German language skills

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In order to be successful in your studies, it is important that you can follow lectures at Goethe University and understand and write academic texts. Being able to speak your host country’s language is advantageous not only for your next exam, but also for your personal motivation and for making contact with Germans – and for finding work in Germany!

Improve your language skills

We advise you to keep improving your German every semester – set yourself specific goals (e.g. improve your academic writing or your pronunciation)! You can resort to a wide range of courses offered e.g. by the International Study Centre, ISZ.

If you find that reading a text book or writing a test or a term paper in German still proves a challenge, spend some time, in particular during your first semesters, to improve your language skills – even if this perhaps results in fewer credit points in these semesters. You will find that it really facilitates your later studies. Goethe University has a wide range of offers, such as teaming you up with a partner in a Language Tandem. In general, speak as much German as you can!


If you want to succeed in your studies, it is vital that you understand the lectures and can discuss them with fellow students. There is a great diversity of classes at Goethe University, and they may differ from each other depending on study subjects. It is important to take notes during the lecture so that later you can read and revise what you have learned. Nobody, including native speakers, can remember absolutely everything! The rule is that you have to calculate as much time to prepare for and follow up on a two-hour class (lecture, seminar, tutorial, workshop etc.) as for the event itself. The better your German skills, the easier you will find prepping and revising.

You can also contact more experienced German students and ask about transcripts, seminar papers and study groups.

If you find it difficult to follow a class, talk to your study counsellor. Once you get over the challenging initial period, you will find classes increasingly easier.

German as acadamic language

Academic work requires a more complex German than everyday life. Furthermore, academic writing and working can differ greatly from faculty to faculty. But there are fundamental criteria that apply to all academic work, and you should acquire these in order to succeed in your studies. The International Study Centre at Goethe University has a wide range of offers for all subjects devised specifically to help international students improve their performance.

Further information on academic writing and working specific to your study subject will be offered in special events during the first semesters to ensure optimal preparation for your studies. Have a look at our page on German teaching and learning culture and check out the item Academic Work, or browse your faculty’s home page.

Further course offers