Registration Day Plus Some Rules For The Next Two Months

Technically my Intensive German course at the Goethe Institute started today, but instead of class today, we had what one might call a Registration Day, even though we’ve all technically registered and paid. It was a day where we got our new student IDs, the all important Wi-Fi password, our GI folders containing the cultural program and, oh yeah, we all had to undertake a one-on-one interview in German that together with our entrance test, that we have already done, will determine what class we will end up in.

The Einzelgespräche, as it was officially called, wasn’t too bad. It was basically a get-to-know-you conversation which is pretty much the only conversation I can have quite comfortably in German. My entrance exam mark was not so great, it seemed all that grammar knowledge has vanished from my brain, but I will probably end up in B2, which is where I want to be and even if I have to do B1 again for a month, well, I probably need the refresh. I’m not going to stress out about what class I end up in. I’m going to trust that it will be the class I need to be in.

My official Goethe Institut Folder

What I’m most excited about is the cultural program. There is something on every day that fits in to whether you have a morning or afternoon class and on the weekends there are excursions to places like Schwerin and Kiel for ridiculously low prices like €10. I’m already marking off the ones I want to go on.

Of course these next two months aren’t going to be spent just touring around Hamburg & Northern Germany. I need to work hard on my German and to help facilitate that I have come up with some rules to keep myself disciplined. They are:

1. No English language TV/movies (including CNN), except for 1 evening per week. Going to the cinema is excluded from this rule.

2. Listen to 1-2 German podcasts a day.

3. Keep on reading my German language novels daily.

4. Go to Kung Fu at least twice a week – Kung Fu is held in German (a plus!) & I need to get my butt moving whilst doing all this studying.

5. ALL homework must be completed daily. No slacking off allowed.

6. Go to at least two events held in German a month. One of these must include a Stammtisch or similar. Looking at the cultural program this will not be a problem.

7. Work on improving my vocab daily.

8. Do at least 30 mins further study daily.

Hopefully these will keep me on track and immersed in my German so I can get the most out of these next two months.

Classes officially start tomorrow but because the school will not work out the class lists until this evening, everyone needs to be there by 8:30am, which is technically before sunrise. If my class is not until the afternoon, which is likely, then I have a Hamburg city tour to look forward to in the morning. I’m not happy about having to be at school so early. I am not a morning person and these last 3 weeks of holidays has meant that my usual waking time is more around 10am than 7am. Tomorrow morning is going to be tough.




16 thoughts on “Registration Day Plus Some Rules For The Next Two Months

  1. Wow, strict criteria… but sounds like you are determined and will see some improvement in no time! Stepping up my German is also a huge priority this year, though I haven’t yet outlined how I will do it.

    • Yeah, it is pretty strict but I need to get my German up to a decent level in order to find a new job, so strict is the way to go.
      Best of luck with your German!

  2. Sound great! I found that total immersion, though exhausting, makes learning a lot more efficient. I bet if you let your teacher know your goals, he or she will provide you with extra homework/study aids to keep you accountable. Good luck!

    • I’m not sure I can cope with extra homework as I’ve heard the homework level is already pretty high, but some study aids would be good.

  3. Those are some rules you have there!!
    I used to do something similar to myself. With the Stammtisches, I found that most of the people going there just wanted to get laid, so it wasn’t very good for learning German :(

  4. Firstly: great blog. Ive been following it for almost a year now.
    For your German practice, what if you wrote some of your blog posts in German? That could help getting your skills up?

    • Thanks so much for reading – and for so long! Writing a blog post in German is a great idea. I might starting doing the occasional bilingual post in both English and German.

  5. Meg; all the best for your intensive course ~ would love to get your impressions of the Goethe Institute as you go along. I’m currently thinking of ditching my B1 at the Volkshochschule for evenings at Goethe starting in March. Would love to hear any recommendation for easy German novels. I just started my first: Gut Gegen Nordwind by Daniel Glattauer. :)

    • Thanks Mark! I’ve only had one class at the Goethe Insitut but so far I’m impressed with the level of teaching and it is far better than the Volkshochschule. Only the class size is only 12 people.

      As for easy German novel, go to your local library and check out the children’s section. Also, don’t worry about reading German translations of English novels, especially if your goal is to get comfortable reading German and learning new vocab. I read not only Harry Potter but also Paddington Bear and The Famous Five in German among others. Knowing the story really helped, especially in the early stages.

  6. I’m delighted I came across your site and was wondering if you or any of your readers can give me some advice about recruitment in Germany. I’m working for a company that is looking to expand into Hamburg and was wondering if anyone had any advice on the best places to advertise locally. We are looking for English speaking businessmanagers so any advice would be greatly appreciated. We’ve advertised on Linkedin and but haven’t had much luck attracting the right applicants.

    • Unfortunately I don’t know much about recruiting, but perhaps you could also try advertising on Xing – it’s the German Linked In. Otherwise, you might have better luck hiring a recruiter to help in your search for the right applicant. Good luck!

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