Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

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

Cultural Programmes
German Courses
Exams and Certificates
Educational Services
General Questions


Frequently asked questions: cultural programme

The mandate of the Goethe-Institut is to present important positions, ideas and arts practices of the contemporary German and European culture scenes to New Zealanders.
We focus on topics in multi-year cycles. For 2019-2022 these are:
  • Cultures of Equality
  • Ecology and Sustainability
  • How does the New come into the world?
  • German Film 
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, e.g. through our cooperation with other European cultural institutes across New Zealand.

Being an independent organisation and the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, we primarily address culturally interested New Zealanders, 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 New Zealand.

The Goethe-Institut in Wellington is pleased to hire out a large multi-purpose room to the following organisations:
  • Cultural institutions
  • Community groups and other organisations, including businesses 
  • Conferences
The Goethe-Institut in Wellington is located right in the heart of the capital, on Cuba Street.
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 New Zealand plans and organises cultural projects related to Germany in New Zealand. In addition, we arrange selected programs and stipends for New Zealand arts experts to travel to Germany. Please contact Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin regarding all questions about New Zealand projects in Germany.

No. The Goethe-Institut New Zealand organises its own programmes and events together with local New Zealand organisations and partners.
In contrast to various foundations and the arts council, the Goethe-Institut is not a funding body and does not grant subsidies or provides sponsorship.
New ideas for German-New Zealand projects or events are welcome. Please approach us well in advance (at least 12 months).

Frequently asked questions: german language Courses

Our course system is based on the six levels defined in 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 comparable. 

For further information click here.

Learning is an individual process. How much time you need to attain a certain level depends on various and individual factors: your commitment, your time input, and your taking advantage of additional practice resources.
Should you already have studied one or more languages, you may learn German faster. It makes a big difference if 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.
Also of relevance is the intensity of the instruction (individual vs. evening courses, for example). Please 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. We accept:
  • Bank Transfer
  • Cheque (payable to Goethe-Institut)
  • Cash

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.

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

Please contact the Goethe-Institut and request a personal consultation.


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. There you will learn the necessary linguistic and exam-specific skills that will help you succeed on the exam.


The testing locations make every effort to accommodate participants with special needs (such as chronic illnesses, visual or hearing impairment). 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 as a whole can be re-taken as often as needed. Details on re-taking the exam or part of the exam can be found under terms and conditions for exam administration.

Goethe-Zertifikats A1 through C2 do not expire.

Many institutions and employers, however, expect the certificate to be dated not more than two years ago.

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-recognized translator or translation office.

You may have your certificate notarized – for example, for the purpose of studying in Germany – by any valid notary public (court, government office, school, bank, etc.). Employers usually require a notarization 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 position 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 material.

For further information click here.

General Questions

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 cannot accept book donations.

There are a number of professional organisations whose accredited members specialise in translation.