This post is in partnership with the Speakeasy Berlin. I received complimentary lessons in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own.
German is notoriously difficult to learn. After one month in Berlin, I was still fumbling through the most basic interactions. I spent time with more international people than Germans, and the Germans I did know switched to flawless English the minute they saw me sweat. My accent was complete scheiße. Without a decent grammatical framework, I was too nervous to speak. I’d managed to learn a few phrases on accident, but if I wasn’t ordering beer or catching a train, my German was next to useless. Even still, it seems learning German in Berlin is going to be a lot harder than learning Spanish in Ecuador, and I’ve spoken with plenty of people who say the same. If I ever hope to tackle this feisty, lawless, not-so-romantic language, I am going to need German classes in Berlin, and lots of them.
Thinking about learning German in Berlin? Here’s everything you need to know about learning German with Speakeasy Berlin.
Where to Learn German Abroad
Are you moving to Germany to learn German OR learning German because you moved to Germany? If your focus is on studying German, you should make a realistic assessment of where you actually want to live before relocating your life. You’ll only be spending a fraction of your time in the classroom — pick a place that fits you! You can study German in any big city in Germany or Austria, and also in some parts of Switzerland. Would you prefer a Bavarian village or a huge city? Are you trying to find work or will you only be studying? Do you need to learn any particular German dialect? What can you afford? I decided to move to Berlin and learn German to make German friends and find new freelance clients, and I’ve absolutely loved it. Berlin is a major city with plenty of culture a wild side, so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for the same. If you can’t make up your mind, other good cities for learning German are Munich, Vienna, Heidelberg, and Salzburg.
Actually choosing your language school is the next big decision. You can factor in price, location, class size, and schedule, and still be left with a decent handful of options. After assessing a few partnership options, I went with Speakeasy Berlin because of their excellent reviews and responsive team.
About Speakeasy Berlin
Speakeasy Berlin differentiates themselves from other language schools in Berlin by offering affordable, interactive, and conversation-based learning in small groups. Speakeasy recently moved to a new location in Friedrichshain, and put a ton of effort into the space itself; hand-upholstered furniture, local art, and lots and lots of books decorate the classrooms. The school is on the second floor of 36 Warschauer Straße with huge windows that let in plenty of natural light. You can expect modern amenities and a great attention to detail. Unsurprisingly, it’s much easier to learn German in a comfy room that doesn’t look like a hospital.
German Classes in Berlin: At Speakeasy Berlin, you can choose between an Intensive Course (4 weeks, 15 units/week), a Super Intensive Courses (4 weeks, 18 units/week), or an Evening Course (4 weeks, 4 units/week) in levels A1-C1. They also offer a weekly conversation class or private lessons if you’re looking for something a bit more flexible. Classes begin monthly, and a placement exam will determine which of six levels (A1.1, A1.2 A2, B1, B2, C1) is the best fit. Intensive courses are offered in two hour and forty-five minute blocks blocks. You can join a three-hour session in the morning or afternoon four days a week based on your work or school schedule, and classes are strictly limited to 12 students.
The classes use a book and workbook (by Menschen) which you can buy from reception for €17-€19. Within a month of intensive classes, you’ll cover an entire level. I started out in A1.1 and we covered everything from basic introduction, to careers, to colors, to present tense. I found that at a beginner level, group lessons were an excellent way to learn. If you’ve studied before, you might get bored or stuck in the wrong level. If you have basis in German,I’d recommend a slightly less time-consuming group course paired with conversation classes or private lessons.
Prices: Monthly prices for German courses range from €115-€350 but discounts are available for longer periods of enrollment. Speakeasy Berlin also doesn’t charge a registration fee, so you’ll know just what your course is going to cost when you sign up.
Get Relocation Assistance
Visa Courses + telc Exams + Accommodation: Relocating to Berlin can be a challenge for non-Europeans. For people visiting Berlin on a Language Learning or Residency for Study Preparation Visa, Speakeasy is an accredited school. They offer Visa Courses to individuals looking to stay in Berlin long term along with monthly telc examinations, the European standard for language certification. They can also offer assistance with finding housing and arranging adequate health insurance. Perhaps you won’t see the value in this offer until you’ve tried to navigate these processes on your own, but trust me — you should use all resources available to you to ensure successful relocation.
Meet New People
Meeting Friends in Berlin: Everyone seems to move to Berlin from somewhere else. New in town? When you take a language class, you’ll end up seeing the same people several times a week. I speak from experience in saying exposure is the key to adult friendships. Speakeasy Berlin also arranges monthly social events like film screenings and parties. Even if there’s nothing coming up, the school is located in Friedrichshain near some of Berlin’s best bars and restaurants. Dare you to invite your classmates or teachers out for beer or a ping pong tournament.
Why should I learn German in Berlin? Berlin is fun and the cost of living is relatively low. In all honesty, it is such an international city that learning German hardly feels necessary. So why try? By learning German, you’ll unlock a whole new perspective on German culture and give yourself a better chance of breaking out of the expat circle.
How long should I study? I find that any foundation helps with independent learning. Most of Speakeasy’s courses are one month in duration. The schedule with the intensive lessons can feel like a second job, so I’d recommend starting with one month, and making a realistic assessment of how much time you can dedicate to language learning as you sign up for subsequent months.
Wanna study at Speakeasy Berlin?
Phone: +49 30 60954149 (outside Germany) or 30 60954149 (within Germany)
Address: 36 Warschauer Straße, 10243 Berlin (located across from the Warschauer Straße U-Bahn and S-Bahn station)