Learn German and find a job within three months

74 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

 

Basically i've been thinking about moving to Germany (Berlin specifically), taking a language course and hopefully getting a job at the end of it. I was wondering if this is at all possible, or are my dreams of a new life in Deutschland too fantastical?!

I've been looking at various language schools including Die Neue Schule and the Goethe Institute, DNS caught my eye as it seems to be well priced and i've heard good things. But I was hoping to do an intensive course, get proficient in the language, hopefully find work in Germany (enough to get me by) with the aim of not having to return to England (all within a 2-3 month timeframe due to funds).

 

Does anyone know if this is actually possible, or am I setting my sights to high?

 

Cheers

 

James

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In the city with the highest unemployment rate of all cities in Germany? It's not impossible, but there's no guarantee. It will depend on your other qualifications and what work you're looking for.

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If you are officially a student, then you haven't really got much to worry about. Unemployment numbers in this case are irrelevant. It's completely a student job market in berlin due to tax breaks that companies receive.

 

I took a 20hr/week course for about 5 months and that cost me €1500 (privately organised, can't help you with that). That's about as intense as they get. My german was rather good at the end of it, but I certainly didn't feel "fluent", as I'd really have to think about everything I was trying to say, though comprehension was decent. That said, depending on the work, you can get by. There are also international type hostels where your german doesn't have to be incredible. Like the Circus Hostel ( www.circus-berlin.de , i think). They're doing a major expansion to be ready in the fall, so not a bad time to try to get in there. they hire only students however. Well, mostly. Some level of german is generally required unless you could "convince" them otherwise.

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1. The Goethe institute is expensive as hell as schools go - try searching the Toytown wiki for reviews and pricing of other schools and you might be able to tack on considerable extra funds for other things.

 

2. Depending on your individual talent for language, you will need a lot more than 3 months to get fluent. After 2 months intensive learning I found I could say and comprehend a few things but you won't be able to follow a non-trivial conversation. I've often seen a year quoted as a fluency benchmark with steady learning and plenty of practice.

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OOh dear, looks like my plans may have to be altered, well I was hoping for full fluency, but I already have a slight knowledge of german anyway. I was hoping to develop it enough I could converse with people confidently.

 

Yeah the Goethe does seem a bit pricey, well I think im looking at die neue schule now, im getting a flat in something called a WG. think thats the right term.

Well i was thinking bar work, or a hostel, just anything to keep me fed and clothed while I can get myself sorted.

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I would highly recommend the Goethe Institut. It jumpstarted my German. "Pricey" is a realtive term ... Harvard is also "pricey" realtive to Slippery Rock State. If it's the difference between getting or not getting a full-time job, it could prove a worthwhile investment.

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i wouldn't agree with expaticus. it's not like the movie the Matrix... "I know kung fu!"

 

Learning a language not only depends on the quality of instruction, but takes time for your brain to develop the new neural pathways associated with this new knowledge.

 

I took to german really well in comparison with those I learned with, and I'd say 6 months if you put your mind to it and are really motivated.

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about which level would you rate your German, prior to coming to Germany? by fluency you are probably aiming to get past B2, but I hear B2 is the level that takes longest to master.. I knew a girl who started at B2 and it took her 3 months to get to C1 level. and unless you are at C1 ish level or higher, you are probably not considered 'fluent'.

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depends on what you're willing to do. I got a part time job in a call centre that requires absolutely no German whatsoever. As many/few hours as I want, decent wage, but no the most pleasant of jobs in the world, believe me. But it pays the rent.

 

I'd say give yourself six months instead of three to learn the language unless you've got a sought-after skill, but it's doabkle if you;re not picky.

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about which level would you rate your German, prior to coming to Germany? by fluency you are probably aiming to get past B2, but I hear B2 is the level that takes longest to master.. I knew a girl who started at B2 and it took her 3 months to get to C1 level. and unless you are at C1 ish level or higher, you are probably not considered 'fluent'.

I agree. Although even at level C1, you may seem competent to others, understand most of what you hear and read, and can converse intelligently, but it's still not "native-speaker fluent" if you know what I mean. You'll still be plenty frustrated at times. C1 is enough to land a job, though, definately.

 

Also, most classes will get you one level per 2-3 months. So if you're A1/A2, you won't get very far in just three months. That being said, maybe you're a language whiz. We don't know. :)

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weeeell, I wouldn't consider myself a wunderkind, but I alright with german. I'm trying to pick it up again, but realistically I know very little!

I was probably setting my hsights to high, i'm looking to get pretty good, so I can converse and then hopefully get some sort of job anywhere really, maybe an internship... maybe on of those call centre jobs. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that it pays the bills, thats all i'd want.

