German language prep

Before coming to Munich

Approximately five to six months span the time between when you are admitted to the Junior Year in Munch Program and the time you actually arrive in Munich. We strongly encourage you to use this as an opportunity to strengthen your German language skills. This is especially important for students in the full-year program since the long months of summer most likely will not provide much opportunity to take formal German language instruction.

We can't learn German for you and we can't use German for you when you are in Munich. Making this one of your goals while you're in Munich will help you adjust more quickly to living abroad, find it easier to get involved and make friends and make your academic goals more realistic and obtainable. It will also pay off when you enter the job market after graduation.

What to expect

Before you arrive in Munich, you will take an on-line German language placement test (Einstufungstest). Based on the results of this test, you'll be assigned to a section of the Advanced German Language course along with other students who have a similar level of language proficiency. Students on JYM land at a range of different levels. Focus on yourself and not on others. Your goal should be to improve at least one level (moving, for example, from B1-1 to B2-1) over the course of a year. More growth is possible, however. We've seen a student who came to JYM with only four semesters of college German under their belt pass the C-1 exam before returning to the U.S.!

Test yourself first

The first thing you'll want to do is take a placement test to see what level you're at according to the Common European Frame of References for Languages proficiency scale (both the scale and the testing format are quite different from the U.S., so this is also good practice). Deutsche Welle offers a free online placement test (Einstufungstest).

Set aside time every day to study German

Even if you're already taking a German language course right now, make a plan to do even more. You'll be glad you did! Just 20 minutes a day from the time you are accepted to JYM to the time you arrive in Munich would amount to approx 60 hours of instruction. That's equivalent to an additional whole semester of German!

Buy a German language textbook at A2 or B1 level

Highly recommended if you are in your third semester of German.

Begegnungen A2+ Integriertes Kurs- und Arbeitsbuch by Anne Buscha and Szilvia Szita. Comes with an answer booklet and two CDs for listening comprehension.

Schubert Verlag also has additional exercises and PDF worksheets online, covering levels A1 to C2.

Grammar review

Buscha, Anne and Szilvia Szita. B Grammatik. Sprachniveau B1-B2. Leipzig: Schubert Verlag, 2011. Comes with an Answer Booklet and CD for listening comprehension. Available from Amazon (order from SuperBookDeals; they ship from IL).

Online grammar exercises

Online listening with exercises

Practice tests for Zertifikat B1

Glotz-Kastanis, Jo and Aliki Ernestine, Olympia Balser. Zertifikat B1 neu. 15 Ãœbungsprüfungen. Munich: Hueber Verlag, 2013. (15 practice tests at the B1 level, including CD for listening tests; answer key can be downloaded from Hueber Verlag website). Available from Amazon (order from SuperBookDeals; they ship from IL).

More resources