The Goethe Institut is the most famous language school in Germany.
It is largely spread over the country and the world. It is known to be pretty high priced but is it really worth that money?
I went in 2017 to the B1.2 intensive course at the Goethe Institut from Munich and I will share my experience here with you so that you can learn from it and get an idea if it is something for you or not.
FAQ - Questions about Goethe Institut:
🏆 What is the Goethe-Institut?
The Goethe Institut is the official and most famous organization for the german culture and language.
You can learn German on all levels at the Goethe Institut all over the planet. They organize all kinds of cultural events. The Goethe Institut works under the Foreign Government Department of the German Government.
🌎 Where is the Goethe-Institut?
📝 How hard is the exam at the Goethe-Institut?
The exam is definitely doable if you study intensive and visit the lessons. When you do all your homework and participate much in the lessons you will probably pass the exam without problems.
💸 How expensive are German Courses at the Goethe-Institut?
Prices vary between 200€ and 1000€ per course. If you book an online course you will pay around 200€. For a german intensive course, the price will be around 1000€.
Reasons why I choose the Goethe Institut and not another one.
My German language teacher always talked about the Goethe Institut and highly recommended it so I knew already for a long time that it is the most famous and most known institute in Germany.
But that was not the main reason why I chose it.
In Germany, the certificate from Goethe is the only one that really counts in official documents and such. Meaning that if you need the certificate for a visa, marriage, a semester abroad in Germany, or any other official requirement you will need to do the exam at Goethe.
Goethe is an international standard for your german level and this certificate is known all over the world. Sometimes the employer even expects a certificate from Goethe but not always.
With Goethe, you will have an all-around experience of Germany. Including cultural events, sightseeing, and much more. No other institute will give you this kind of experience. I will talk about this later in this report more detailed.
The Goethe Institut also offers you accommodation if you need one and especially in the big cities it is a real problem to get one yourself.
In Germany, it is not easy to get a place to stay even more if you are not in Germany yet so it is a really nice and comfortable service to stay in one of the residences of Goethe.
It was easy to book and a really smooth experience in general. The website gives you all the information you need in many different languages.
It shows you the cities in Germany, all the prices and dates, and lets you book with really less effort.
The Application Process of the Goethe Institut
At first, you will need to fill out a registration form on the website to get started.
You can choose there already if you want to book with accommodation or without.
You can directly pay online per Visa or Mastercard or you do a bank transfer.
The prices vary for the course. I paid over 1000€ for a German intensive course with 80 lessons which made it a price of 12€ per lesson. This is definitely a fair price for the amount of german that you will learn in that time.
In general, you need to pay at least 4 weeks before the course starts. But because the courses are mostly booked you should even consider doing it 2-3 months before.
After I paid for my German intensive course they sent me an E-Mail which said that in 3 days I will receive the actual confirmation of the reservation.
The offer also insurance 👨⚕️ and airport transport 🚗 if you want to book that also.
They sent me an online test 📝 to evaluate my german level. That's how they make sure that you are in the right language course.
There is no need to cheat or to be too pressured because you don't want to end up in a course that is above your actual level.
After that, I didn't get the results so it was mainly for them. When I arrived in Munich I had to do another test on the first day which was based on the results of this online test to get a final decision on which level I belong.
The Language Course in the Goethe Institut
On the first day, they also explained to me how the whole subway system works and how to find my course, etc. It was really helpful especially for a person like me who has never been to Germany before.
On my second day, I directly went to my intensive German course (German B1.2).
I had an afternoon course, which was from 1:15 pm till 5:30 pm. It depends on your level if you get the afternoon or morning course. The morning course would be from 8:30 am till 12:45 pm.
Every course in Goethe is with round-about 16 classmates. We started with a little introduction in german about yourself and then we already went to the book.
In my course at the Goethe Institut, they used the book "Menschen" * which I can also highly recommend for anyone who wants to learn German.
The topics were not completely new for me but I never went so deep into these topics like "Dativ", "Genitiv" etc.
We did a lot of talking and listening comprehension during this course which was very good.
If you want to learn german vocabs I would recommend you this little PDF with an awesome method:
The teacher was very helpful while we were trying to talk. She was really friendly. You can't compare her to any teacher that you know from school. That made it a really nice and fun environment to talk and learn.
One task we did every day was called "What did you do yesterday?". So we would write the answers to that in a little green Goethe notebook and our teacher would correct all the mistakes.
