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Learning German

If you plan on spending some time in Germany, it might be worth considering to learn German beforehand. While it is possible to study international degree programs in Germany without prior knowledge of the German language, there are some very good reasons for learning German. Just consider some of the following: German is not only spoken in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland; it is also a minority language in some neighbouring countries. In fact, among Europeans the approximately 100 million native speakers of German greatly outnumber those of English, French, Italian or Spanish. In business, diplomacy and tourism, German stands second only to English in Western Europe, in Eastern Europe it holds first place in several countries.

Language Proficiency Levels
These range from A1 to C2 and rank a learner’s proficiency in speaking, writing, reading and listening comprehension. The Goethe Institut Wellington has put together a nice overview.

FU Berlin FosterWhere to learn?
The easiest way to learn the German language is, of course, by being in Germany. You could for instance attend one of the international summer or winter courses available at universities in Germany. These courses are designed in such a manner that people of the same age group have a chance to learn German and such provide a fantastic chance to explore Germany and its neighbouring countries.

But there are also other options available: The Goethe-Institutes in Germany as well as abroad offer language instruction at all levels. They also conduct preparatory courses for higher level examinations. To help you decide how best you can learn German, we present hereafter some of the options you have:



Learning German in New Zealand


Numerous primary and secondary schools in New Zealand teach German as a foreign language. For further information, please see the website of GANZ (German in Aotearoa/New Zealand):




Goethe-Institut Wellington
The Goethe-Institut offers a broad range of German courses with different examination levels: Extensive Courses, Intensive Courses, Individual or Small Group Courses, Corporate Courses and Special Courses related to a wide variety of topics.

150 Cuba Street, Wellington
phone: 04 385 6924
email: info@wellington.goethe.org

NEW! The Goethe-Institut also offers beginners’ German classes in Auckland now. Please enquire at info@wellington.goethe.org when the next course is scheduled to begin.


other tertiary
Unitec offers German when they have enough demand.

University of Auckland Continuing education offers German evening classes on a regular basis.


other providers
A number of private language schools up and down the country offer German:
[No hyperlinks provided, because they change too frequently — please just search for the name and location in your preferred search engine.]

  • Auckland: Language Hub, European Language Academy
  • Hamilton: Waikato Institute of Education
  • Wellington: Goethe Institute
  • Christchurch: European Language Academy


online courses, directed & self-study


keeping your German alive

  • Goethe Institut Onleihe: borrow German ebooks for free from the GI
  • Goethe Institut language learning repository including links to audio books
  • Canoo: free online grammar and dictionary
  • Deutsche Welle: German equivalent to BBC World with a huge language learning repository
  • language tandem: exchanging languages with a peer one-on-one
  • Become a member of your local Goethe Society if you happen to live somewhere that’s got one. These are societies sponsored by the Goethe Institut that organise social events. You will typically meet quite a number of speakers of German there, ranging from beginner’s level to native speaker. Find a list of New Zealand Goethe Socs at ganz.ac.nz



Learning German in Germany


Besides being represented in many countries across the planet, the Goethe-Institut also offers language courses and examinations for German as a foreign language at 16 institutes in Germany.

There are many other providers besides, see e.g. the DAAD language course database.

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