Taking a language course
You want to take a language course as an au pair? Find out how you can find the best language school and the right language course for you.
INFORMATION AT ONE GLANCE
- Your host family has to give you the opportunity to take a language course at a language school.
- As an au pair, you have to pay for the language course yourself, unless your host family offers to pay for it. Ask!
The host family is instructed to leave you enough free time so you can take language classes at a language school.
Your working hours should be organized in such a way that you can take a language course.
In most countries as an au pair you don't have to take language classes in a language school. But it can help you to take a language course in your host country so you can not only improve your speaking but also learn the grammar.
CHOOSING A LANGUAGE SCHOOL
It might be a good idea to search for a language school while you are still in your home country and already sign up for a course. In big cities the language courses fill up very fast and it would be a shame if you came to the new country and wouldn't be able to take the language course you wanted. In order to sign up for a language course you have to know your language level. For German you can test it online: www.sprachtest.de.
The language courses usually start in September and in January/February. The sooner you sign up for them, the better.
But you can also take your time and choose the language school and book your language course only after your arrive in your host country. There are probably different language schools and courses for au pairs and it's a good idea to compare their methods and see if they offer intensive classes.
In Germany the Goethe institute is well-known internationally as a good language institute. But the cheapest option for you as an au pair is a language course in a state language school. Also the language courses at the adult evening school (Volkshochschule) have a good reputation and offer good value for money.
Some schools offer apart from language courses also other courses that might be interesting for you (history, politics, literature, science, sports, culture and many more), handicraft groups (painting, pottery), cultural seminars or sports classes. Some institutes, as the Goethe institute, are specialized in the teaching of German as a foreign language.
ADVANTAGES OF A LANGUAGE SCHOOL FOR AU PAIRS
- improve your language skills;
- meet other au pairs or other students in your course;
- you can take language exams;
- after the course you receive a language certificate which will improve your possibilities in the job market;
- you get more independent and you improve your organizational skills.
„I signed up for a language course in the Volkshochschule. There I didn't only meet many new people but I also improved my German a lot. The language course was also a nice break in my daily au pair routine.“ Pavla, 22
Language school in other countries: