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Five of the best cities to study German

Posted: 13th May 2020 11:42

More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. With German being the official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and, of course, Germany, there are plenty of cities to choose from for an immersive language learning experience. Here, are our top five picks.


Austria’s capital is a melting pot of culture and internationality, voted the world’s most liveable city 10 times – which must mean the language is easy to pick up. Austrian German can differ greatly to what non-native speakers would learn at school and from the other dialects found across the country. The biggest difference between Standard and Austrian German is the pronunciation and vocabulary, which may result in a couple of surprise orders at a restaurant. Brits will be amazed to discover it is socially acceptable to stare at strangers and not to apologise after barging into someone, even if it was your fault.


This medieval city in central Switzerland is known for its striking architecture, sitting on Lake Lucerne amid snow-capped mountains.  Its official language is the Swiss variety of Standard German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Swiss German dialect. Exposing yourself to the various dialects of German speakers in Switzerland is miraculous for fine-tuning your ear, and will broaden your perspective on German-speaking cultures. You’ll quickly learn how to order a traditional cheese fondue or a saffron risotto. Many German courses are available in Lucerne, along with course options for Switzerland’s three other official languages.


It is well worth getting your head around the Bavarian dialect for this ‘city of art and beer’, famous for its Oktoberfest and gemutlichkeit – the untranslatable intermingling of cosiness and contentment. With words like that it is hard not to want to live and learn in Munich. In contrast to many other varieties of German, Bavarian differs sufficiently from Standard German to make it challenging for native speakers to adopt the pronunciation. Although, Bavarians are taught Standard German as their standard medium of education, so they will be able to help. Learn not only through Munich’s various prestigious schools, but its remarkable heritage too.


This lively metropolis is a student’s paradise with countless things to do and see. Learning German in Berlin is a ticket to its entertainment, art, nightlife and its past as a ‘The Divided City’. The capital’s diversity (roughly one in seven people are non-natives) makes it easy to find German language courses and people who share your background for a vocabulary break. Its northern location means students are surrounded by what is generally considered the most correct form of Standard German, which may help you perfect yours.  Nearly everyone speaks English, so your butchered attempts can be corrected as you order a currywurst.


This picturesque city has a long tradition of education, with the oldest university in Germany, Heidelberg University, founded in 1386. Nestled in a sloping valley, Heidelberg has been ranked the ninth most inspiring city to visit globally. History meets vibrant youth, hoping to graduate unscathed as the city did from WWII. It is home to the F+U Academy of Languages, one of the biggest European language schools, welcoming over 12,000 students from over 120 countries across their schools in Heidelberg and Berlin. The leading German education provider offers a range of programmes, from academic language to specialist courses for prospective physicians, nurses and teachers.

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