FAQs: German as a Foreign Language (DaF)

Do you have any questions?

Bild: Häufig gestellte Fragen – FAQ


Who can attend DaF courses?

All non-native speakers of German who have earned a secondary-school certificate (Mittlere Reife or Mittlerer Schulabschluss) and can demonstrate elementary German proficiency. Lower Basic courses (A1) will take place only if ten or more students are registered.

How can I register to take a course?

All the information you need is under Registration.
Registration forms are available at the SDI’s front desk (Sekretariat).

What will my course level be?

The SDI offers German courses for five levels of proficiency—A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1—as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We offer a placement test several times a year. We will place you in the appropriate course level based on your performance on the placement test.

When will courses begin? How long does a course last?

DaF courses at the SDI begin in January, March, June, July, August, September, and October. A course lasts either four weeks or eight weeks. DaF students attend between 20 and 24 credit hours per week. Classroom sessions typically take place in the morning.

Under which circumstances can I advance to a higher course level—from A2 to B1, for example?

To advance to a higher course level, you must present proof that you attended class and you passed the course by earning a grade of 4 (ausreichend) or better.


Which tests can I take at the SDI?

There are several tests during every course. If you pass a course, then we will provide you with a Certificate of Participation—or, if you prefer, a printed confirmation of your participation and grade (levels of proficiency A1 through B2+).

The SDI offers the TestDaF (Test of German as a Foreign Language) four to six times every year and Telc B1, B2 and C1.

Must I complete a preparatory course before I take a test that certifies German proficiency?

Although you are not required to do so, we strongly encourage you to complete a preparatory course before you take the TestDaF or Telc B2/ C1.


How much are course fees?

Please consult the current List of courses for information on fees.

When must I pay my course fee?

You must pay the course fee when you register.

Post-DaF studies

I would like to study at an institution of higher education in Germany. Which certificates of German proficiency are accepted by a German Hochschule or Universität?


Telc C1

I would like to study at the SDI’s Berufsfachschule (Vocational Language School) or Fachakademie (Professional Language School). Which prerequisites must I meet?

You must first pass the TestDaF (a grade of 4 or 5) or the DSH  before you can register for Berufsfachschule or Fachakademie courses. The head of a given language department will ultimately decide whether or not you can attend the Berufsfachschule or Fachakademie.

LAST UPDATED 30.10.2018