. The topics range from the latest developments in politics, economy, science and culture to tips for work, study and travel.

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Slowly spoken news reports

Visit the Deutsche Welle website for news from Germany and around the world.

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The Goethe-Institut’s free digital library

This is where you can download a wide range of German-language eBooks, eMagazines and ePapers.

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The Goethe-Institut’s 24 H Deutsch channel

This YouTube channel features videos on grammar, pronunciation and learning strategies.

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vhs learning portal

Here you will find the easy-to-read APOLL newspaper in German with 10-15 short reports on current topics from politics, sports and society. New issues are published regularly.

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Deutsche Welle: Interactive learning activities

With these audios and videos with tasks you can practise and improve your German. Here you can also finde audio reports for advanced learners of German.

Test your German:

Vocabulary building and much more

  • The vocabulary trainer app helps you learn new words at different levels. You can review vocabulary using the index card system or work with a German course using flashcards from the learning platform.
  • Deutsche Welle’s “Nicos Weg” series allows you to improve your knowledge of German. Here you will find video, audio, text and grammar exercises. You will also learn important expressions and words that you can use when communicating about different topics.

Learning German in Germany

Once you have arrived in Germany, there are several ways to improve your language skills with courses that are right for you: 

  • Job-related German courses: Through the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), you can enrol in vocational language courses for free or at reduced rates, depending on your situation. Please get in touch with the contact person in your region. 
  • Integration courses are courses for language and general orientation. They cover everyday topics such as the workplace and professions, shopping, television and radio or childhood education.
  • Adult education centres: the adult education centers, located in most German cities, offer an affordable alternative to more expensive programmes. Check the  website of the adult education center for locations near you and the range of courses on offer. 
  • Language courses for adults, students, kids and teenagers in Germany offered by Carl Duisberg Centren.
  • Goethe-Institut: at all Goethe-Institut locations in Germany, you can take language courses (online and on-site), refresher courses and exams from levels A1 to C2, as well as exam preparation courses.
  • Courses for children and adolescents: German courses are offered for all ages, and they are tailored to the specific interests and language skills of children and adolescents. You can find more details on this website

Did you know?

The Goethe-Institut offers a wide range of online exercises for communication in the workplace. These exercises allow professionals to gain an insight into everyday working life in Germany. In addition to general German exercises, the Goethe-Institut also offers exercises for specific professions, such as German for social or technical professions, for the skilled trades and crafts, for the office, for the service sector or for the cultural sector.


Other ways to improve your German are to find a regulars’ table/language café, a tandem partner or a club (sport, music, etc.) where you can practise your German and chat with other German learners or native speakers in an informal setting.

We made it!

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

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