Facts and resources Heading link
Why learn German?
Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities at home and abroad. Proficiency in German and all the communication skills you develop by learning German can help you function productively in the global business environment. Knowing the language of your worldwide business partners improves your relationships and thereby increases your chances for effective communication, success, and profit.
Germany’s economic strength equals business opportunities. Multinational business ventures thrive throughout the European Union and in the Eastern European countries, where German is the second-most spoken language after Russian. And Germany is one of the top trade and investment partners of the United States.
The former German chancellor, Willy Brandt, once said, “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen [then you have to speak German].”
This matters because of the power of the German economy. For example, here is a list of countries by the value of their exports, based on The World Factbook of the CIA, 2011/2012. (Compare the population sizes to get a sense of the scale!)
- European Union $2,170,000,000,000*
- People’s Republic of China $2,050,000,000,000 (pop. 1.3 billion)
- United States $1,612,000,000,000 (pop. 310 million)
- Germany $1,492,000,000,000 (pop. 82 million)
* The EU language with the largest number of native speakers is German.
When conducting business, you want to be able to tell your side of the story in German and listen in when your partners are speaking their native tongue. And having a background in German language and cultural studies is always an impressive way to signal your motivation and your communication skills to prospective employers.
Here are the numbers
- German investment in the United States exceeds $210 billion.
- U.S. investment in Germany in 2008 was 111 billion Euros.
- Germany is the largest European trading partner of the U.S., with more than 750 American firms doing business there.
- Germany is the third largest trading partner of the U.S. in the world.
- The United States imports more from Germany than from any other European country and is the second largest market for German exports ($78 billion).
- More than 1,100 companies from German-speaking countries have subsidiaries in the U.S., employing some 1 million Americans directly (plus 8.6 million indirectly), according to recent figures from the Center for Transatlantic Relations.
- The best-known German firms with subsidiaries in the U.S. include: Adidas, Aldi, Audi, Bayer, Braun, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, DHL, Hugo Boss, Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Puma, T-Mobile, Porsche, Siemens, Volkswagen, Continental Tire, and Deutsche Bank.
- More than 3,000 German companies have investments in the American market.
- The volume of German mergers and acquisitions in the United States in 2007 was over 24 billion dollars (fourth after Canada, Britain and Australia—all English-speaking).
- Profits for Germany’s 30 leading blue-chip companies climbed by about 12 percent last year to hit a new record.
- Germany is the world’s second largest exporter, just behind China. Technological innovation and the high quality of German goods are the main reasons.
- More than 45,000 international companies do business in Germany.
- Germany is the most attractive place in Europe and third after the U.S. and China in the world for U.S. companies to invest, according to a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group. Reasons cited were the quality and reliability of the “Made in Germany” label as well as the country’s resilience.
- About half of the 547 billion Euros of banknotes in the Euro region are spent in Germany, according to the Bundesbank.
- Together with China, Germany hosts more trade shows than any other country in the world. 2/3 of the world’s leading trade fairs take place in Germany in cities such as Hanover, Frankfurt, and Berlin–including CeBIT, the world’s largest trade fair for information and communication technology.
- Germany tops the list of European nations in the number of new patents registered last year, according to figures from the European Patent Office in Munich. German inventors registered over 33,000 new patents in 2011—fewer than only US inventors with 59,000 and Japanese inventors with 47,000 (compare the populations!). Germany frequently has more patent approvals per year than the next four European countries combined.
- The World Economic Forum recently named the most competitive nations in the world: Switzerland is number 1, Germany number 7, and Austria number 17.
- The “Global Innovation Index” 2008 placed Germany in 2nd place (USA in 1st), Switzerland in 7th, and Austria in 15th. In last year’s survey, Germany was also in 2nd place.
- Germany was recently named Europe’s most favorable manufacturing location for the foreseeable future by the firm Healy & Baker and in a recent issue of Newsweek as the second most powerful country in the world after the United States, based on many criteria, especially its economy.
- Germany is Europe’s largest economy, world’s fifth largest, and the world’s third most technologically powerful economy after the U.S. and Japan.
- Germany is renowned for its state-of-the-art transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, high-tech research and development labs, well-trained work force, and large domestic market. Eighty percent of German adults have a professional qualification.
