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.
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.