3 unforgettable months in
On arrival in Vienna, I was certain I would not survive my three-month stay as an exchange student, having very little knowledge of the German language – only some very basic words. I was there to learn German, so I enrolled at CULTURA WIEN.
After a quick check of my German knowledge I was put into an appropriate class, of no more than 10 students at any one time: all ages, all nationalities, and all different reasons for being there. I had been pessimistic about this – how could one learn a foreign language by speaking nothing but the language? Doesn’t one need translations to learn and understand? The thought soon proved wrong – the discussion within the class, and the accurate explanations and examples from the teacher were all that was necessary to understand entire conversations very soon. It was also more relaxing to find that almost everyone speaks English, in case of emergency.
The work was done either as a class discussion where everyone could voice their opinions with any necessary help, or in pairs or small groups – this helped people get to know each other more, and to share knowledge. There was never a situation in which I felt left alone and without understanding: the teacher would put enough pressure on people to really get them thinking, but would naturally assist when anyone looked too confused.
The extra activities organised at Cultura Wien always interested me – being a good way to spend time with other students, and see Vienna with the expert knowledge and cultural information from the teachers.
Walks and tours within the city, visits to historical buildings, dancing-lessons and enjoyable German video showings were just some of the activities.
My time in Vienna was not restricted to the course though – at any free moment I had I‘d go walking in the beautiful city, weaving through narrow snow-covered streets, camera in hand, and sitting in friendly coffee-houses. Quite often on my walks tourists asked me for directions and information, and I was almost always able to help – in English and, after the first month, in German also! The speed of my learning was greater that I had ever imagined was possible – going from knowing only a few greetings, to having long conversations in reasonable German, in only a couple of months. My vocabulary and grammar both were noticeably better every week. The wonders of this course impressed me so much, I convinced my family to let me stay a little longer – every day was important to me. Over my stay, as well as gaining my obvious knowledge of German, I made friendships which will remain forever and gained general knowledge about Austria ..... and life.
I shall always remember the friendliness and politeness of the Austrian people – it was quite different for me to be walking through the streets and to be greeted by total strangers. All the Viennese that I had regular contact with were always willing to help me – from the man who sold me the paper to the people at Cultura Wien and my hosts. Of course, everyone was extremely patient with my level of German.
As I spend my final week here now, I think back to these last wonderful months – and secretly consider and plan my next visit to Vienna and Cultura Wien!
Anna Rutter - Student
Hamilton - Australia
The only way to get to speak a language fluently is to go to a country were it is talked. I had a great experience in Vienna, and I really got to learn a lot of German.
I am pleased to provide a recommendation for Cultura Wien. I am an American and my husband is Austrian. We moved to Vienna and not able to speak German, I enrolled in Cultura Wien's intensive daytime course. My husband and his Austrian friends and family are amazed at my progress in four short months. I can understand quite a bit and have a strong basis with which to communicate. In fact I feel quite confident in my ability to convey my ideas or wishes in German. For someone who has never learned another language, this is truly a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and speaks directly to Cultura Wien's effectiveness. A vast range of topics allowed me to amass an extensive vocabulary. I was most impressed with the teacher. Her ability to lead the course so as to include all the students, while at the same time adjusting for each
student's personal needs and skills were exceptional. She possessed tremendous patience. The course was not simply about memorizing rules of grammar and vocabulary, but included a variety of activities to encourage the student to practice speaking and writing German in a risk-free environment. The school provides a warm and friendly environment. From small things like a friendly smile and morning greeting from its staff to numerous extra-curricular activities, the student feels welcome and an integral part of the school. I would be happy to answer a prospective student's specific question and can be reached via e-mail at:
Vienna conjures countless images; elaborate imperial palaces, coffee houses crammed with rich cakes and Baroque mirrors, choirboys with angelic voices and full of cultural activities. I was able to enjoy all these things through ?CULTURA WIEN? with my fast progressing German. Because the school is located in the very heart of Vienna, you can easily get plenty of cultural things and meet all kind of people from all over the world. The school fully benefits its advantage of good location with well-organized cultural activities.... Cause its name is ?Cultural Wien?..... Isn`t it? Developing language skills depends on your constant effort of
trying to speak and think in that language and this process must be amusing and pleasant. I can say , that the school was very helpful to me in this way. The classes were always interesting and I had a lot of fun. I have been able to speak and think in German naturally. I think the most important element of the language school are the professional teachers. The teachers in this school were professional and human. What really moved me was the teachers`individual attention towards students. You can always have private conversation after the class, going to the theater, having dinner together, they will be your good friends. That`s not just a dull instructor-course taker relationship. I`m still having contacts with the teachers and the students there. They are friends.
