You’re certainly already preparing for your next semester at NYU Berlin, feeling eager and excited! We just want to let you know: We are just as excited and looking forward to meeting you! Right now, we’re planning YOUR German program.
So, who are we? We’re the German Department at NYU Berlin – your language coordinator Denise, eight German language instructors, your language tutors Nadja and Kandice (a former NYU student!), and a few German tandem students. We’re all looking forward to helping you learn or deepen your knowledge of this beautiful and philosophical language.
Hallo und Guten Tag!
Intensive Elementary German with Jessica Menz
The German Program at NYU Berlin stands on two pillars: required German courses on the one hand and a wide range of very helpful and fun additional, facultative language offerings. We offer German courses on all levels, either extensive or intensive. You can take Elementary I & II, Intermediate I & II, Intensive Elementary & Intermediate and post intermediate German language courses. And the courses are really creative, as you can see below!
Olivia, Intensive Elementary German
Intensive Elementary German with Miriam Führer
Learning the body parts:
Sam, Elementary I German
And these are our additional German language offerings:
Tutorials for German Language Courses
NYU Berlin offers language-tutoring services for all German courses.
There’s no better way to improve your everyday German than by engaging with native speakers! German Stammtisch offers not only that, but also the chance to explore some of Berlin’s greatest cafés and restaurants!
What’s the best way to practice your German outside of the classroom? Find a tandem partner and chat, chat, chat!
Conversational Training means:
… talking authentically about topics you are interested in,
… having the possibility to share and deepen your Berlin experience,
… learning how to manage typical daily situations in German.
There’s only one rule: Speaking in English is strictly forbidden!
And here is what our students have to say about our additional offerings:
Kandice’s test tutorials and tutoring sessions are extremely helpful! It’s great having her available for tutoring because we are able ask her questions and get more individualized attention specified around the areas we feel we need help in. It is also great to have different ways to think about/tackle new subjects or rules within the German language or just to ensure that there is clarity with the material covered in class. Test tutorials are extremely helpful because they tie up everything we’ve covered into a few pages and include descriptive examples and exercises that we can use to better assess if we are prepared for the upcoming test. I really recommend using Kandice’s services, even if just to practice. It’s extremely helpful.
– Kyle, Intensive Elementary
I love going to Stammtisch. It provides both a place to practice my German and a place to relax with friends, usually over food or drinks. Everyone is very accepting no matter what your German level is, and speaking even just a little German totally boosts your confidence with the language. When I came to Germany I knew VERY little German. Stammtisch has not only helped me learn German, it’s helped me learn German how people actually speak it. It can also be a good way to learn new parts of the city; I know personally I’ve discovered a few new good restaurants through Stammtisch. Overall, I am incredibly pleased with my Stammtisch experience and would suggest it to pretty much everyone planning to come to NYU Berlin.
– Braden, Intensive Intermediate
Having taken part in the tandem program four times, I have met fascinating and intelligent young people from the U.S. and elsewhere; and have exchanged ideas, interests, knowledge and cultural differences while having a coffee or a beer. I have been very lucky and fortunate to meet and make a very good American friend through this program. When I went to the U.S. last summer and visited NY, I was able to stay with him and his loveable, hospitable and amazing family for a couple of days and experienced the incredible American friendship and hospitality first-hand. This year, he is going to return to Germany with his family and I will have the chance to return that hospitality and friendship, which I’m very excited about!
– Raphael, German Tandem-partner, FU-Student
Once, a professor told me: “The best way to learn a language is to find a lover….” That might take some time to happen, but signing up for the tandem program is a great way not only to learn and practice German, but also to be introduced to Germany. I signed up spontaneously and somehow hesitantly. However, I quickly realized that this was a unique chance to make my first German friend here in Berlin.
When I went to our first meeting and we introduced each other, my tandem partner was curious to learn which is my home city. Coming from a small town in Bulgaria, I was sure she would never heard about it. But it turned out just the opposite as my tandem partner did her study away semester in a close-by town and has visited my one. It was a great coincidence that gave us a head start of getting to know each other. However, I think the main factor for the success of your tandem experience is being proactive especially in the beginning. Many of the Germans participating in the program are local students or young people who are busy with both work and studying. Thus, it is important to make that first step and reach out, introduce yourself and initiate the first meeting.
My tandem partner and me meet every few weeks or sometimes even more often if there is an event happening that we are both interested in. I found it really helpful to have this first local acquaintance, as I was very new to Berlin and Germany. Indeed, the tandem program is not only a way to practice language, but also introduces you to the community you are living in. Furthermore, if you want to go beyond the usual touristy experience and explore the hidden places of Berlin, your tandem partner might be your best opportunity to do this. Signing up for this program is one of the best decisions I have made here. From the beginning of my stay, I felt comfortable knowing that there is a person I could talk to when I need an advice or simply when I wanted to leave the international environment and really immerse myself in the local culture and language.
– Toma, Intensive Intermediate
Introducing our German Language Instructors
– Interview with Jessica Menz, who teaches “Elementary German”
Jessica, you’re one of the German language instructors at NYU Berlin. What have you studied and how did you come to NYU Berlin?
I obtained my Bachelor’s degree at Bayreuth University in English Studies and Intercultural German Studies. Bayreuth is a small college town famous for its annual Richard Wagner opera festival. It was a great place to start off academically. Firstly, because the language department was very small, which made professors very accessible to their students. Secondly, because the program being offered was very innovative, as Bayreuth was among the first universities to adapt to the European reform for higher education (the so-called Bologna process). And lastly, because my studies were very interdisciplinary. My program included classes in English and postcolonial literature, linguistics, cultural studies, philosophy, and computer sciences. Learning a new, modern language and spending one semester abroad (in my case, Spain) was also part of the program. After obtaining my degree, I spent some time in Glasgow, Scotland, working for the Goethe Institute. This experience further motivated me to work in the field of cultural exchange and language mediation.
I then pursued a Master’s degree at Humboldt University, Berlin, in a program with a very long title: German for Foreign Language Teaching. This program, too, required extensive practical experience and made it possible for me to spend one semester in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a student and teaching assistant. I graduated in 2010 and since then have taught German as a foreign language mostly to college students. In 2012, I joined NYU Berlin and was very excited about the opportunity to connect more closely my professional life as a mediator between cultures with my personal background of being half German and half American.
Which level are you currently teaching? How do you organize your course? And what do you like about teaching?
I am currently teaching Elementary I and Intensive Elementary. I like this level because the students’ progress is clearly noticeable in every single lesson. It is amazing how students start off at zero and by the end of the semester can tell me about their lives in German. Ideally, I don’t just teach my students words and structures, but actually the understanding of a different culture and how they can mediate between their own and the new one. I try to show my students how language shapes thinking and vice versa, so sometimes a language lesson can become quite philosophical! I like to implement authentic and current forms of communication in my classes, so we use a lot of media and, for example, reflect on our language learning through a class blog. Certain aspects of German require memorization, so creative and fun methods that cater to different learning types and help students learn the language effectively also play an important role in my classes. What I love about teaching is the interaction with my students and seeing that there is a clear difference between before and after. Of course, my role is the one of the teacher, but every class also teaches me in return in so many different ways. I find teaching to be a very rewarding profession.
Do you have a message to all the new NYU-Berliners?
I would like to tell all the new NYU-Berliners to open their hearts and minds to the great experience of studying abroad. And, of course, to learning German! It will be lots of fun!
And finally, learning German is fun! Convince yourself:
Ganz viele Grüße aus Berlin
Euer German Department der NYU Berlin!