Switzerland is home to four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Depending on which canton you plan on living or visiting, citizens of those cantons speak the language official to that canton. The German language is spoken in 17 cantons in Switzerland. This makes the German language the most spoken one here. The majority of the Swiss population speaks Swiss German, known in Switzerland as Schwiizerdütsch, which is a combination of Alemannic dialects spoken in Western Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, in parts of Baden-Württemberg in Germany and Alsace in France.

Why Learn German in Switzerland

People who don’t speak German but speak English or other languages that are spoken in Switzerland have lived and continue to live in Switzerland. As not knowing German isn’t that big of a language barrier. However, you’ll get to experience Switzerland in a whole new way when you interact with the locals in their language.

If you want to learn German, you can do so by choosing among multiple options available to you. Countless courses, as well as many apps, can help you in this direction. But wouldn’t you want to learn the language in the country where it’s spoken, where you can’t avoid speaking it while also practicing it?

If yes, good call!

Without wanting to diminish other ways of learning a foreign language, choosing to do so in a country where it’s the first language might be the most efficient one. But why exactly is it better to learn German in Switzerland? Let’s find out.

You get to use the language in your daily life

It’s not the same to study a language through textbooks as having to use it in real-time in different contexts and with people who speak it. One of the benefits of living in Switzerland is getting to put to use your German. When in Switzerland, you have no choice but to be immersed in its language. You’re going to have to use it to do some of the most fundamental duties. From ordering food at restaurants and buying groceries, watching local channels will contribute to enriching your vocabulary and strengthening your understanding of the German language.

Learn colloquialisms and useful phrases in German

In language classes and through textbooks, students usually learn more about the formal side of a language. The lack of contact with people who speak German might make you oblivious to the phrases that are used in informal situations. But when you decide to learn the language while living in Switzerland, you’ll get familiar with the colloquialisms and be up-to-date with the German expressions.

You can’t use your mother tongue

When learning a new language, we might make mistakes while using it in the initial stages. As perfectionist people, we expect to be so good at learning a foreign language that we can’t face the struggles and errors we make. To avoid those said mistakes when using the foreign language, we come back to the language we know best, the mother tongue. But in a new country, you can’t do that. For the simple reason, that they can’t understand you. You’re forced to keep on talking in German to communicate with them. This will only be beneficial for you, as you’re going to practice the language.

German Language Courses in Switzerland

german-courses-in-switzerland

Some of you wish to learn German but also get a certificate upon completing the course. Finding a German course in Switzerland would be best, as the stuff you learn in the class, you can practice on the streets. The language schools in Switzerland offer numerous courses for all those interested. You just have to choose the one course that suits you best.

Language Studies International (LSI)

LSI is an internationally accredited language school with over 60 years of experience in this field. It has locations all over the world. In Switzerland, Zurich is home to the LSI language school. The staff of this school in Zurich is all native and qualified to do their jobs. To all their prospective students, LSI offers a number of German courses they can choose from.

General 20 Course

This course provides its students with four lessons per day of 45 minutes. In two of the lessons you’ll focus on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, whereas in two other lessons you’ll have to practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. A variety of materials are included in this course.

Course Duration 1-52 weeks
Class Size 10- 12 students
Classes/week 20 lessons per week
Classes Days Monday-Friday
Student Age 16+years
Class Level All levels
Fees CHF 310/per week
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

Intensive 30 Course

This course focuses on the areas where you need improvement in a short period. The course is designed for those people that want to study the language intensively and gain knowledge about the country and its culture as quickly as possible.

Course Duration 1-52 weeks
Class Size 10-12 students
Classes/week 30 lessons per week
Classes Days Monday-Friday
Student Age 16+ years
Class Level All levels
Fees CHF 465/per week
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

Afternoon 10 Course

The course is the right choice for people who have a basic knowledge of the language and want to focus on developing their German communication skills. Group discussions, role plays, and simulations are the main methods used by the instructor.

Course Duration 1-11 weeks
Class Size 10-12 students
Classes/week 10 lessons per week
Classes Days Monday-Friday
Student Age 16+
Class Level All levels
Fees CHF 155 weekly
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

One-to-one Course

This course might be the most efficient way to learn the German language as the instructor’s attention is all on you. You have the opportunity to talk with the instructor about your needs and what you want to focus on. It’s you who also chooses the time and the place of the course.

