Best German language courses: everything you need to know about Humboldt-Institut

About one of the largest language school in Germany — from the first sources

«Learn German with friends». This is the motto of Humboldt-Institut — one of the most famous language learning schools in Germany with 12 centers, where they present intensive courses for kids and adults. The biggest Humboldt is in Baden-Schussenried — in a little village in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, South Germany, which we are gonna further tell you about. 

The building and territory has that much space, so 300 students can feel comfortable while staying. It has a pool, gym, climb wall, football pitch and art room that are all used as activities after lessons. Dorms are equipped with everything needed and students are living by 2 people in a room.

There are people that are coming, different ages, so there is a category system. On arrival every student is given an armband that means category. Red are Junioren or juniors (11-13 y.o), yellow (14-15 y.o) and green (16-17 y.o) are Jugendlichen or teenagers, blue are for betreuers. Betreuers are people that are «looking after us», organize all the events, trips, lessons and activities and they look after rules to be followed.

Bad Schussenried is a small village with interesting history, beautiful nature and places to discover. That`s why every student has the opportunity to go to the city twice a week, it`s called Stadtgang. It`s a cool opportunity to communicate with locals and practice German. In addition, twice a week students go on an Ausflug or school trip. They explore different places and cities in Germany, especially the South, that represent German culture and history really well. There are trips to big cities like Munich and BMW Museum, Stuttgart and Porsche Museum, Constance and Bodensee, Ulm and Munster and little cities like Ravensburg, Meersburg, Friedrichshafen, Biberach, Kempten and so on. Students have excursions, they go to museums, have tasks and everything is in German. The trips are really informative and give opportunities to students to explore Germany themselves.

What about lessons? Every student that comes to Humboldt is tested on German level. Afterwards, everyone is given a teacher and class. The classes are small – 12 people max, so everyone has attention and comfort with studying. Also every student has a workbook, Humboldt folder and a lot of extra tasks. Lessons are interactive, so you can play “Kahoot” on grammar or play some other games in German. Students can also be given a task to do a movie or video. It actually develops a German speaking experience and practice that is gonna be given a note at the end of staying. Every student has 3-4 lessons a day, depending on age and day. For example: there are 3 lessons on Wednesday + school trip and 4 on Monday. Every day lessons also have different duration: on Tuesday and Thursday the last lesson after lunch is 1.5 hours, on Monday — 45 min, on Friday and Wednesday they don’t even have lessons after lunch. So the schedule changes everyday for it not to be boring. At the end of the lessons all students are given homework, which they need to do on Hausaufgabenzeit. Almost every day there is 1 hour in the evening, when all of the students must come to their classrooms and do their homework for the next day. It is really comfortable, because you don’t need to spend your free time on it and every day`s schedule is loaded, so you don`t have time to be bored.

After lessons students have the opportunity to choose activities. They can write themselves up on activities such as — swimming pool, cooking different stuff (like cupcakes, brownies or pizzas), art room, sports, (like football, basketball, tennis or ping pong), karaoke, just dance and more. A lot of people usually hang out at the common area.

All activities and lessons are designed to expand the knowledge and circle of acquaintances of each student. There are people from countries like: from Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, France, Brazil to Ukraine, Bulgaria, USA and others. All people are really friendly, so it`s easy to make friends. By the way, only German (and very rarely English) is spoken at school, which is useful for language practice.

And last but not the least, on Fridays students write tests, if it`s their last week in the center, they write Abschlusstest, if not, they write Wochentest. In the evening all people meet in a big hall and have a ceremony called Zeugnisvergabe, where all students that are leaving, are given a certificate about their test result and German level. The event is really beautiful, because all people are wearing gorgeous clothing and usually before the ceremony, students show their talents (like singing or dancing).

Humboldt-Institut is a really cool opportunity to discover Germany, its culture, history, people and language. All lessons have a practical approach and every day your language starts to get better and better. But even with A1 German level you can meet people all over the world, make new friends and present yourself and your talents to other people.

Humboldt-Institut: self-experience

I got to the institute, looking for perspectives for learning the language and studying in Germany in general.

In spring, my mother and I wrote to the Institute and were pleasantly surprised by their commitment and willingness to help. I prepared another letter - already a motivational letter, and in July I went on adventures. I want to express my gratitude to the Germans for such support, because not all Ukrainians (especially today) can afford to pay for education.

When I first got to Humboldt, I was in shock and panic. I found myself in another country for 5 weeks, without my parents and without knowing anyone. I wasn`t even sure about my knowledge of English and German.  But everything turned out really good, my English (B2+) and German (A2) were enough to communicate. Already on the first evening, I got to know other teenagers, played games and rested. I fastly became friends with my roommate, Sofia from the Canary Islands (Spain). During our stay in Germany, we became very close and we are still continuing to communicate.

I stayed in Humboldt for 5 weeks and during this period my German language level increased from A2 to B1. Especially, my grammar and conversational practice have really improved, so now I can speak German fluently. As for excursions, we went to explore different cities twice a week. The most favorite and coolest for me were trips to Munich — (the BMW museum and a walk around the city), Konstanz — an interesting historical tour of the old city, and Meersburg — an old castle and a beautiful view of Bodensee.

I would heartily recommend the Humboldt-Institut to teenagers, because it is truly an incomparable experience of learning about Germany and wide opportunities for learning the language. But the most important thing for me is an exploration of a new country and a mentality that is different from the Ukrainian one. And, of course, this is a search for interesting people who can easily become your friends.


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