Where can you learn German in Germany?

“Having the Choice also Means Having to Choose”

You can find a lot of German language courses in any bigger city in Germany. But probably it is not so easy for you to decide which one is adequate to your needs. So let’s have a short look who’s around.

German Universities

As a student you’ll probably think, that you’ll walk right to the next university to find a good language course. The problem is that a lot of German universities do not offer basic (and intermediate, and advanced, .. :) ) German courses preparing German language exams or if they do, the courses are not open to the public, but only for students that are already inscribed to this university.

If you are a so called “free-mover”, that means a student, that is not part of an university exchange program and not yet inscribed in a German university, you have no choice but to search for a language course outside of a university.

About short term German Language Summer Courses in German universities I have written in this post:

German Language Summer Courses in Germany


Goethe-Institut is Germany’s official cultural institute and probably the most well-known German language school worldwide. They promote the study of German language and cultural exchange with Germany all over the world. And surely you can also find Goethe-Institut in Germany.

Goethe-Institut is definitely a good choice for learning German, but there is one big downside especially for most international students: the price.

Volkshochschule (VHS)

Inside Germany “Volkshochschule (VHS)” is even more famous than Goethe-Institut. Volkshochschule is Germany’s biggest institution for adult education.

Volkshochschule is literally translated as “people’s university”, that means it is for everyone. They are present all over Germany even in smaller cities and towns and they offer all kinds of German courses.

Got it? All kinds of courses for everyone. Yep, you are right – nothing for you. As a student you need to learn faster than Mr. and Mrs. Everyone and you do not need all kinds of courses, but a course that is preparing you for German language exams and studies in a German university.

Language Schools for Students

For that reason you can find language schools in many university cities in Germany that offer special language courses for foreign students that want to prepare for studies in Germany and the German language exams for university admission like DSH oder TestDaF. It is not so hard to find them, because many of these schools are organized in FaDaF.


FaDaF (Fachverband Deutsch als Fremdsprache) is a non-profit association of university departments, public institutions for adult education, private language schools, publishing companies, teachers, students etc., that are concerned with German as a foreign and a second language.

FaDaF Language Course Database

On the website of FaDaF you can find a database with language schools in Germany, where you can search for your language course.

The website is in German, but I think you’ll get along with it. Just mark a city or a postal code (“Stadt oder Postleitzahl-Region”), check “Deutschkurs” and “nur FaDaF-Mitglieder ausgeben”, click on “Suche starten” and you’re done.

FaDaF Language Institutes

If this seems to complicated for you, you can check out the website of “FaDaF language institutes”, a consortium of some of the biggest language schools for international students in Germany.

You can find them in the most important (and some more) cities of Germany. They have a website with links to the pages of their member language schools:

FaDaF Language Institutes – Member Schools

Related questions:

  • How long does it take you to learn (enough) German?
  • How much German do you need in Germany?
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