Whereever you go, it depends on your own effort to achieve your designated goal. Still, I think you can access to your goal better in more efficient and pleasant ways. Good Luck!!!
I could only attend the German course for 4 weeks, but it has been enough to improve my German enormously. I thought it could not possibly be a pleasure to study German, but the location of the school (right in the middle of the imperial city), our teacher and the contacts with the other students from all over the world have made my stay in Austria an unforgettable one. If you are still not convinced that CULTURA WIEN is the best place to study German, send me an e-mail, so that I can make you choose CULTURA WIEN.
I have always desired to master three or four languages, but until last year I was only fluent in Spanish, my mother tongue, and English, which I studied as part of my University degree. I attempted to learn German with a private tutor, but with little success. Therefore the only solution was to take a sabbatical year in order to learn German. I travelled to Vienna and spent nine months learning German at CULTURA WIEN.
Why learn German in Vienna? I had visited Vienna as a tourist three years before and fell in love with the city from the very first day. However, I could not take advantage of all the attractions the city had to offer, as I nly stayed for a few days. But this year I had the opportunity to come to live in Vienna. There is so much to do in Vienna! If you love music, believe me, you are in the right place - I will never forget the performances at the Staatsoper and the Volksoper. Vienna is a beautiful and clean city with a rich cultural heritage where you always feel safe and comfortable and the public transport system is the most efficient one I have ever seen.
I really advise you to come to CULTURA WIEN to study German. I found a friendly staff who always helped me to progress in the study of German. By attending an intensive course you will be able to communicate after only two months which was my experience, due to an up-to-date methodology with a most communicative approach, an affable relationship between students and teachers and the fantastic atmosphere among students. I managed to pass without any difficulty the ??terreichisches Sprachdiplom? at the end of my stay at CULTURA WIEN. Thanks to an extraordinary programme of extracurricular activities I developed my knowledge of history of the country, I thoroughly enjoyed the walks with Renate through Vienna, our visits to the Heurigen and the exciting excursion to th Schneeberg - truly an experience of a lifetime!
Rosario Garcia ,33 - teacher
Las Palmas, Spain
I thought Cultura Wien was excellent value for money. The staff is professional and helpful, and the teachers try to make the classes fun and interesting. The location of the classrooms is directly in the center of the city, about a minute walk from the famous St. Peters Church. I spent four weeks there in the summer, and stayed in the student dorm, which was lots of fun. They will arrange the accommodation for you. I highly recommend Cultura Wien. I learned so much German in the short time that I was there because most of the students spoke little or no English, so I had to speak German. It's also a great way to learn about other cultures and meet some new friends.
My course with CULTURA WIEN - a great experience!!
It was the first time that I had a course abroad with other foreign guys and girls, learning a foreign language and it was great!! I thought before that learning German was difficult but the teachers was very nice and brilliant and with the use of tapes, videotapes and slides the learning was never boring. I will certainly come back next year.
The memory of Vienna is something special for me. I had many different and, of course, valuable experiences during my
three-month stay in this town.
On my first day in Cultura Wien, I was a little bit insecure, because I wasn't sure whether I would immediately feel comfortable in my class. But all of us had the same fear, so it was easy to get to know them.
And all of the teachers were really nice, too. Whenever I had a problem the helped me. After the lessons, during the break - they had always time for us. Summer in Vienna always means a lot of fun! In the evenings, my friends and me sometimes went to the Town Hall, in front of which you can enjoy a concert film (opera, classical music, etc.) every night. But that's not all: Afterwards, I always went to the Donauinsel, where we danced salsa. I didn't even know how to do it, but my friends taught
The friends and teachers that I met in Vienna are really unforgettable and very important for me. If I had stayed in Japan, I'd never had these precious experiences...
Here is Alfonso from Spain. I came to CULTURA WIEN for a "German & Music" course in July 2005 after having taken a German course and a OSD diploma in 2004. I thank you for the beautiful time I could spend with you and I hope I can come back next year. My best wishes for 2006 to all the staff at CULTURA WIEN.