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Expat in Germany: Intensive German Course, Stuttgart

Friday, September 3, 2010

Intensive German Course, Stuttgart

The night before the first day of my intensive German course takes me back to when I was six years old about to start school.  Will my teacher be nice?  Will I make friends?  Will I have a lot of homework?  Since I plan to be living in Germany for the unforeseeable future, I've decided to enrol in an intensive German course, 5 days a week, 4 1/2 hours a day.  It makes sense to me to learn the language as quickly as possible and an intensive German course is a good way to do this, but that doesn't mean I'm not anxious about it.

 Our class is an eclectic one.  We range in age from 17 to 57.  Half the students are Latino, coming from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala and Cuba, while the other half is Russian and Ukrainian.  I am the lone native English speaker and my hopes of becoming fast friends with another English speaker are soon dashed. 

 We have a Brazilian drag queen (who showed us his YouTube videos - he does make a very pretty woman) and a grandmother from Guatemala (although she is a very hip and young grandma).   Coming from such different backgrounds I feel a little bit like a fish out of water, but after the first few days I am becoming more comfortable around my classmates. making an effort to get to know them, and redefining my definition of who would make a good friend.  Who says I can't be friends with a Guatemalan grandma?  Besides we immediately bonded over the fact that I named my cat "Fuego" after Fuego Volcano in Guatemala.

 I am quickly realizing though, that while we're all here to learn German, I'm also going to learn a lot about other cultures as well, and am even surprisingly getting a chance to brush up on my Spanish, which I didn't think would happen in Germany.  Living as an expat in Germany is full of so many surprises in the most unexpected places.
 P.S.  My teacher is very nice :)
See also:
Intensive German Course, Stuttgart:  Part 2
German Vocab That Makes My Life Easier

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At September 3, 2010 at 4:57 PM , Blogger shufuinjapan said...

I loved reading about your German class. I also couldn't believe the eclectic mix of students (I was the only English speaker in my classes for a long time, too). We had the immature know-it-all Iraqi girl who drove us ALL mad. The useless rich kid playboy Turkish guy to name just a few of the characters in my class.I'm sure you will be fast friends after all surviving the first few weeks of intensive class together.

At September 5, 2010 at 2:09 AM , Anonymous Riayn said...

I'm moving to Hamburg from Sydney, Australia at the end of the month and am loving reading about your experiences as an expat in Germany.

I will be doing evening classes in German as I have a full-time job and I am already worrying about the same things you are.

Best of luck with your classes. Will be very interested in reading about how you are finding them and how your German is progressing.

At September 5, 2010 at 1:50 PM , Blogger MissEmy said...

Hi! I discovered your blog and I look forward to reading more! I have a dream of living in Germany one day and I'm hoping to start German language classes in the near future.

Good luck on your classes!! I hope it goes well for you. :)

At September 7, 2010 at 6:56 AM , Blogger Eric Zimmerman said...

Thanks for the post, please keep us up to date on how you like it, how fast you learn, and what is involved. I will be moving there in about four months, and am considering taking one of these courses.

At September 7, 2010 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Frau Dietz said...

Good for you signing up for such an intensive course - and I thought my 3 hours a day, 4 days a week was hardcore!! Apart from one three-week period when an Italian stopped by I've been the only European in my class for the full six months; I'm also the only person with English as my first language. I had been looking forward to perhaps finding another Brit to befriend but actually I absolutely love it this way: I'm making some great friends of all ages from all over the world and I adore how much I am learning about other cultures - it adds such a fascinating extra dimension to all the German grammar!!

At September 9, 2010 at 6:50 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. Interesting to hear that others have been the only native English speaker as well. Frau Dietz, I love your attitude. I also like the idea of so many different cultures. Today, we had a girl from Thailand, translating from English to Mandarin for a new Chinese student and I agree it's a fantastic way to learn more about other cultures. I still wish there was another native English speaker, but am seeing the perks of stepping outside my comfort zone as well.

Riayn, best of luck with your German class. I hope it goes well!

At September 9, 2010 at 6:58 AM , Anonymous Fleece said...

Thanks for the great blog post.I like your article writing style.

At November 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Camps said...

Im looking for a course in Stuttgart!
same story, girl falls in love with boy. Boy happens to live in Germany. Girl needs to learn German... and is working on finding a course that would allow to extend the visa and learn german to hopefully find something to do.
Any help!?


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