Learning German at the Volkshochschule

Although I haven’t quite implemented everything on my learning German with overwhelming force list, for the past month and a half I’ve been taking a German class at the M√ľnchner Volkshochschule. A Volkshochschule is kind of like a community college or an adult education center, and you can find one in pretty much every German city. Course offerings cover a wide array of subjects, from art to business to to swimming to foreign languages.

The best thing about Volkshochschule courses is that they are extremely affordable. I had heard mixed reviews about the quality of the German classes, but I decided to give it a try. I’ve taken language courses at much pricier schools, such as the Goethe Institut and Berlitz, and I’d give them mixed reviews, too. It really depends on the teacher most of the time, and at the Volkshochschule I totally lucked out. Our teacher was engaging and interesting. She made sure we were challenged, while also giving us plenty of praise.

The class consisted of about 10 students, each from a different country, ranging from Italy to Iran. I really enjoyed getting to know people from so many different places and life situations. I’m sad to see the course come to an end tomorrow.

Volkshochschule German courses are usually in high demand, especially at the beginning levels, and can be hard to get into (so if you’re interested, be sure to sign up well in advance!). It seems to get a little easier to get a place at the more advanced levels. To start somewhere other than at the beginning, you take a quick placement test (which costs 5 euros) and then you speak with the advisors about finding a course which is right for you.

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5 thoughts on “Learning German at the Volkshochschule

  1. I tested lots of schools in Munich to learn German and I have to say that class at the VHS was a very good experience even if the rythme was not so intensive. Now,the only thing I have to speak more and more…in order to improve.

  2. True, our class also had a pretty relaxed pace. I probably would have learned more in a more intensive environment.

    And I agree – speaking more is what I have to do, too!

  3. i loved the experience of learning german at a language school in stuttgart, and it’s funny how similar our experiences are! you get to know this great group of people, from all over the world, and the only common language is your nascent german. and then suddenly, the course is over, and people move on. it was hard to get used to in the beginning, especially because i stayed for 7 months to learn german from grundstufe to oberstufe, so lots of people came and went. but it was gratifying to have known them, even for a short while.

  4. Brushing up on the German, eh! ;-)

    Probably needed after so much Schweitzerdeutsch!

    Or, were you in French speaking Switzerland? I thought it was German speaking, well Swiss German speaking?

  5. Wanderlust – I bet you would meet tons of people in 7 months of German. Sounds fun! But yeah, it is hard to get attached to people who are just moving through. Glad you enjoyed the experience.

    Gardner – yes, it was Zurich, but we used/heard surprisingly little High German in our time there. I think my German might have gotten worse during those two years…

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