Great experience - would recommend
Nicholas, 29, from United Kingdom – January 21, 2016
Stay: 4 weeks, Course Start: 2015 , Accomodation:
- After class activities
- Support by GLS staff
The Good & the Bad - what did you like best? What least?
I did semi-intensive for 4 weeks. First 2 weeks I stayed in Hotels across Berlin, then chose to do a Homestay. In the school I started in A1.2 (1 up from absolute beginner), later this became A2.1 (advanced beginner). Then I moved down a group (back to A1.2) & back to a previous book due to missing a few lessons. However it was worth it for me - since I recapped on some material & became confident communicator in basic german by end of the 4 weeks.
Positives: School was very good. The Canteen downstairs was had good food for a fair price. Friendly teachers and students. Good variety of culture events. For the 2nd homestay week (4th week of study) - nice atmosphere and accomodation close to the school. The lady liked learning & we had various conversations which greatly helped improve my German & sometimes her English! :-)
Negative: The 1st homestay week - the atmosphere wasn't great - I was willing to learn but the person I was staying with didn't bother to communicate much after first 2 days - her reasoning was that I wouldn't understand what she was saying. - Her speed was too quick, and she was used to more advanced students staying with here. She didn't seem to like putting the effort it to help, despite my effort in trying to understand and communicate back. She later left notes on paper so I could look up what the message she was trying to convey. I found this offputting. Nice woman, but shame in the circumstances.
Your recommendations for other students
Go on as many culture events as possible!
Consider homestays - staying with German families. For these it's luck of the draw what type of person you will stay with. You learn a lot more about the various topics, country, culture, and local area that way when you engage in conversations. Ask GLS in advance what ability level the families are used to having with them. The staff asked for my preferences at the time which was great.