Is it possible to learn German in six months?

I didn't think I would ever study abroad in a German-speaking country so I never started learning the language. But never say never :) Once I took part in the Erasmus program in Austria, and as you all know, this was the first "CORONA semester", because of which I decided to stay here to continue studying. The main criteria on for admission to BSc study at Montanuniversität Leoben is knowledge of the German language, and I didn’t know anything that time! But as you can see, I'm here, which means I managed to learn it quickly, and I’ll tell you how!

1 Step: Motivation

First of all, I had two options for admission to Montanuniversität Leoben, and for both I needed an official certificate of proficiency in German (A2 or B2). There are some MSc degrees which you can study in English, but my bachelor's programme with a focus on environmental protection is taught only in German. I did not have so much time to prepare for the exam (ÖSD), but a great desire to learn the language and continue my degree.

2 Step: How to learn?

I started looking for a tutor because I really needed an explanation of the basics and some kind of teaching method (Where to start? How to pronounce correctly? What exactly do I need? etc). I found a Russian teacher who had a C2 level of proficiency in German and we started lessons. The problem was that we couldn’t connect and I didn't see the rapid progress that was so important to me. In total, I had five different tutors (form Russian to German, from English to German, only German speaking teacher) but the lessons weren't efficient enough, and I had to pay much more for more hours, so I decided to try learning by myself. For the learning structure, I bought a course book (MENSCHEN A1.1. & A1.2. ) that is used at MUL and in Germany for quick teaching. I really liked this method because I can make my own schedule and there are good explanations in the book.

4 Step: Combined learning

When I enrolled in a preparatory course at the Montanuniversität, I was shocked to find out that the worst student in the group was - me. Everyone had been learning German for at least two years, and I had only been learning it for a month and still had the language barrier. Because of that, I started to combine our classes and my own study programme. The course was 12 hours per week of German; seven hours per week of courses from the bachelor's curriculum at Montanuniversität (all in German); my own learning time 28 hours a week (including homework). So in total I had 47 hours a week just to learn the language and some additional free time learning with watching German movies and news, listening to music and radio. In the middle of the semester, I noticed that I didn't have difficulties anymore, that I am not the worst student – I am one of the best now.

5 Step: DO NOT GIVE IT UP!!!

One of the most important things in learning a new language is not to stop. Because the knowledge of the language tends to deteriorate when is not used anymore. I've been studying German for six months now, and soon I’ll have the B2 exam, I don’t have big problems with understanding, pronunciation anymore, I do not have a language barrier and I can communicate with people around me without obstacles, but of course I’ll continue to learn it in some additional course to make it better.

This is my story, and to answer the inital question – YES! I believe that you can do whatever you want, the most important thing is only your desire and a drop of hard work ;)

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