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German Language Courses at the University of Cologne

Photo: © Fabian Stürtz

The Department of German as a Foreign Language (DAF) offers international exchange students the opportunity to attend German courses before and during the semester.

On levels A1 to B1 the courses treat German language skills for the daily life. From level B2 the courses treat current topics as well as language structures and academically relevant vocabulary.

Students that complete the course successfully can receive 9 ECTS credits.

  • Pre-semester courses: 4 weeks, 20 hours per week (4 hours per day) before the beginning of the semester (Winter: September to mid October, Summer: March to mid-April); the course is held online.
  • Semester courses: 2 times a week with 2 and 4 hours of lessons per day during the lecture period; one session is held online, the other one in person.
  • A1 self-study module: 4 hours of self-study per week and 2 hours of synchronous learning time via Zoom.

You can attend one of the German language courses for free each semester. If you choose to attend both courses, the pre-semester course will be free, while a fee of 250 € will be charged for the semester course.



Registration is only possible through the ZIB office. 

The registration for the winter courses takes place until the beginning of August, the registration for the summer courses until the beginning of February. Students will recieve information on the registration some weeks before the start of their studies at the University of Cologne.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at exchange-law(at)


Placement test

Before the start of the course there is a placement test, to assess students' knowledge of German and to assign the students to the correct course level. Generally, German courses are offered at the following levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF): A1, A2, B1, B2.1, B2.2, C1.

Students who already have knowledge of German must take part in the placement test.


Note on registration

Registration is only possible for those Erasmus/exchange students who have been nominated for an exchange by their home university at the Faculty of Law of the University of Cologne. After successful nomination, all students have received a confirmation email.

In addition, students of the binational Bachelor's degree programmes who do not speak German fluently/native can apply.