Frequently Asked Questions

German Courses – General Information

Which German course should I attend to make efficient progress?

In the intensive German course you learn German fast and efficiently. For example, if you want to achieve sufficient skills in all aspects of the German language to enter an Austrian university (Level B2 or C1), it will take you about 8-10 months, assuming you are an absolute beginner. If you already have some German knowledge, it will take you less time.

Information about our Intensive courses

How many participants are in each German course?

On average 8 participants from various countries guarantee an international learning atmosphere and best possibilities for efficient work.

Where do the German course participants come from?

They come from many European countries such as Sweden, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, France, Belgium, Croatia, Bosnia, and Greece. Also from Turkey, the Arab States, Japan or South Korea, the USA and Canada, Mexico or South America, and of course from Australia and the African countries.

How old are the participants of the German course?

Most course participants are between 16 and 40 years of age and need German for their studies or jobs. Some also have a German speaking partner, or they want to learn German just for fun. Also elderly participants attend German courses at Alpha.

The minimum age for German course participants is 16.

Students under 18, who book accommodation need to bring a confirmation signed by their parents stating that they take all responsibility for the student during the whole time of his/her stay in Austria. Please bring this confirmation on your first day of your German course and hand it in at the reception desk.

How do I know which German course level I need?

You will be assigned a certain level according to the result of your German placement test. You can take this test either when registering personally at our school, or online.

The online placement test.

How long is a German course?

You can attend a German course for 1 week up to a year depending on your individual learning goal.

How long will it take me to complete one German course level?

If you attend an intensive course it will take you approximately 150-200 units (6-8 weeks) to complete one level. Students who successfully complete certain levels early can skip half a level or one level after having consulted their German teacher.

Are scholarships available for the German course? Can I receive financial support for my German course?

How much do the German learning materials cost?

The German course books cost between € 20,- and € 25,- depending on the course level. The extra material which you receive from your German teacher is included in the German course fee.

What should I bring on the first day of the German course?

The course book (you will get it at our reception desk), a notebook, a pen or pencil, and good mood with a little curiosity about what will happen in the classroom. We want you to be an active participant and to enjoy learning German.

How many hours per week can I study German in class?

The intensive German course has 20 units plus 5 units conversation, grammar lessons, phonetics, lessons on country and people etc. per week. In addition to this we offer our individual training or our evening classes.

Can I study at the Institute after the German course finishes for the day?

Yes! We have computers and materials for extensive self-study and exercise material and learning software which you can use after your lessons.

How many hours per day will I be busy learning German?

In addition to the German lessons, you will also receive a homework assignment which will take about 1 hour to do. You may also need another half hour to learn vocabulary. A small weekly test will help you to see your progress in learning German. The more time you invest, the greater your success will be.

What do I really learn in my German course?

All our German courses have the main goal of ensuring that you can express yourself in German in all areas –speaking with people, reading and understanding texts or writing – as soon as possible. This is what you will be learning, but grammar, naturally, is also an important part.

Can I do a trial session first?

You have the option to book an intensive course for one week only.

Where can I get additional German learning material like DVDs, CDs, books?

You can buy or order German books, materials for exam preparation, DVDs, CDs, CD-Roms etc. in our shop.

Is there a program for my free time in Vienna?

We organize a variety of activities for your free time in Vienna each month. You may join us for tours through museums, movies, conversation classes or city walks. Most of the events are free, but for some things we must ask you to cover the expense.

German Courses – Registration, Cancellation, Visa

When and how should I register for the German course?

Please register as soon as possible, so we can reserve your place on a German course. We recommend registering 4 weeks before the beginning of the German course. For course during the summer we recommend to register 8 weeks ahead.

  1. Step 1 registration: You can register online on our website or you can also come to our school to register in person.
  2. Step 2 payment: To reserve your place in the German course, a deposit of EUR 100,00 of the course fee has to be made. If your course starts within 2 weeks or less, or if you need an enrolment confirmation for a visa or accommodation, the full amount is due at the time of registration. In case you book online you have the option to pay via transfer (Sofort Überweisung), credit card or PayPal. Please select the payment option after filling in the registration form. If you register in person at the institute you can pay in cash or with bank- or credit card.
  3. Step 3 confirmation: As soon as your deposit or the whole amount reaches us, your place on the German course is reserved for you and you receive a booking confirmation via e-mail containing all the necessary information on the course and (if booked) accommodation.

How and when can I pay the fee for the German course?

Together with your German course registration we need your on-account payment of EUR 100,00 of the German course fee in order to process your booking. The full balance is due 2 weeks before the German course starts.

The FULL amount is due upon booking if:

  • your booking is made less than 2 weeks before the German course starts
  • you book accommodation
  • you need an enrolment confirmation for a visa
  • you book a discount offer

If you register online you have the option to pay by transaction, credit card or PayPal. Please choose the how you would like to pay when you are filling in the form. When you register in person here at our institute, you can pay cash or by card.

Do I get a confirmation of the German course for my visa application?

Before you register for a German course please contact the Austrian embassy in your home country to find out details about the visa application. After we have received the whole payment and after the passing of the legal cancellation period we issue a confirmation of your registration which you present at the embassy. For details go to visa information.

German Examinations, Certificates

Do I get a certificate for the German course?

You receive a certificate of attendance for each German course if you attend regularly and do not miss more than 20% of the total units of tuition. After having completed a course level you can take an exam to receive a German certificate with a grade from Alpha Sprachinstitut Austria. If you want to receive an international German diploma you can sit for an exam of the Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD) at our institute.

See also German Exams

What kind of German exams can I take at the school?

You can take the German exams of the the Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD). We offer them for all levels,  A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.
The ÖSD is a state-approved and internationally recognized examination and assessment system for German as a Foreign Language / German as a Second Language. See also German Exams.

How much is an exam and where can I register?

The internal German exams at the end of each German course level are included in the course fee.

Fees apply for the official exams of the Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD). To register for those, please come with an ID and the examination fee to our reception desk. Please note the registration deadlines for these German exams!

See also German exam dates and fees

How long in advance do I have to register for the exam?

The registration deadline for an ÖSD exam is always 4 weeks before the examination date.

What time is the exam exactly?

The written part (reading, listening and writing) takes place on the first day in the afternoon. Please bring an ID.
The oral part takes place on the day after the written exam in the afternoon. You will learn about your exact examination date when you take the written exam.

How long does the exam take?

The written exam takes:

  • for A1 and A2: approximately 1.5 hours
  • for B1: approximately 3.5 hours
  • for B2, C1, and C2: approximately 4.5 hours

The oral part takes about 20-40 minutes including preparation time depending on the level.

Which German certificate do I need to be allowed to enroll at an Austrian university?

Austrian universities require students to have either a B2 or C1 Diploma, depending on the university and the field of study. Please make sure to find out which level is needed for enrolment at your university.

When do I receive my certificate after the ÖSD-exam?

You receive your certificate 4 weeks after the exam the earliest.

German Courses – Special Courses

Are there special German courses for Business German?

Yes, we organise evening courses for these special topics. They are also offered in our individual lessons.

Can I also get individual German training?

Yes, individual German training is possible at any time. It is a tailor-made German training for your specific needs and times.

We also offer as individual training:

  • Special exam preparation
  • Technical German
  • German for banks
  • German for doctors
  • German for nurses
  • Phonetics
  • Grammar

In one-to-one trainings we can meet your individual requests.

Accommodation in Vienna

What kind of accommodation in Vienna can Alpha provide?

STUDENT HOSTEL

During the summer months July and August you can book a room in a student hostel in Vienna. There are single rooms and twin rooms. In student homes you will share the kitchen and bathroom with a couple of other students, even though when you book a single room. Yet, it is always women respective men who share these facilities.

The student homes are easily reachable by public transport. Distance to school max. 45 minutes.

There is also the possibility to do the laundry as well to use W-LAN – a fee has to be paid.

The accommodation offers only apply to students who are no older than 30 years.

When can I move into my room and when do I have to move out?

Arrival day is always the day before the German course begins, departure day always the day after the German course ends. If you want to move in earlier or move out later you have to inform our office before your arrival and pay for the extra days.

How do I find suitable accommodation myself?

On our website you find a list with useful links that help you find cheap accommodation such as low-budget-hotels, shared flats or apartments. We always keep this list up to date.

You choose accommodation according to your personal requests and can book it easily online.

Other accommodation

Where exactly in Vienna is the school and how do I get there?

The German language school is situated in the heart of Vienna in the first district. You can get there easily by public transport, taking either the underground lines U1, U2 or U4 to Karlsplatz or the trams 1, 2, 71 or D to Schwarzenbergplatz).

To get to the school from the airport, take the shuttle bus to Schwedenplatz (runs every 20 minutes), the S-Bahn or the City Airport Train (CAT) to Landstraße. Change to underground U4 (direction “Hütteldorf”) and get off at “Karlsplatz”. From there it is only 2 minutes to walk.

How much are the tickets for public transport in Vienna?

A ticket for a week is € 16.20 a ticket for 1 month is € 48.20, a one-way ticket is € 2.20

How much money will I be spending approximately per week?

You will be spending approx. € 150 per week on food, tickets for public transport, admission fees etc. If you go out a lot, for example to the movies or the theatre, you will of course be spending more. A movie ticket is about € 9.50, a ticket for the theatre € 20, and a ticket for the Vienna Opera costs from € 39.

Where can I get cheap meals in Vienna?

Just around the corner of the school you will find self-service restaurants, a couple of student restaurants and many restaurants which offer good value lunch menus. For detailed information please ask at the reception or see the notice board in the school hall.

English Courses

Which English course should I attend to make efficient progress?

We recommend:

CRASHCOURSE

In the Crash course you learn English fast and efficiently. Information on Crash courses can be found on our website. Information on the crash course you find on our website.

or

INDIVIDUAL TRAINING

An individual training allows you can choose time and pace of learning. Lessons are tailored according to you requirements.

Further information: individual training

When and how should I register for the English course?

Please register as soon as possible, so we can reserve your place in a course. We recommend registering 3 weeks before the beginning of the English course.

  1. Step 1 registration: You can register online on our website or you can also come to our school to register in person.
  2. Step 2 payment: To reserve your place in the course, a deposit of EUR 100,00 of the course fee has to be made. If your course starts within 2 weeks or less the full amount is due at the time of registration. In case you book online you have the option to pay via transfer (Sofort Überweisung), credit card or PayPal. Please select the payment option after filling in the registration form. If you register in person at the institute you can pay in cash or with bank- or credit card.
  3. Step 3 confirmation: As soon as your deposit or the whole amount reaches us, your place in the English course is reserved for you and you receive a booking confirmation via e-mail containing all the necessary information on the course.

How and when can I pay the fee for the English course?

To reserve your place in the course, a deposit of EUR 100,00 of the course fee has to be made. The rest is due 2 weeks before the course starts. If your course starts within 2 weeks or less the full amount is due at the time of registration.

In case you book online you have the option to pay via transfer (Sofort Überweisung), credit card or PayPal. Please select the payment option after filling in the registration form. If you register in person at the institute you can pay in cash or with bank- or credit card.

How many participants are in each English course?

We offer small groups for our English courses, from two people onwards.

What should I bring on the first day of the English course?

The course book (you will get that at our reception desk), a notebook, a pen or pencil, and good mood with a little curiosity about what will happen in the classroom. We want you to be an active participant and to enjoy learning English.

How do I know which German course level I need?

You will be assigned a certain level according to the result of your English placement test. You can take this test either when registering personally at our school, or online.

Online placement test

Can I also study at the Institute after the English course finishes for the day?

Yes! We have computers and materials for extensive self-study, exercise material and learning software which you can use after your lessons.

Can I do a trial session first?

You have the option to book the Crash course for one week only.

Are there special courses like e.g. Business English?

Alpha offers may different special courses, e.g. Business English, English in the Office etc. Moreover, you have the possibility to book a tailor-made program with our individual or company trainings.

Which exams can I take after the English course?

Our courses prepare you for a lot of different exams. You can take the IELTS test, CAE, FCE, BEC, or the APTIS test for example in cooperation with British Council.