An Integrationkurs (Integration course) is one way to learn German. In some cases, you will have to attend one of these. These integration courses are subsidised by the government and include a language course, aswell as an orientation course. Normally, the integration course lasts 660 hours, with 45 minute lessons. These can be either full-time or part-time. To find out whether you meet the criteria needed to attend an integration course, visit www.bamf.de/integrationskurs.
The language course lasts 600-900 hours. Here, you learn how to talk in German about everyday situations. You will also learn how to communicate, via email and post and how to fill out forms, make phonecalls and apply for jobs.
The orientation course lasts 60 hours. Here, you will learn about the german legal system, history and culture, legal rights and obligations, your region, important values in society, such as freedom of worship, equal rights etc and the culture in your homeland.
There is no best option for everyone, as everyone learns in different ways. Another way to learn is through a special integration course. These are available for particular target groups, and the different ones are called; literacy courses, women’s integration courses, parents’ integration courses, youth integration courses and catch-up courses. The integration course can be offered as a 430 hour intensive course for quick learners.
As part of the integration course, you have to take a test at the end of the language course and another one after the orientation course. If you pass both, then you will receive the “Integration Course Certificate” (Zertifikat Integrationskurs). This shows that your German is adequate and that you know the important basics about German society. This certificate will help whilst applying for jobs, and also allows you to apply for German citizenship after 7-8 years of residence in Germany.
For work and business purposes, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) offers free “German for professional purposes” (Deutsch für den Beruf) courses for migrants. These courses combine German language tuition, vocational qualifications and a work placement (Praktikum).These same courses are also offered elsewhere, but with a pricetag and different content sometimes. It is best to compare the different courses before committing to one.
Hope this helps you.