For expats staying for more than a year in Germany and looking to learn German, the state sponsored Integration course is great way to learn. It is heavily subsidized – you only pay 1.20 €  an hour for up to 600 hours for language classes + 60 hours for an Orientation class (where they explain legal system, schools, culture etc). If you start at the beginning level A1, 600 hours will take you to the end of B1. (If you start midway you may have extra hours which you can use for B1+, but you can not take any higher levels than B1+ with the integration course.)

Many of us have had positive experiences with both Tandem and Bibis language schools and would recommend them. They will also process your integration course application for you with the Foreigners Authority  which is much easier than doing it yourself. It should take about 2 weeks to get approved and you will then receive a Berechtigungsschien certificate which allows you to register for classes.

The integration course is available for both EU citizens and non EU, planning to stay for more than year in Germany (and can show some sort of proof). It doesn’t matter if you married to a German or not, or your or your husband’s salary. I don’t believe students are eligible though.

Regular attendance is required, if you are absent for more three days in a row you will need to provide a doctors note. It is allowed though to take breaks in-between courses (each course is 5 weeks).  As an extra incentive, if you complete up to the B1 level and take the B1 exam within two years, you will receive 50% of your money back. If you fail the B1 exam, you are allowed 300 extra hours to repeat the last course.

 

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