Intensive language courses are always the go-to language programs for those in the intermediate level to the advanced level of German.
After studying in language schools in your local country, it’s time to immerse yourself in better study methods.
But, just how long to learn German when living in Germany?
Conditions for living in Germany
As an international student, you will have many choices on how you will live in Germany.
But it is often common for an international student to work while studying.
As observed by many international students, the cost of living in Germany is roughly 853/EUR per month.
That’s around 967 USD for English speakers who want to enhance their German language skills.
Moreover, healthcare is a must for people who want to live in Germany.
Your expenses are covered if you’re under a scholarship such as DAAD or Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst.
This includes living, food, travel, allowance, and healthcare.
Take note, DAAD scholarship and insurance are only for postgraduate and doctorate students.
Apart from these things, you will have to know at least a basic conversation level if you’re in a German city for the first time.
Although native speakers of German can speak English, many choose to speak in their native language, which is either German or at times, French.
So how long does it take to learn German when living in Germany?
According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), on average, it will take at least 750 hours or 30 weeks for a person to learn German.
This time frame includes anyone living in Germany or outside a foreign country.
However, this only applies to intellectual people and potential students that are available for these hours of study per day.
It also means that the teaching style of their professors is very effective and well-polished including German lessons and exercises.
What are the ways to study German while in Germany?
Language students that often learn a foreign language should practice their target language on a daily basis.
Most of them will spend 10-12 hours at school or balance it with a work-study method and may even enroll in evening courses.
As a student, take advantage of some of these suggestions and facts when you’re in Germany.
Enrolling in a German language class at a university
German classes while staying in Germany is the easiest way to learn German faster with a physical motivation that helps you stay on track with your German language courses.
An example A1 to C2 curriculum from GLS Berlin says that it takes 160 – 180 lessons to finish per current level.
According to their breakdown, an A1 level (beginner German) takes at least 8 weeks for intensive and 6 weeks for super intensive courses.
This language learning process follows through until B2 (upper intermediate level) which will take 10 weeks for the intensive course.
Look for a language partner
It is easier to make friends if you’re a student in Germany. There are many places to go to after studying the whole day.
And so, if you’re eager to learn German faster and achieve fluency, it’s time to look for a language partner.
You can ask your classmates or German native speakers to talk about almost anything under the sun.
In this way, you will have natural topics to talk about rather than focusing only on grammar rules and patterns.
Working while studying
If your field of study is closely related to the reason why you’re learning German, then you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of opportunities to work as a foreigner.
If you are from the EU/EEA, or Swiss citizen, you have the same job opportunities as German students and free access to any German job places.
On the other hand, those students outside these requirements may have to limit their work for up to 20 full days or 240 half days per year.
But, the limit to working as a student is only 20 hours per week. If you exceed these working hours, you will have to pay for the German social security system.
On the account that you are a freelancer or a self-employed person, you may have to talk with the Alien Registration Office regarding this matter.
But, you may have to get a permit called “Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur freiberuflichen oder selbstständigen Tätigkeit“ or a residence permit for self-employment before starting your job.
You’ll also have to sort out the necessary tax payments even if you’re freelancing while studying in Germany.
Is it necessary to live in Germany to learn German?
The real question lies in whether or not you have to be in Germany and live there not just as a tourist but as a student or a worker.
Many Germans (whether businessmen, teachers, or retirees) even live in places outside Germany and may venture out the same way aspirant German language students.
It’s definitely not necessary to live in Germany to even achieve the C2 level.
But, you will miss out on the real experience of daily life in Germany.