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Seriously improve your German in Berlin

Alastair Holt
12 wks in Berlin
German Languages for Life course

I am training to become a solicitor in London I thought it would be a great idea to learn German in Germany during my Gap Year to help my career, as I believed it would be a fantastic experience ; one that would broaden my horizons, introduce me to a European culture that was new to me and give me a life skill that would hopefully open doors in the future, by way of employment, foreign work and travel.

I could not have imagined I’d have such a rich and varied experience that I did.  I met people from all corners of the world and had the opportunity to explore the “Wundershön” city that is Berlin I look back with fond memories on what was probably the best three months of my life.

I felt I made good progress on my German language course, due to the length of the programme and the full immersion technique, so I was very pleased.  I felt that staying with a guest family was invaluable; meal times in particular offered opportunities to listen and speak with Germans.  I also conducted my social life (almost) exclusively in German.  The other students were normally keen to practise and many could not speak English anyway.

I found the German language school in Berlin to be a fantastic place to study.  There was a warm atmosphere and it was easy to make friends.  The lessons were well prepared and the teachers got on well with the students and vice versa.  Many jokes and too much laughter was had in lessons which meant it was a pleasure to learn.

The German school offered an excellent programme of social activities in Berlin and in the surrounding area.  I went to a Comedy Club, Art Exhibitions, Museums, on Pub crawls and Day trips.  Which was a great contrast to the serious study that went on during the Languages for Life course lessons Monday to Friday each week.

I stayed with great hosts, my accommodation was delightful, and I spent lots of time with them, especially at the weekends.  It was really good fun and there was never a dull moment.

I was pleased and reassured by the assistance given by CESA before I booked my course.  I had quite a few questions, particularly relating to the accommodation, all of which were happily answered.

Best of all for me were the memories of strolling around Berlin at night, with friends from the German language school; going to an excellent Jazz bar; going to the Olympic Stadium; drinking German beer in a scenic beer garden; playing ultimate Frisbee in the Tiergarten (a great park in central Berlin); and eating with an Argentine family – family of my hosts and best of all, having lots of laughs in class.

Yes – I am already considering taking another German language course.  I would recommend others to experience living abroad, meeting people from all around the world and learning a life skill which is highly satisfying and can open up new opportunities.  If you have a Gap Year or spare time in your career plan, it is worth taking an extended course to make significant language ability progress.