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Learning German

Dahlem Research School does not offer German language classes but this website provides an overview of German language classes that might be interesting for doctoral candidates and postdocs. Although English is perceived as the language of science, naturally, German language skills will make your life in Germany much easier. You will find the following information on this webpage:

  1. German for beginners for language proficiency levels A1 – A2
  2. Advanced German for language proficiency levels A2 – B1 – B2 - C1
  3. What you have to do to register for a German course
If you would like to have more detailed information, please contact the institution offering the classes of your interest.
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German for beginners for language proficiency levels A1 – A2/B1 at Freie Universität

The International Office at Freie Universität provides German courses free of cost to doctoral candidates and researchers of Freie Universität: At the end of March, you will receive further information on these German courses during the summer term 2015 via e-mail. Should you not have received any information, please contact Ms. Regina Rahm exclusively on these courses at

Further options

  1. The Language and Cultural Exchange Centre ("Sprach- und Kulturbörse") at Technische Universität Berlin offers a good selection of German courses for good price-value. Read more  
  2. Adult and further education institutions in Berlin also provide language courses. The Community Education Centre ("Volkshochschule") offers German courses for all language levels and has branches in every district in Berlin. You can also sign up for the "Integration courses" which are available to newcomers in all branches so you may choose the one closest to your living quarters. Applicants take a short test and are then assigned to the right level.
The university’s Language Center (Sprachenzentrum) provides German classes for language proficiency levels starting at the A2 level. You are required to register and take the OnDaF online placement test in order to determine which course level from A2 to C1 is right for you. Read more
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The University’s Language Center (Sprachenzentrum) provides all German classes for language proficiency levels starting at the A2 level. German courses for beginners are not available! To register for a course levels A2 to C1 you need to register and take the OnDaF online placement test. Course placements are allocated on a first come first served basis.

What is the OnDaF placement test?

OnDaF is the online placement test for German as a foreign language. You register online for the test, book a test date online, take the test at the Language Center at the Freie Universität Berlin under the supervision of the examination staff, and get the results directly after the test. The test takes about 60 minutes including registration and login. Detailed information at

What you have to do to register for a German course for the summer term 2015:

  1. Go to the Information Session on Thursday, 2nd April 2015 at 2pm in the Lecture Hall 1a in the main university building (Hörsaal 1a in the “Rostlaube”, Habelschwerdter Allee 45). There you will be issued a TAN (transaction) number which you need in order to register and book a test date online in advance of the test.
  2. Take the OnDaF- placement test on Tuesday, 7th April, Wednesday, 8th October at the university E-Examination Center (Fabeckstr. 34-36 Floor 1.).
  3. Register for your German course on Friday, 10th April,  2pm- 4pm at the Language Center in the main university building.

Further Information on German Courses and the placement test

Contact: Mrs Gabriela Leder, Room KL 25305 in the Language Center (Sprachenzentrum) of the main university building (Silberlaube), Tuesdays 4-5pm.You can arrange an appointment by calling Tel. 838 55686 or by sending an E-mail

Register for a Language Tandem: Tandem stands for enjoyable language learning and cultural exchange. A language tandem is made up of two partners who speak different native languages and learn from each other. To register for a language tandem you can sign up either at the Language Center (Selbstlernzentrum) by email or at the International Club by email
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A number of adult education institutions as well as private langauge schools in Berlin offer language courses as well as a wide range of other courses. The Community Education Centers ("Volkshochschule") provide courses for great value for money. There are branches in every district in Berlin. German for newcomers sponsored by the German government is provided through  "Integration courses" available at all branches, so you may choose the closest one to your living quarters. Applicants take a short test to determine which course is right for you.

Deutsche Welle - Learning German online
DAAD - All about learning German
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