Learning German: Online or In-Person?

by Georgia Riungu

You’ve finally decided to up your German game and are ready to book a language course. But there’s one more decision left to make before you sign up… Online or in-person? Let's discuss.

Picking the right course format could make all the difference on your journey to German fluency. Both online and in-person course content is the same, the price difference is minimal, and (we may be biased here) Expath teachers are the best. So what else should you consider when deciding whether to learn german online or in-person?

Great question! We’re so glad you asked. Read on for an overview of some of the surprising benefits of each course type according to our students, teachers, and support team.

The Benefits of Learning Online

  • Skip the commute

Not only will you save the cost of a train ticket or two, but tuning into a lesson online means you don’t have to drag yourself across town through bad weather, protests, parades, or the dreaded Ersatzverkehr.

  • Best seat in the house

With nobody to block your view (except maybe your needy cat) and having full control of your screen and volume, you won’t miss a thing.

  • More room to maneuver

Take up as much space as you need for your course book, post-its, dictionary, notepad, highlighter collection, lucky mascot, and cauldron of hot tea. All without fear of invading anyone else’s space!

  • Get ahead and stay ahead!

If you’re moving to Germany, investing in an online course before you even get here will have you ready to hit the ground running once you arrive. Work trip popped up out of nowhere? You can take your class with you so you don’t fall behind.

  • Embrace technology

We’re not just talking about screenshotting notes and copy/pasting the chat history to a google doc. From flashcard apps to interactive quizzes — there’s a goldmine of online tools available to level up your learning experience both in and after class.

  • Sweatpants... duh!

By now, most of us have curated our home-office wardrobe to combine comfort and class, which in this judgement-free zone means business up top and sweatpants down below.

  • Learn beyond borders

Expath teachers and students log on from all around the globe. This doesn’t just mean a larger pool of talented teachers to call upon — many of our students also appreciate the networking opportunities made possible by learning alongside folks around the world.

The Benefits of Learning In-Person

  • A dedicated space

Our classrooms are literally designed as places to learn. We’re not saying that just by sitting in one you’ll learn German by osmosis, but being in an environment that isn’t meant to be anything else may really help with your focus.

  • Make friends IRL

Sharing a physical space makes it much easier to quickly clarify a sticky grammar point with your teacher on the break, or get to know your coursemates after class over a beer and falafel.

  • Free tea and coffee

Expath's schools have a kitchen with all you need to get your daily dose of caffeine that’ll keep you attentive when the verbs get irregular and the dative’s on your case!

  • Rest your eyes

We don’t mean taking a nap on the U-Bahn on your way to class (don’t do that please). We’re talking about taking a break from the omnipresent screens that rule our lives in the 21st century. Learning in-person allows you to step away from a screen, which can be a precious opportunity these days.

  • Make the most of your commute

Beyond using the journey to finish the homework assignment you should’ve done last night, the very act of traveling to class can be extremely useful for tricking your brain into switching modes and getting into the zone to learn German.

  • Get involved

Although our teachers are skilled at creating a dynamic learning environment online, there just tends to be a bit more going on — and people seem to be more ready to participate — when in a physical classroom.

  • Healthy distance

If you share a living space with others — be they noisy flatmates, tiny humans, or adorable pets — you might find that going to school is actually more convenient, with fewer distractions vying for your attention.

  • Get out and about

Whether you’re new to Berlin or just need an excuse to get out more, both Mitte and Neukölln are areas with a lot of great stuff going on. Why not use the fact you’re traveling anyway to explore a new district?

Decisions, Decisions...

Ultimately, it’s your choice which method feels right. You know your unique learning style and specific challenges, so you’ll make the right decision for you.*

You can even mix it up if you like! Just because your first course is online, there’s nothing stopping you from taking the next one in-person.

The most important thing is to commit to the learning process and, for goodness' sake, do the homework! ;)

*If you feel like you made the wrong choice after the first session, get in touch! Our 48-hour cancellation policy means you can switch to another course for free, no questions asked.

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