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A Beginner’s view of Berlin

James Fraser
4 weeks in Berlin
Standard Course

As I was an absolute beginner, I was looking forward to a challenging, perhaps difficult, but interesting course, to meet students from different cultures and backgrounds also to visit many areas within the locality.

It was all good!
The German language course was very interesting, difficult at times of course, but very enjoyable.  I felt a high degree of achievement and thoroughly enjoyed the learning process. I also felt confident enough to speak German to the local people, I was actually impressed with my progress.

The lessons were excellent and the teachers were very patient, professional and deserved much praise.  Interaction was excellent and class presentation was well planned.  Everything about the German language lessons was spot on.  There really was nothing bad I could comment on, it would be unfair on the teachers to say otherwise.

I think for the beginners course everything was appropriately paced.  The other students were great, very sociable, mixed together well and we all tended to go out as a group in the evenings and on the weekend.  The Monday evening gathering was an excellent plan – a chance to chat to everyone informally and very enjoyable.

Berlin is such an interesting city – so much to see and do.  Cafes and restaurants were plentiful and varied.  There’s a great Turkish community, the people we spoke to in the shops were very friendly and helpful. I found all the Berliners to be friendly and genuinely interested in the fact that I was there to learn German.

I decided to stay in German host accommodation and I was delighted with the couple I stayed with.  Clearly they weren’t well off, but they were kind and welcoming and the food was tasty and filling, if not what I was used to at home.  They were happy to chat, which helped reinforce my German conversation skills over my stay.  I took them out for a meal on my final night in Germany, which we all really enjoyed and it was a lovely final evening, lots of chat and laughter.  On the final morning there, I really did feel as though I was saying goodbye to old friends.

CESA Languages services were first class, helpful at all times and very professional in arranging a course for me efficiently and at very short notice.
Thanks very much for an incredibly positive and challenging month in Germany – I can now speak German!  Of course I’m not fluent but I have a solid basic knowledge and I know I can rapidly build on this.