 

I had a friend who was able to get a job in a country house afterwards trimming bushes and such, just anything to keep me fed and develop my German. Cheers for all your help, I think i'll be looking at a longer course now I think. Have any of you done this sort of thing before, a course with a view to not returning home, i'd be fuming if I had to return to England after shelling out a lot of cash!

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Hilarious,

Im totally in the position as you,except i didnt reall think before i hopped on the plane and came here. ive been here less than a week, and im planning to find somewhere o live and go to a language school and then find work. I dont realy understand how i thought it was going to be easy and just fall into my lap. but ive only been here a week hopefully itll sort itself out. but as you said if i have to go back to england having wasted a year and money i will freak out.

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Hey Everyone, I was just wondering how you are getting along? THe prepared vs the one who just packed up and wentthere thinking its easy, Have you found a job yet? Im looking at moving to Berlin next year, Im trying to save a bit and learn german hahah which i know wont be the easy bit. Im sure the rest cant be that hard, Im orginally from South Africa, living in Lodon, I work as a PA , I guess i will have to wash dishes or soemthing the first few months. Its all so exciting!

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Does anyone on this topic have a specific language course they know of that is not that expensive and is only a couple months. I'm working as an aupair so i dont need to find a job but i would really like to learn german as quickly as possible. I think my life will be a lot easier once i do. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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I'm doing the Deutsch course through Volkshochschule right now. Its very cheap (110 per 100 hours) and is doing the job. Each intensive module is five weeks with 3 hours per weekday. Its quite a hard course, and you'll need to factor in extra study time after the day is done, but you'll be talking legible german pretty quickly.

I'm finding the course spends a lot of time on grammar, so you'll need to do your own work on vocab.

 

...To be honest, I'm finding all the grammar work is knocking the fun out of it a bit, but the course is called intensive for a reason, so I cant complain.

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Stop kidding yourself boys and girls. To learn German is very difficult. It will take you months to even reach an acceptable standard to even the most tolerant listener. It is going to be VERY difficult. Get used to it, and if you think that is difficult, wait until you try to find a job, and your house-owner is haunting you for the rent. Incidentally, the landlord will usually want 3 months in advance, and a security deposit on top of that.

 

Good luck, you'll need it. It ain't cushy like in the UK... Take my tip, and stay there. !!!

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Stop kidding yourself boys and girls. To learn German is very difficult. It will take you months to even reach an acceptable standard ...

...

Good luck, you'll need it. It ain't cushy like in the UK... Take my tip, and stay there. !!!

what a horrible attitude to take.

 

James, dont listen to this arse. You can do whatever you want to do. 3 months to learn german is optimistic, but certainly achievable if you work really hard.

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you know .. you just see so many optimistic Aussies, English & American folks coming through Berlin - trying to make it, and the reality is .. that most of them do not. There is very little work in Berlin for fluent speakers of German and English - let alone those trying to cobble together a sentence in German with no real skills. These are the facts. Pumping someone up and telling them that it will be a different story ... is just unfair and unrealistic. Of course "anything is possible" but we are dealing with a 15 to 18% unemployment rate in Berlin. When you go for a job, the employer will automatically try to hire the German unless you - or they - can prove to the arbeitsamt you have skills the locals don't.

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what a horrible attitude to take.

 

James, dont listen to this arse. You can do whatever you want to do. 3 months to learn german is optimistic, but certainly achievable if you work really hard.

Um, no you can't actually do what you want always. You can make progress on German in three months but the earlier poster was right. But don't think for a second you can be doing anything more than that even via the intensive route. That the state course takes six months to get you only to B1 ""threshold" (ie. on the verge of capable use) speaks for itself. There is also a vast gap between the basic use (mainly speaking) that gets you by and having the complete skill set plus vocab range required in many jobs.

 

That's not a doommonger view just "managing expectations". Even the most diligent learner can only go so far so quickly. To give anyone an expectation of "problem of not knowing German solved in three months and thus jobs on plate and the other good stuff will be there" is not doing them any favours.

 

Do the integration course (6 months) and you have a basic framework, assuming you put your own work in on top and immerse yourself in German (ie. don't go back in the ex-pat English world). Do another year of solid slogging and you might be pretty much where you need to be.

 

Language learning is hard work for all but the most gifted.

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Lightcycle, do I take it then that you speak excellent German and have a job, or parents who are willing to help you out as and when you need help ?. I'm sorry that you think I'm being hard on the guy, not so, I assure you. I went on an Integrations course for six months, and it was difficult. I've lived in a German household for five years,and I still cannot get my head around this language. OK, I'm dumb, and an arse ... but if you were to read the plight of earlier posters here, you may start to get the real picture.

 

James, if you really want to have a chance of fulfilling your dream, then why not try an evening-class German course whilst you are still in the UK ... you may get the real picture.

 

It's difficult being broke, no job, and in a country where the language is beyond most, even after a long period. EOS.

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