Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about language courses at the Goethe-Institut New York?

Please read here for more information about some of the most frequently asked questions about our courses. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for here, please contact germancourses-newyork@goethe.de.

Our Courses

Although exact term dates and courses offered may vary, the Goethe-Institut New York generally offers courses at the following times:

Ten-Week Courses: Beginning in January, April, June, and September
Five-Week Courses: Beginning in June and July
Two-Week Courses: Beginning in December

View and register for upcoming courses
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.

As a rough guideline, we estimate it will take the following amount of instruction to complete each language level:

A1 : approx. 60-150 hours (80-200 TU*)
A2 : approx. 150-260 hours (200-350 TU*)
B1 : approx. 260-490 hours (350-650 TU*)
B2 : approx. 450-600 hours (600-800 TU*)
C1 : approx. 600-750 hours (800-1000 TU*)
C2 : approx. 750+ hours (1000+ TU*)

* TU = Teaching Unit; a teaching unit consists of 45 minutes of instruction.
The Goethe-Institut New York is the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. This means that we focus only on German language and culture. We teach German 100% in German and in doing so offer a completely immersive experience. Our instructors teach with modern and innovative methods that are effective for language learning. These methods create classes that are entertaining, interactive, and fun. Our classrooms are equipped with modern tech - smartboards instead of blackboards.  At the Goethe-Institut New York, we offer you a flexible learning experience: we offer not only classic face-to-face instruction, but also blended learning. This combines face-to-face and online instruction, ideal for learners with an active and busy schedule.
If you are unsure which level is right for you, we welcome you to take our placement test, which can be booked on our course finder.

The online placement test can take up to one hour to complete and must be completed in a single sitting. In some cases, we may ask you to have a short phone interview with one of our instructors to confirm placement.
To ensure quality and consistency, courses may only be attended by students who are officially enrolled in that course. If you have never taken a course at the Goethe-Institut before and want to try out a class, you can sign up for one of our one day classes, which are offered four times a year, typically in January, April, June, and September. If you're already enrolled in a course, you may switch into a different course being held in the same semester up until the end of the second week of classes.
Students aged 12 and up are welcome to take classes with us. We offer young learners courses, which are designed for students aged 12-17. Learners who are 17 or older may take adult courses. As an exception, young learners under 17 may be permitted to take adult courses. In this case, we required a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

For learners under 12 years old, there is still the possibility to learn either with an individual course or through one of our after school programs. See here for more details.
If you live too far from a Goethe-Institut to take a face-to-face class, you can still participate in one of our fully online courses (Deutsch Online Individual or our Online Group Course) or take individual lessons via Deutsch Online Live.
Please visit the site for the Goethe-Institut Germany for more information.

Pricing and Payment

For group courses at the Goethe-Institut New York, the following discounts are available:

Up to 3 weeks before the start of the course: Early Bird Discount

Up to 2 weeks before the start of the course: Follow-up Discount (for students who have previously taken a course at the Goethe-Institut New York only)

No deadline: Full-time students, veterans, senior citizens (65+), unemployed (must provide documentation)

No deadline: Bring a friend discount - $100 off the course fee. Your friend must sign up for a group course in the same semester as you and must reference you when booking.

All discounts except the bring-a-friend discount are worth 10% off the regular course price. A maximum of one discount may applied per course per semester. Discounts do not apply to fully online courses or individual courses.
In certain cases, we may be able to provide additional discounts to prospective students who can demonstrate financial need. This support is intended primarily for teachers and for young learners under the age of 18.

Availability is dependent on funding and cannot be guaranteed every semester. If you would like to request a discount for financial need, please write germancourses-newyork@goethe.de for more info.
Please review our current terms and conditions for more information regarding our cancellation policies.

Attendance

Yes. You can sign up for a course until the end of the second week of classes (or until the third class for intensive and superintensive courses).

There is no minimum attendance required to attend a course, but students who do not attend at least 70% of their classes will not be eligible for a certificate of participation at the end of the semester.
Although we do not offer make-up classes, you have many resources at your disposal to help you catch up if you miss a class. Every course is connected to an online classroom, where your instructor will post announcements, homework, and lesson notes. If you need help catching up, during each semester, you may make an appointment to meet with one of our instructors for up to 15 minutes a week (Wednesdays between 5:00 to 6:00 PM, please email germancourses-newyork@goethe.de to make an appointment).

Assessment

While you are not required to take an exam at the end of your class, we encourage you to sign up for one of our official Goethe-Zertifikat exams, which will provide you with an internationally-recognized certificate to prove your language abilities. Course participants will be able to take an exam for a discounted rate.

More Information on our Exams
All students who attend at least 70% of their classes, and (for courses with an online component) complete at least 70% of their assignments will receive a certificate of participation for their course.

Our Learning Concept

The Goethe-Institut teaches German according to the immersion method, which means we strive for our courses to be completely in German. Don't panic! We have decades of experience in over 150 locations worldwide with this method - we know you will succeed!
There is no difference with regards to the progress you will make in a face-to-face versus a blended course - both are designed to cover the same essential content. Although you will not have as much face time in a blended course, the format is designed to make use of in-class and out-of-class time differently in such a way that you will still have the same opportunities to develop your language skills.

For example: In a standard blended learning course, you will attend a 90-minute class once a week at the Goethe-Institut. At home, you will complete online activities designed to take approximately 90 minutes. You can complete these activities at whenever is convenient for you. There are no online meetings which would require you to be online at a certain time.

Our Teachers

All instructors at the Goethe-Institut are required to demonstrate a minimum of C1 level proficiency in the German language.