Course Duration 1-52 weeks
Class Size 1 student
Classes/week 5, 10, or 20 lessons per week
Classes Days Flexible time and location
Student Age 16+years
Class Level All levels
Fees CHF 2,185
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

International Language School (ILS)

International Language School has been teaching students German for over ten years. It started as a language school in the center of Bern, and today they count two more locations: in Basel and Solothurn. They offer courses not only in the German language but in almost all European languages.

German Intensive Course

Choosing the German intensive course might be the way to learn the language as fast as possible. The instructors choose different exercises to help you in that direction. For the course materials, you’ll need to pay CHF 50.

Course Duration 1-52 weeks
Class Size 4-6 students
Classes/week 10 lessons
Classes Days Monday-Friday
Student Age 16+ years
Class Level A1-C1
Fees CHF 490
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

German Semi-Intensive Course

Even though this course meets only three times a week, you’ll still progress quite quickly. Through writing, speaking, and listening exercises, you’ll strengthen your knowledge of German.

Course Duration 1-52 weeks
Class Size 4-6 students
Classes/week 10 lessons per week
Classes Days Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Student Age 16+ years
Class Level A1-C1
Fees CHF 390
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

German Super-Intensive Course

In this course, you’ll quickly learn about the German language structures and vocabulary through listening and grammar exercises, roleplaying, and simulations. For the course materials, you’ll need to pay CHF 50.

Course Duration 1-34 weeks
Class Size 4-8 students
Classes/week 20 lessons per week
Classes Days Monday-Friday
Student Age 16+ years
Class Level A1-C1
Fees CHF 800
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

Private German Course

This course will be very beneficial to students who want to learn the language fast. The lessons will be designed according to your wishes. You also decide about the time and length of the course. CHF 50 is paid for the course materials.

Course Duration Can be set individually by you
Class Size 1 student
Classes/week 10 lessons per week
Classes Days Can be set individually by you
Student Age 14+ years
Class Level A1-C1
Fees CHF 58 per course
Certificate A certificate is issued to the students upon course completion

 

Learn German as an Au Pair in Switzerland

living-as-au-pair-in-switzerland

If you don’t see yourself taking classes in German in Switzerland, you can always choose another alternative to improve your language skills. This alternative would be to be an au pair in Switzerland. Living au pair means to live with a host family while also working for them. Your duties will depend on what the host family needs help with. However, the whole au pair experience isn’t about the job you’re going to have, but what you’re going to gain from it linguistically speaking.

While living with the host family, you have to use their language, which in turn, will help you with your German language development. Also, life with a Swiss family won’t make it easy for you to go back to your native language in the moments you find yourself having difficulties expressing yourself in German.

Apps to Learn Swiss German

There is always the possibility of learning the German language through the internet and smartphones. There are a number of apps dedicated to the Swiss-German language and its dialects that give you the means to learn the language as easy and fast as possible.

Grüezi Switzerland

Grüezi Switzerland is a free language app and is available only on the IOS platform. It’s a Swiss-German language app that includes 19 dialects of the language. The app has audio recordings of the most used phrases in the Swiss-German language, making it easier for you to use it while communicating with the locals.

utalk Swiss German

utalk Swiss German is a paid language app. It will cost you CHF 8.57 and is available in two platforms IOS and Android. The money spent on this app will be worth it as it offers audio files in the Swiss-German language to listen to, which are clear and very easy to understand.

Schweizerdeutsch Lernen

Schweizerdeutsch Lernen is an app dedicated to those that have knowledge of Standard German but want to know and understand Swiss dialects. This app translates phrases from Standard German to Zurich dialect and offers a pronunciation guide too. You can get this app on the IOS or Android platform for only CHF 1.

Dialäkt Äpp

Dialäkt Äpp is a language app dedicated to those who have a pretty good understanding of German language and native German speakers. It quizzes you on the pronunciation of a list of words and identifies your dialect. Then it gives the users the opportunity to record their pronunciation of the words and then upload them on the server and display on an interactive map in the app.

Once you arrive in Switzerland, you get to choose among many options to learn the German language. It doesn’t matter how you decide to learn the language, but how committed you are. We believe in you, and we know you can do this.

Viel Glück!

4 Comments
    1. Hey Youness,

      Here in the article, we presented a few German courses in Switzerland. As for the procedure of registration, the first step would be for you to choose a German course that fits you and then contact them to get informed on the procedures.

      Good luck!

    1. Hi Mohammed,

      To become an au pair you should first find a host family. You can do so through a number of web platforms you can find online. After you find a host family, you’ll have to sign a contract with them, the template of which you’ll receive from the canton you’ll be living. Once you move to Switzerland, you’ll need to register at the municipality and apply for a residence permit.

      Hope this helps.

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