- The World Economic Forum’s 2011-2012 report notes that Germany is ranked an excellent 2nd for the quality of its infrastructure, boasting in particular first-rate facilities across all modes of transportation. Germany’s business sector is highly sophisticated, especially when it comes to production processes and distribution channels.
- 200,000 businesses introduce new products on the German market each year.
- Germany companies own some of your favorite consumer outlets including Trader Joes, Aldi, and Caribou and Peet’s Coffee.
- The German company, Bertelsmann, owns the RTL Group (Europe’s number 1 broadcaster) and Random House (the world’s largest book publishing group), and Gruner + Jahr (Europe’s largest magazine publisher.)
- Germany is one of the top three nations in research and development of high-tech products, the second among world leaders in both wind and solar power production and the world leader in solar photovoltaic panels.
- Of the world’s 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue (the Fortune Global 500), 50 are in German-speaking countries. 37 of the Fortune Global 500 are headquartered in Germany. In 2010 the ten largest were Volkswagen, Allianz, E.O.N., Daimler, Siemens, Metro, Deutsche Telekom, Munich Re, BASF, and BMW.
- The eastern German city of Dresden has become Europe’s microchip center with its more than 765 semiconductor firms.
- There are over 8 million internet domains with .de, which is only second to .com. German domain names are more popular than .net, .org, and .info.
- More than 600 German films are active in the cutting-edge field of biotechnology. 115 of these are located in Munich alone.
Did you know?
UIC’s department of Germanic Studies offers a comprehensive program that combines a major in German with a minor in Business, integrating courses in German language, culture and business operations with courses in Finance, Accounting, and Management. See German with Business Minor for more details.
But even students from the Basic Language Program or from outside the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can take Business German or German Business Operations courses and/or minor in German in combination with their major. Courses are offered in German and in English. See German Courses for more details.
Here is a short list of just some of the study, research, and internship opportunities for students in business-related fields:
- DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
The German Academic Exchange Service gives away more money for study/internships abroad than any other agency worldwide.
University Summer Course Grant:
Summer courses at German universities to help build your language skills while studying anything from film to politics to engineering.
Study and Internship Program (SIP):
A full academic semester of study abroad at one of the UAS7 universities in Germany, followed by a one-semester professional internship experience in a company or research institute in Germany.
- Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress, that annually provides American and German Young Professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each others’ countries, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program. The program is open to candidates in all career fields who are interested in a year of cultural exchange.
- German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest
Transatlantic Program – Young Technology Leaders:
Short study-trips to Germany, bringing together future technology leaders from the US and Germany. Each year’s program focuses on a special topic, such as:Sustainable Manufacturing, Sustainable Architecture and Urban Planning, Logistics and Transportation, Water Management, Intelligent Transportation Communication Systems, Healthcare Delivery & Medical Technology.
- Think Swiss Research Scholarships and Summer School Grants
ThinkSwiss supports highly motivated and qualified U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to do research in Switzerland for 2 to 3 months or to participate in summer schools at top Swiss universities.
- Cultural Vistas
Eight-week summer program in Germany for US university students.
Strong preference given to students historically underrepresented in international exchange. This includes, but is not limited to Pell Grant recipients; veterans; first-generation college students; members of minority communities within the United States; and non-traditional students.
The third level in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages is level B1. It is definitely a step beyond the A1 and A2 exams. Passing a level B1 exam means that you are entering the intermediate level of your journey through the German language.Is B2 German enough for university? ›
As a rule of thumb, German universities require you to present a proof of upper intermediate to advanced German language skills (level B2/C1) to study in German.Is German B2 level easy? ›
It is not at all difficult to pursue B2 level with graduation. I finished my C2 when I was in my second year of graduation. I used to take breaks for the courses only during my exam months and did not take admission during those times.Is Germany good for business studies? ›
German universities are internationally recognized for their excellent business education and extensive degree programs, making thousands of students choose Germany as their study abroad destination.Is B1 German hard? ›
Hi, B1 is the beginning of the Intermediate level as a Deutsch speaker. So, by this time you should be able to carry out basic level conversations and form simple sentences since you would have already completed A2. B1 takes you further deeper in verbs and complex sentence structure.Is C1 German fluent? ›
The C Levels: Fluency
At C1, you will be able to use German effectively in your social, academic and professional life. You will also be able to express your thoughts eloquently and use different ways to link ideas together appropriately.