That is how the actual whiteboard looked from my classroom in Goethe:
Overall I learned a lot. We had 4 hours per day and homework which was round about one hour on top of that.
If you don't want to study full-time there is also an option for part-time learners. In some cities, there was also the option for only weekend learning. Just check it out yourself.
Because we did so much talking during the lesson and also in the pauses my classmates and I always spoke german my level improved with impressive speed.
If you are generally interested in learning german but you don't want to travel or you can't afford to travel then you could check out our german online learning* service where a professional german teacher will teach you 1-to-1 lessons to get you fluent as fast as possible.
Just select DAF (German as a foreign language) and fill out your name and e-mail and we will organize a trial lesson for you.
The Learning Campus of the Goethe Institut
The campus is really nice and modern.
The building in Munich has 16 classrooms which are spread over 2 floors.
You have a Cafeteria (= a place for little food and coffee) and a Mediathek with computers, books, and tasks to practice alone. There is also a nice pause room to relax and talk to your classmates.
The classrooms are all equipped with Whiteboards and you get all the necessary things from the teacher for example notebooks, worksheets, and books.
Here you'll find some photos.
The Culture Department of the Goethe Institut
Right off the bat on the first day, we had a instruction from the culture department of the institute which provided us with all kinds of cultural information about Germany. They gave us magazines, maps, travel guides and explained where we can get the best out of the city.
This is definitely one of the things which makes the Goethe Institut so special.
They really care that you go home with a complete experience of Germany. No other language school provides so many cultural events like Goethe.
Here are some examples of the things that they offered in Munich:
One of my favorites was the trip to the Neuschwanstein Schloss.
These trips and events were also great to really get to know your classmates and to actually form some friendships. Some still last till today. 🤗
The activities were scheduled so you can have classes in the morning/afternoon and have the activities after that.
Every day there was something to do so you really never got bored.
Some activities were completely for free whilst others cost some money but they were never really too expensive (maximum 50€).
Here a little list of actual activities from the Goethe Institut in Munich:
- Beergarden visit
- Sightseeing in the city
- Museum visit
- Visit a park
- Grilling together
- Going to Dinner together
- Cultural Festival
- Karaoke bar
- International food party (where everybody brings their cultural food)
The Accommodation of the Goethe Institut
Goethe has accommodations all over Germany. The prices vary a lot due to season and city. You can easily find out the prices if you take a look here. There are also some photos.
If you want a course in your country you can check here if there is one.
I chose Munich as my destination and paid around 900€/month for the accommodation there, including food.
This was pretty expensive.
To be quite honest you can definitely find better prices when you go and look for yourself.
But it is just very difficult to actually get an apartment or a room in a so-called WG when you are not in the city yet.
You can also start with a Goethe accommodation and then switch after the first month if you find something at a better price.
In the Goethe residence you will get some breakfast and dinner 5 days a week but not on holidays.
When I wanted to book, the main residence was fully booked, so they sent me to an outpost which was also very nice. They even organize to live in a guest family.
So even with the more expensive price you really can't complain for that amount of service. It just really depends on what you are looking for.
The Goethe Exam and Certificate
At the end of the month, you can do the exam for the level that you studied for.
The exam costs 100€ extra.
It is definitely recommended to do this exam because with it you will get your language certificate.
The exam is scheduled for the last day of the course with no pause before it. You might think now that you need some time to study for it but in my case, it was perfectly fine and I didn't study extra time for the exam. If you do your homework and really participate actively during the course you will learn a lot and you should pass the exam at the end.
There will be three main parts of the exam:
- Hearing Comprehension
You will get the results usually within 1-2 days and I went there after it to get my certificate.
Altogether it was an awesome experience. After Goethe, I went to the DeutschAkademie to do level B2 and it was really different. I definitely preferred the Goethe Institut even if the price was higher it was definitely worth the money.
The cultural experience I took from this time and the all-around service from Goethe was just perfect.
I highly recommend this to everyone who wants to learn German and experience the culture deeply combined with a lot of fun.
Even for people who are only looking to learn the language without the cultural part, Goethe is still the best choice due to the quality of the courses and the great learning atmosphere.
If you are interested in german online lessons then you could also check out our language service to learn 1 to 1 with a German teacher.
Do you have any questions? Don't bother to ask me them in the comment section :)