German Language Online Courses for Postdocs, Doctoral Students, and StaffGerman language online courses

Who can join the courses?

  • Scholars (postdoc / "Professor" levels) at Heidelberg University and/or their partners
  • Doctoral students at Heidelberg University and/or their partners
  • in limited numbers: members of Heidelberg-based Max Planck Institutes
  • Non-scientific staff at Heidelberg University and/or their partners
  • Lehrbeauftragte at Heidelberg Univeristy

Please understand that these courses can be offered only online. The in-person German courses at the International Study Centre are specifically intended for (prospective) students.

Alumni of Heidelberg University can sign up here for the German language online courses:

What courses are offered?

We offer general language courses for all CEFR levels from A1.1 (absolute beginners) to C1.2/C2 (advanced learners). Typically, one course covers half a level (e.g., B1.1 = first half of B1 / B1.2 = second half of B1). A semester course consists of 60 units (60 x 45 minutes), spread over 30 90-minute sessions. You complete one course per semester with us. In the next semester, you typically move on to the next level.

If you did not attend a course with us in the immediately preceding semester, we will need you to take an online placement test  (see dates below) in order to assign you to the most fitting level.

At all levels, you will be training the four basic skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and simultaneously learning about German culture. Our goal is to develop the linguistic and intercultural competences that you need for your daily life and work in Germany, particularly in an academic context. The more advanced the course level, the more important become formal (written) grammar structures and vocabulary. However, the courses are not designed to prepare you for a specific exam format.

Other language programmes at Heidelberg University

  • Doctoral students can obtain personalized language advice for academic work from the Graduate Academy.
  • The Language Centre offers language courses in a variety of other languages.

When do the courses take place?

Classes take place as online video conferences during the lecture periods on Tuesdays + Thursdays, 06:00 to 07:30 pm.

Dates for the summer semester 2024

Online placement test: Tuesday, 09 April 2024, 06:00 pm
The placement test is obligatory only if you did not attend last semester's courses with us

Access to the online placement test

E-mail notification with your course assignment and access data: by no later than Sunday, 16 April 2024, 08:00 pm
Please also check your spam/junk folder. If you have not received an e-mail by that time, please contact gastwissenschaftler@isz.uni-heidelberg.de

First classes: Tuesday, 16 April 2024, 06:00 pm

Final day of classes: Thursday, 25 July 2024

Dates for the winter semester 2024-25

Online placement test: Tuesday, 08 October 2024, 06:00 pm
Placement test is obligatory only if you did not attend last semester's courses with us

Access to the online placement test

E-mail notification with your course assignment and access data: by no later than Sunday, 13 October 2024, 08:00 pm
Please also check your spam/junk folder. If you have not received an e-mail by that time, please contact gastwissenschaftler@isz.uni-heidelberg.de

First classes: Tuesday, 15 October 2024, 06:00 pm

Final day of classes: Thursday, 06 February 2024

No classes: from 20 December 2024 to 06 January 2025

How much is the course fee?

The course fee is € 195.00 per person. You will receive detailed payment information after your registration.

Cancellation with a refund of the course fee

In your course assignment e-mail, you will also be notified about your cancellation deadline. This is typically 14 days after the start of the courses or, if you registered later, 14 days after your course assignment. You will receive a refund of your course fee only if you notify us about your cancellation in due time via e-mail:

Please also note: 

  • A cancellation with a refund after the deadline is not possible.
  • Mere absence from classes does not constitute a valid cancellation.
  • Please inform us in any case if you no longer wish to attend your course as this may offer someone else the opportunity to obtain your spot.

Assumption of the costs by a third party

If your department, grant/scholarship provider, or any other third party is willing to cover your course fee, we will gladly issue a receipt confirming your bank transfer to us. Please wait with your request for a receipt until the cancellation deadline that you were given with your course assignment.

Can I get a certificate?

These are a not-for-credit courses without tests or exams. If you do not miss more than 6 classes, you will receive a non-graded certificate of regular attendance at the end of the course.

How do I sign up for the courses?

Please register again for this semester's courses even if you attended a course in the previous semester.

Registration opens:

  • March 01 for the summer semester
  • September 01 for the winter semester

Scholars (postdoc / "Professor" levels) at Heidelberg University and their partners

To sign up for the German language courses, you first need to register online with the Welcome Centre.

Registration WelcomeCentre

If you are already registered with the Welcome Centre, you can sign up yourself (and your partner) for the German courses via the Portal for International Scholars: Log in → select “German language courses” in the column on the left → click “register for this event” at the end of the page.

Login Portal WelcomeCentre

For questions, please send an e-mail to welcomecentre@zuv.uni-heidelberg.de

Members of Max Planck Institutes

The spots available to members of Max Planck Institutes are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you are both a Max Planck Institute employee and (going to be) a doctoral student at Heidelberg University, please register as a doctoral student via the Internal Study Centre (see further).

Registration per E-Mail

Doctoral students / Lehrbeauftragte  / Non-scientific staff and their partners

  1. Please download our registration form:

    Registration form (available from March 1 / September 1)

  2. Complete the form digitally.
  3. Mail the completed form back to 


What do course participants say?

»Zurück zu vor fast 4 Jahren, als ich den ersten Deutschkurs an der Uni besucht hat, wollte ich gleich nach dem ersten Unterricht aufhören. Damals habe ich es zu schwer gefunden, dass nach langen Arbeitszeiten noch am Unterricht teilzunehmen. Aber du war super nett, eine schöne Email zu schreiben, um mich zu ermutigen, den Kurs weiterhin zu besuchen. Für mich war es eine der besten Entscheidungen während meiner Doktorarbeit, mich für den Besuch von Deutschkursen zu verpflichten. Nicht nur mein Deutsch verbessert sich deutlich, sondern auch für einen Ausländer wie mich haben die Kurse mir die Chance geboten, außerhalb der Arbeit nette Menschen kennenzulernen und auf jeden Fall neue Freunde zu finden. Ich werde auch *** danken, die eine großartige Lehrerin ist. Sie hat uns sehr geholfen, uns miteinander zu verbinden, und eine schöne Atmosphäre zum Deutschlernen geschaffen. Ich muss zugeben, dass ich ziemlich viel Unterricht verpasst habe und nicht genug Zeit damit verbracht habe, hart Deutsch zu lernen. Auch wenn ich sehr gut weiß, dass ich noch viele Dinge verbessern muss und viele Fehler in der Verwendung von Deutsch mache, insbesondere beim Sprechen und Schreiben, freue ich mich, dass ich bereits auf einem bestimmten Niveau auf Deutsch unterhalten kann.«

“Four years ago, when I had my first German course at the university, I was going to quit right after the first class. Back then, I found it too hard to join classes after a long workday. But you were so kind as to write a nice e-mail to encourage me to continue attending the course. For me, it was one of the best decisions while writing my thesis to enrol in the German courses. Not only is my German improving significantly, but the courses also offered me, as a foreigner, the chance to meet nice people outside the workplace and to make new friends for sure. I’m also going to thank ***, who is a great teacher. She helped us a lot to connect with each other and created a pleasant environment for learning German. I have to admit that I missed quite a lot of classes and did not spend enough time studying hard. Although I know very well that there are many things I still have to improve upon and that I’m still making many mistakes using German, especially in speaking and writing, I’m glad that I can already have conversations at a certain level.”

Original e-mail feedback (courtesy of the course participant)