The answer is no, but it's never to late to start and depending on YOUR effort you can get very far.Can I reach B1 German in 3 months? ›
The German B1 level, also known as the intermediate level, It will take you at least 80 hours per week (a total of 4 weeks) to finish your German B1. According to Goeth Institut, you'll take at least 350 and 650 45-minute units of teaching depending on what you have retained from your previous A1 to A2 level.Can I reach German B2 in 3 months? ›
B2 also takes around 3 months if you spend around 8 hours a week. P.S.: There are some people who are good at learning languages and remembering stuff who finished it all in 3-4 months. It all depends on how easy this comes to you and how much time you're spending on it.Can I learn B2 German in 5 months? ›
As you can see, rapid learning is undoubtedly doable even if you want to learn German from scratch to a B2 level in 5 months or faster. I have done it with dozens of students using the outlined strategy, and results are always great.
You would on an average need 7-9 months to reach at B2 level and get good rating or they call it “Noten” . The real catch is how intensive are those months.Can I learn B2 German in 1 year? ›
Of course you can! I personally had just learned German in 9 months and passed TestDaf with B2/C1 level and I know many friends who did better than me(less time or better scores). Well, first you need a teacher, especially at the beginning level, unless you are very determined and self-disciplined.Can I learn B2 German in 2 months? ›
100% you can do that. I've gone from zero German to C1 between the dates of the 10th September 2016 and 09 April 2017. For me I found that speaking an awful lot and immersing myself in the language was super helpful for it.Is A2 German Difficult? ›
German A2 exam pattern is quite simple. As it's a language, there are 4 modules- Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. It is a 60 points exam and you have to score a minimum 36 points (60%) to pass the exam.Is French or German more useful for business? ›
French is more useful as a business language for the simple reason that German businessmen and women speak English more often than not. Such is not the case in France, however. This dynamic means that even if you choose to learn German, you may never get to use it.Which study is best in German? ›
- Medicine and Dentistry.
- Industrial Engineering.
- Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Natural Sciences.
- Business and economics.
Starting a Business is Difficult
According to the World Bank, the country ranks 125 out of 190 world economies for “Starting a Business”, largely because of the bureaucratic requirements that make it difficult.
B1 is one of the central requirements for non-EU-citizens to start working in Germany directly. With B1 you also may apply for an apprenticeship in order to learn a German profession in Germany.Can I learn B1 German in 1 year? ›
They say that you need to have completed at least 350 45-minute German lessons/practice sessions to reach B1, which would take roughly a year and a half since most people can't take a lesson every single day in a row.Can you reach B1 German in a year? ›
The Goethe estimates just cover classroom hours, so you would need to add time for study and revision. Integration courses in DE cover through B1 in between about 5 and 8 months of classes of 4 hr. a day. If one have that much time over a year, then yes, one absolutely can learn to a B1 level.
Levels A1 and A2: These levels provide you with basic knowledge of the German language. If you have no previous knowledge, attending an A1 course is highly recommended. Levels B1 and B2: Here is where you will learn German at an advanced level.Can I reach German C1 in 6 months? ›
If you doing this as a full time job, with an iron motivation, no distractions, and a very serious study method, you may reach, may, the C1 level in 6 months. But, first of all, I would say that this would be next to impossible if you are not practicing in a right way. Even if you are really gifted.Can Germans have A2 without A1? ›
Yes you can. It is not necessary that one has to appear for the A1 exam first. One can appear for any of the German exam levels directly. I hope that my answer helps you.How much does B1 German exam cost? ›
|EXAMS FOR ADULTS|
|Examination fees||Module price|
|Goethe-Zertifikat A1 (Start Deutsch 1 / SD1)||€ 119||/|
|Goethe-Zertifikat A2||€ 139||/|
|Goethe-Zertifikat B1||€ 229||€ 89|
B1: 300 hours of lessons.Does b2 German certificate expire? ›
Lifelong. This certificate does not have an expiry date. The exam has 4 modules (reading, writing, listening and speaking) which are graded from 0 to 100. to A minimum score of 60/100 is required to pass each of them.Can I write B1 German exam directly? ›
You can therefore take the exam directly with us. The telc B1 German exam is a recognized German exam that you need, for example, if you want to become a naturalized German citizen. Together with the naturalization test, you need a B1 German language certificate to apply for German citizenship.Can I reach B1 German with duolingo? ›
So when you reach level 25 on Duolingo, yes, you could publicly say that you've reached B1.How many points do you need to pass B1 in German? ›
In order to pass the examination, 60% of the possible maximum number of points must be achieved in both the written and the oral examination, i.e. at least 135 points in the written and 45 Points in the oral examination.What is the pass mark for B2 German? ›
In order to pass the examination, 60% of the possible maximum number of points must be achieved in both the written and the oral examination, i.e. at least 135 points in the written and 45 Points in the oral examination. The oral examination consists of four parts.
