Although Graz is the second biggest city of Austria, being competent in English alone might not always be very helpful to get your daily life going smoothly here. Life in Graz can be so much easier when you speak at least a basic level of German. There are several effective ways to assist you with that mission. In this article, I will shed light on three ways that I find learning German quite effective. By Djemil Tahir.
#1 Learning German in Sprachcafe
It is quite common in Austria to have speaking cafes. The name suggests the idea. Sprachcafe literally translates to language or speaking cafe. In big cities such as Vienna or Graz, this idea exists. Local people who are willing to spare some time to sit down with foreigners willing to improve their German, and often pick up any topic of interest and speak about it for a couple of hours. This service is costless and is a great way to build connections with people from the city.
If you could not find an active Sprach Cafe, it is quite easy to create one. There are several online platforms on which you may create and manage events. An example of such platforms is the App MeetUps.
Link to download MeetUps: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.meetup&hl=en&gl=US
On MeetUps, you can basically create any social event and set it to be public. It is commonly used around Graz.
#2 Intensive and semester Courses at the University of Graz
The University of Graz offers an intensive course that lasts for 3 weeks before the beginning of every semester. For the winter semester, this course is often in September and for the summer semester, it is in February. 6 ECTS points may be obtained from this course.
Also semester courses are available. Those are for 2 hours a week but they last throughout the semester. Upon successful completion of this course, students can obtain 3 ECTS points.
Levels from A1 to C1 are available and students are placed based on the results of a placement test prior to the beginning of the course.
The course is normally taken by exchange students spending one or two semesters in Graz but it is open for everyone
including professionals. For more details about registration, costs and application deadlines, you may refer to the official website for updated information.
#3 Finding a Tandem Partner
This is perhaps the most joyful and relaxed way of rapidly improving your listening and speaking skills. The Tandem partner idea is very common in Graz and the universities often assist students through their online platforms to match with a person who is eager to practice German with you in exchange for learning your mother tongue.
This method not only helps you improve your speaking skills rapidly, but also creates a great bond with that person in a way that one becomes less embarrassed with making mistakes while speaking. The demolishing of the shyness barrier is a gateway towards rapid language skills improvement.
Learning German can be made fun if you choose the best method to practice it. There are several options ranging from regular classes to fun hangouts with peers interested in exchanging languages. Find the method that suits you well and enjoy the journey of learning.
About the author
My name is Djemil Tahir. I have been living in Graz since October 2020. I am currently pursuing master studies in Geotechnical and Hydraulics Engineering at the Technical University of Graz. Obviously, I love Graz. ;)