Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions from the following areas:

Cultural Program
German Courses
German Exams and Certificates
Educational Services
General Questions

Frequently asked questions: cultural program

The mandate of the Goethe-Institut is to present important positions, ideas and arts practices of the
contemporary German and European culture scenes to Australians.

We focus on topics in multi-year cycles. For 2019 - 2022, these are:
  • How New Ideas Supercede Old Ideas
  • The Culture of Equal Rights
  • Ecology and Sustainability
We also organise several residencies for German artists and experts together with our local
partners, offer international liaison work and consulting as well as promote European cultural
understanding, for e.g. through our cooperation with other European cultural institutes across
Being an independent organisation and the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, our primary focus is culturally interested Australians, such as artists and curators, experts, opinion leaders and academics, students and other young adults, as well as the general public.

The Goethe-Institut does not represent expatriates or German citizens abroad. If you have consular inquiries, please contact your German consulate or embassy. In addition, you will find several German networks and heritage organisations in Australia.
The Goethe-Institut in Sydney is pleased to hire out a large multi-purpose room to the following organisations:
  • Cultural institutions
  • Music ensembles and small theatre groups
  • Community groups and other organisations, including businesses 
  • Conferences
The Goethe-Institut Sydney is housed in an attractive heritage building located in one of Sydney's most prestigious streets.
Please note: The proposed use of the venue should be consistent with the philosophy of the Goethe-Institut. Inspections are very welcome.
No. The Goethe-Institut Australia plans and organises cultural projects related to Germany in Australia. In addition, we arrange selected programs and stipends for Australian arts experts to travel to Germany. Please contact the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australian Embassy in Berlin regarding all questions about Australian projects in Germany.
No. The Goethe-Institut Australia organises its own programs and events together with local Australian organisations and partners.

In contrast to various foundations and Australian councils, the Goethe-Institut is not a funding body and does not grant subsidies or provide sponsorship.

New ideas for German-Australian projects or events are welcome. Please approach us well in advance (at least 12 months).

Frequently asked questions: German courses

Blended Learning Standard Courses face to face and online 

For those of you looking for the most face-to-face time with other students and our teachers, this is your best option. Our Blended Learning Courses consist of 50% virtual or face to face group meetings, and 50% flexible online learning, guided and monitored by your tutor. With our sophisticated virtual classroom platform, online live meetings can be just as interactive as meeting at the institute. The group meetings will take place online until in-person classes can continue safely at the Goethe-Institut.
Online Group Courses 

These courses are designed to run online for the full duration of each level, and they are more intensive than Blended Learning Standard Online Courses. There are five virtual online group meetings and you will be working more independently in this format compared to Blended Learning Courses. Nonetheless, your progress is monitored closely and you will be well supported by your teacher throughout the whole course.
Yes, exams take place again in Sydney and Melbourne. Please refer to our website for upcoming exam dates. This is where you will find the latest inormation and updates.

If you would like to get in touch, please email us directly:

Our course system is based on the six levels defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This means that the language skills you acquire in our courses can be measured objectively and are internationally recognised. 

For more information click here:
Learning is an individual process. How much time you need to attain a certain level depends on a variety of individual factors: your commitment, time allocated to your learning, and how much you take advantage of additional practice resources.
If you have already studied one or more languages, you may learn German faster. It is recommended that you participate in a language course in your home country or in Germany, where you will be exposed to the German language outside the classroom.
It depends also on the intensity of the instruction (intensive vs. evening courses, for example). We suggest that you consult the testing location of your choice and request a personal consultation.
Course and exam fees must be paid in full before commencement of the course or exam. We accept:

Paypal (Sydney and online courses only)
Credit card (Mastercard or Visa)
Bank Transfer
Cheque (payable to Goethe-Institut)
An acknowledgements stating participation in a language course, an evaluation test, an exam, etc., are not sufficient.
Only a certificate demonstrating that you have passed a Goethe exam (A1 through C2, Kleines or Großes Sprachdiplom, respectively) is recognised as proof of proficiency in German as a Second Language.
Goethe-Institut opens the doors for the public on the 20th of July. All borrowed books/media have to be returned from the 20th onwards withing July. If you would like to extend your lending period, please email us directly.
 Hint: our free eLibrary remains available 24/7.
The Goethe-Institut Australien is committed to the health and safety of our students, as well as to finding solutions to continue uninterrupted German classes. Therefore, should we find ourselves unable to continue offering face-to-face classes due to the public health crisis, all courses will be moved to virtual group sessions, with an equivalent amount of live interaction with the tutor. By registering for our current face-to-face courses, you agree that you have read this notification, and that you accept the digital alternative in the event that courses must be offered digitally.
Please note: no refunds will be given in the event of temporarily replacing face-to-face classes with a digital alternative.
Please find attached a step by step instruction for your Moodle registration.