|Assess your current level & test your German online!||Intensive course (20 lessons/week)|
|B2||upper intermediate||10 weeks*|
German A1 exam pattern is quite simple. As it's a language, there are 4 modules- Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. It is 60 points exam and you have to score 36 points (60%) to pass the exam.How many months does it take to be fluent in German? ›
It shouldn't take long to become fluent in German. Actually, after 6-8 months of studying in intense courses (about twenty hours every week) you will be able to gain proficiency of your German language to navigate your daily life. It is possible to gain professional proficiency within a mere year!How many hours learn German? ›
According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you'll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you'll be able to speak like a pro in just a year!What level of German is required to study in Germany? ›
It requires a good command of German (level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference ) and a successful entrance examination.What is the shortest time to learn German? ›
Learning time is most accurately calculated in minutes and hours, not months and years. So if you set aside practice time on a daily basis you will learn faster. It is estimated that a total of 30 weeks or 750 classroom hours are necessary to learn German.Can I learn C1 German in 4 months? ›
So, technically, your chances of reaching C1 level by self-study and other paid tuition is very very low BECAUSE there is a dearth of free structured contents for higher levels. So, you can't practically cover the content of B2 and C1 in just 4 months.Is German or French easier? ›
Nitty-gritty things like these can make getting started a bit of a challenge – but between the two, French will be a little easier, with (slightly) fewer endings to learn. That said, experts largely agree that the more German you learn, the easier it gets, while French gets more complicated the deeper you dive in.How many words do you need to be fluent in German? ›
To be fluent in German, a speaker needs to know around 10,000 words.How many words are in A1 in German? ›
The official German A1 vocabulary includes, according to the German Goethe Institut, 650 words – that's the bad news. Wow, that's a lot, you may think. The good news is: You're already on the way, and we're am here to help you.
You would on an average need 7-9 months to reach at B2 level and get good rating or they call it “Noten” . The real catch is how intensive are those months. How many hours you are putting every day, how much you are speaking, reading and writing.Which German language certificate is the easiest? ›
Of the three different levels DSH-1, DSH-2 and DSH-3, the former is the easiest. When the DSH-2 level is reached (67%), the graduate can enrol in many different courses of study, as this means that he or she is admitted to almost all German universities.Can I get a job with A2 German? ›
Although A1 and A2 levels are just basic levels, but if you are confident enough to convey your message across to your clients and customers, then you can work in Germany. Meanwhile you can strengthen your spoken and understanding skills of German language, with the help of online classes, song and video.Can I learn A2 German in 2 months? ›
Absolutely not. Even if you stay in a German speaking country and you do a Super-intensiv course - 20 hours a week (Thats what you mean. Intensiv courses are 8–10 hrs a week), it is impossible to reach even level A2 from scratch, forget C2. Superintensiv course will take 2 months, while intensiv will take 4 months.Is A2 a beginner? ›
Tips to reach A2 level
Although A2 is technically still “beginner level”, you will have to cover serious ground to reach it.
- English. English is one of the most important languages for business, as it's spoken by around 1.35 billion people around the world as a first or second language. ...
- Mandarin. ...
- French. ...
- Spanish. ...
- 5. Japanese. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- German. ...
|Rank||Language||% of World GDP|
- 1) English – The True Global Language.
- 2) Mandarin (Chinese) – The Language of Purchasing Power.
- 3) Arabic – The Dynamic Language of Growth.
- 4) Spanish – The Language of Greater Opportunity.
- 5) Russian – Where Old and New Money Mix.
- 6) German – Science, Industry, and Finance.
There is nothing like minimum percentage requirement while applying to German Universities.How much salary is enough in Germany? ›
According to the StepStone Salary Report 2021 (Stepstone Gehaltsreport 2021), the average gross salary in Germany amounts to €56,985. But most Germans consider a salary ranging between €64,253 and €81,503 a good salary.
