When I decided to do my Master’s at Frankfurt School, I was aware that life in a country where I didn’t speak the local language would be difficult. You need language for everything, from customs at the airport to finding a job. The German Intensive Courses offered by Frankfurt School seemed like a good option and I knew they would help me with settling into life in Frankfurt.
Why an intensive course?
The choice of an intensive course is fairly obvious: A lot of classes and contact hours over the period of one month. It can be overwhelming, especially as there is homework to be done after class and you have little spare time to enjoy your new city during the week. None the less, there’s no better way to go from knowing nothing, to completing A1.1 and A1.2 in just a month. In a regular semester, you advance just one level (from A1.1 to A1.2), which is roughly learning German up to 12 times slower than during the intensive course. So if you’re interested in learning German and have time constraints, as we all do, taking the FS German intensive course is a no-brainer!
How much do you actually need German?
Given that the Master of Finance and Master in Management are taught in English, some might think that you can get by with no German at all. However, why not make the most of an opportunity that is right on your doorstep?
The German Intensive course is extremely beneficial for starting life in Germany. And although the majority of people in Germany’s most international city speak English, you do need German a lot more than you think. Careers Services highly recommends you consider learning German for when it comes to finding a job. Even though there are some jobs that are almost exclusively in English, as is apparently the case for some traders, the bulk of the financial or management jobs in Frankfurt require basic German, or at least that you can show an effort to acquire it.
What do the courses consist of?
The intensive courses themselves are great, mostly due to the teachers. In my case, I had two different teachers, for two weeks each. They were both very professional, very helpful, and exceptionally patient when I repetitively made the same mistakes. The experience in teaching was very apparent and the fact that they enjoyed teaching made the classes more enjoyable for me.
Each day consists of approx two lessons as there are approximately 6 hours of class and several lessons to cover in a month. You will start by learning vocabulary and the teachers are very patient and speak slowly whilst you begin to learn basic conversation. At this stage, it’s rare that you really understand what the teachers are saying in German so they often switch to English to explain basic concepts. As the days go by, grammar becomes the backbone of the classes and although German grammar is difficult, the teachers support you throughout.
Students are encouraged to practice in class, where there is an emphasis on speaking openly even if you make mistakes, as opposed to not speaking to avoid making mistakes.
You are expected to do homework and often complete the lessons that are unfinished in your text book.
What about after the intensive course?
Frankfurt School also offer weekly German classes once the intensive course is finished, however although the class itself is good, once a week is not enough if you want to become proficient. The Master’s programmes at Frankfurt School have a unique 3 Day Model, which means you study a full-time Master’s during only 3 days of the week, giving you the opportunity to work part-time if you would like to. As you’ll need German to improve your chances in the job market, I would suggest initially using the extra time to attend additional German classes.
So, if you do have time prior to starting your Master’s at Frankfurt School, I would strongly recommend you take the German Intensive Courses (given that you need them). 🙂