Since most readers of easyexpat.com are generally globe trotters who call many countries home, we’ve decided to do a series on various prominent institutions that bring their country’s culture to the world. Today’s article focuses on the Goethe Institut.
Established in 1951, the Goethe Insitut is a German non-profit organization set up mainly to promote the German language and culture outside German-speaking countries. It was set up initially to provide training for foreign German teachers in Germany but it has now grown into a worldwide institution with over 3300 employees and approximately 278 million euros at its disposal.
While its primary concern is to promote the German language, the Goethe Institut also plays an active role in promoting the country’ culture. It provides information on German society and politics and also promotes inter-cultural relations through exchange of films, music, theatre and literature. It's done such a great job that in 2005, along with the Societe Dante Alighieri, the British Council, the Alliance Francaise, the Instituto Cervantes and the Instituto Camões, the Goethe Institute was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for outstanding achievements in communications and the humanities.
German language courses offered
The Goethe Institut offers a number of language courses and different options from on-site courses to distance courses. It even has language training facilities on websites like Second Life. The institute has much to brag about. With over 50 years of experience and more than 170,000 participants in their German courses each year in 80 countries, it is definitely one of the most reputed programmes available to learn the German language.
The Goethe Institut also combines its language courses with a cultural immersion into Germany. It’s one to explore if you’re trying to get your feet wet about the country. These cultural and leisure programmes combine language courses with frequent city excursions, concerts, theatre visits, parties and operas – a great way to explore the city, make new friends and learn a new language.
The institute has also developed a rigorous series of examinations for learning German as a second language. These exams are set for different levels from basic to advanced and can be taken both in Germany and abroad. The tests (TestDaF) are recognised by the German Academic Exchange Service and are especially aimed at people interested in studying at German universities. You can take examinations at any level, either at the Goethe-Institut or with any of 265 examination partners.
Fees and schedule
Courses are offered year-round at most locations and begin at the start of each month. In general, it’s advisable to sign up for a course one month in advance. Summer courses fill up quickly so best to book your seat three months in advance. For people who need to apply for visas to study and stay in Germany, it’s advised to apply four months in advance. Fees vary widely. Eight week courses without accommodation are 680 euros while a 2-week intensive, all inclusive programme costs 1,420 euros. For more detailed information on courses, schedules and fees, check the official website at www.goethe.de
Good luck or as they say in German ‘Viel glueck’.