Germany is extremely popular among international students even if German is not that easy to learn. That's because even if you don't speak any German you can still go for a Bachelor's here thanks to the numerous English-taught Bachelor's.What is the easiest country to do business? ›
The percentage of startups that fail in their first years in Germany is over 75%.Is German B1 difficult? ›
Hi, B1 is the beginning of the Intermediate level as a Deutsch speaker. So, by this time you should be able to carry out basic level conversations and form simple sentences since you would have already completed A2. B1 takes you further deeper in verbs and complex sentence structure.How tough is German B1 exam? ›
The listening exam was hard, not just for me but for the other people taking the exam as well. There was one text in particular where they had two girls chatting, and they sounded so similar that it was hard to work out who was who... and by the time I figured it out, I had already had to guess three or four questions.Is B2 German hard? ›
It is not at all difficult to pursue B2 level with graduation. I finished my C2 when I was in my second year of graduation. I used to take breaks for the courses only during my exam months and did not take admission during those times.Is Goethe B1 difficult? ›
Challenging but worthwhile
I found preparing for this exam rather challenging. But in doing so, it took my German to a whole new level that was impossible for me to imagine even two months ago. If you are serious about becoming fluent in German, I strongly recommend studying for and sitting this exam.
B2 is the first level that means that you can speak really fluent and understand 80% of the situations that you find yourself in repeatedly. You can prepare yourself for the exam and even see a sample of the language level here.How fast can I get B2 in German? ›
How much time do you need to learn German to a B2 level? A quick google search shows that The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) suggests that you need about 750 hours to get to this level.Can you get B2 German in 3 months? ›
Passing a B2 test with three months of practice is definitely possible; however, that is not the same as actually reaching B2 in a certain language.
Yes, it is possible, that is if you have dedicated many hours of German language learning without distractions. Language experts mention that learning German beginner level (or German A1 level) takes at least 75 hours to fully grasp. That takes at least 10 hours or more a day to really finish your language lessons.Can I get job with German A1? ›
If you are an EU citizen with German A1 you can directly work in several jobs. As a student you may work for up to 90 days a year in Germany.Is German C1 exam hard? ›
It's incredibly hard to achieve. There is C1 'on paper' - it's relatively easy to pass an online exam that will tell you that your German is at 'C1' level after X number of hours study. Don't be fooled, it's generally far from that.Is A1 enough for German? ›
Levels A1 and A2: These levels provide you with basic knowledge of the German language. If you have no previous knowledge, attending an A1 course is highly recommended. Levels B1 and B2: Here is where you will learn German at an advanced level.What happens if you fail Goethe exam? ›
The Goethe-Institut certificates for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1 to C2 are valid indefinitely. However, there are institutions and employers who require a certificate that is no older than two years. If candidates do not pass the Goethe exam, they will receive a confirmation of participation by post.Can I study in Germany with B1 certificate? ›
Commonly accepted English language certificates as a proof of your proficiency in English language for academic studies in Germany are: Educational Certificate of an English-Speaking School. You must have completed at least 5 (B1) /6 (B2) schooling years in a school whose main language of instruction was English.What can you do with German B1? ›
- Understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc;
- Deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken;
B1 (Lower Intermediate)
At the B1 level, you can start to enjoy more German media, grasping the main ideas of TV or radio programs that have slow and clear narration. Your written and spoken expressions also become more sophisticated.
The telc B1 certificate does not lose its validity. The certificate is therefore valid indefinitely. However, some institutions and employers require a certificate that is no more than two years old.What is the passing grade of B1 German? ›
To pass the Deutsch Zertifikat B1 exam you must have achieved 60% of the maximum points in both the written and oral tests. This equates to 135 points in the written and 45 points in the oral test.
Passing the B1 writing exam is not an easy task. You need advanced preparations to successfully complete this English test. Languages are the most complex subjects. You need lots of patience and practice to learn a new language.How do I clear my German B1 test? ›
- A two hour wait. My exam lasted from 9.00am to 4.00pm; others last longer or a little bit less depending on when their speaking section occurs. ...
- Sit plenty of test exams. ...
- Speaking practice is the key. ...
- Challenging but worthwhile.