Frequently asked questions

Get in touch with your instructor via email. He or she will respond within 48 hours.
Write your problems and questions in the participants’ forum. Your instructor will respond within 48 hours.
All skills tested in the examination will be learnt during the course. But you may need to become familiar with the format of the examination materials, which are available on the website. 
You may have some difficulties in the following face-to-face class because the online phase would normally prepare you for the next face-to-face session. It is ideal that you do as much as possible ahead of time.
You need to complete 70% of the online lessons and also attend 70% of the face-to-face classes. This is the only way you can receive a certificate of participation at the end of the course.
There is no course book. The lessons are located in an online classroom. You will get additional worksheets and handouts in the face-to-face classes.

Frequently asked questions on the examinations and certificates of the Goethe Institut

Please contact the testing location of your choice and request a personal consultation.
Visit this link for the testing locations in Sydney:
and this one for Melbourne:
The participation for the exam requires neither prior attendance at a specific language school or in a prep course, nor the acquisition of a lower level certificate.

However, we recommend participation in a prep course at the testing location. There you will learn the necessary linguistic and exam-specific skills that will help you succeed in the exam.

For more information, please contact the testing location of your choice and request a personal consultation.
The testing locations make every effort to accommodate participants with special needs (such as chronic illnesses, visual or hearing impairment). The level and type of chronic illness/disability must be disclosed upon registering for the exam and be confirmed by a doctor’s attestation. The testing location is obligated to maintain strict confidentiality.

More detailed information can be obtained directly at the testing location at which you wish to take the exam.
The exam can be re-taken as often as needed. Details on re-taking the exam or part of the exam can be found in Terms and conditions for exam administration.
Goethe-Zertifikats A1 through to C2 do not expire.

Many institutions and employers, however, expect the certificate to be dated within two years of its acquisition date.

The certificates of the Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom (KDS) und das Große Deutsche Sprachdiplom (GDS) will be valid after the introduction of the new Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom and with the change of the the exam offers on the level C2 beginning 01.01.2012.
Acknowledgements stating participation in a language course, an evaluation test, an exam, etc., are not sufficient.

Only an exam certificate of having passed a Goethe exam (A1 through C2, Kleines or Großes Sprachdiplom, respectively) are recognized as proof of the respective knowledge level in German as a Second Language.
No duplicate will be issued.

If the exam was taken within the last ten years, the testing location where you took the exam will issue a substitute document for a small fee.
In the case of a name change (for example due to marriage, adoption, divorce, etc.), neither a new certificate nor a substitute document will be issued.

A change of name can be verified either with an official document from the relevant authority (birth certificate, marriage license, etc.) or a notarized copy of the above.

Name/spelling of name must be documented via photo ID during registration at the testing location. The certificate for the exam will be issued based on this previously recorded personal information.
An official translation can be prepared by a state-recognised translator or translation office.
You may have your certificate notarised – for example, for the purpose of studying in Germany – by any valid notary public (court, government office, school, bank, etc.). Employers usually require a notarisation from a law firm.

Frequently asked questions: Educational Services

The Goethe-Institut offers a range of scholarships for a stay in Germany. They are intended for current and future teachers of German as well as persons in key positions in the education sector. The scholarships include language courses and a diverse seminar program at the Goethe-Institut in Germany. In addition, the Pädagogische Austauschdienst offers scholarships for language assistant positions in Germany.
For further information click here:
The Goethe-Institut offers a wide range of materials for information, concepts and teaching materials.

For further information click here:

General questions

Yes. You are more than welcome to use our eLibrary. This service allows you to borrow digital materials, such as eBooks, eAudio books and electronic newspapers by downloading them to your computer or e-reader. Have a look at the titles you will find in the eLibrary of the Goethe-Institut.

There is no need to return the borrowed items. They automatically become unavailable at the end of the loan period. With our eLibrary, borrowing items is possible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Click here for further information:
Due to space constraints, the Goethe-Institut does not accept book donations.

Who might be interested in a book donation?
There are a number of professional organisations whose accredited members specialise in translation.
The following contacts (institutions/individuals) are supplied without liability. NAATI is the Nationally Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. This type of accreditation is often a requirement for legal documents.  
The Goethe-Institut in Australia awards the following language course scholarships:

Language course scholarships for teachers of German:

Language course scholarships within the initiative „Schulen: Partner der Zukunft (PASCH)“:

Specialised language course scholarships for opera singers as part of the Educational Development Fellowship: