Summer German Courses in Jena 2013

Learners of the German language might like to know about two summer courses which are running at the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena (Thüringen), from Saturday 3rd August to Friday 9th August inclusive. 2013

Students take a well-earned break between classes. Behind is the Mensa or refectory. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and the sun is always shining....well, maybe that's not guaranteed, but it often seems to be :-)

The courses were originally designed as optional extras for students of the Open University German Certificate and Diploma courses. However, they are also open to anyone with the relevant background in German, whether or not they have ever studied with the OU. They are also open to people who have done the course before, and want to repeat it (many do!).

Please see the linked-to PDFs for the flyers relevant to each course.

Level 3 Course Level 3 Course flyer

Level 1 Course Level 1 Course flyer


The levels mentioned correspond to the OU levels for their German courses. I would not like to define these levels too precisely, but level 3 is fairly advanced, say around year 2 of an undergraduate degree.

There are actually two level 1 courses offered by the OU:

  1. A beginners course
  2. A course for people who have achieved roughly O-level or GCSE.

(Together, these constitute the Certificate in German).

While these summer course levels correspond approximately to the respective OU courses, there is some flexibility. The tutors are friendly and adaptable. If you are not sure, the best thing is to contact Eddie, one of the co-organisers, and he will be happy to give you more information. See the flyer for contact details.


The cost has had to go up a little this year, but is still a fantastic bargain, considering it includes all tuition, accommodation in a 5 star hotel, and all meals. All you have to pay in addition is your fare to get there, and of course drinks and incidentals. (There is no shortage of eating and drinking places in and around Jena!).

About Jena:

Being in former East Germany, it's a little off the beaten track for the average British tourist, which rather adds to its charm. In my experience the people are easy going, courteous and friendly, and will usually be happy to speak German with you. Because of the University and the high-tech industry, it is quite prosperous by East German standards, and has been modernised somewhat since DDR times, but mostly sympathetically. As the name of the university implies, there are some interesting associations with Jena and Thüringen generally, including: Goethe & Schiller of course, the Bauhaus movement (Weimar is not far away), Bach and Luther. And you will almost certainly have heard of Carl Zeiss.


You have to arrange your own transport. Most people fly to Frankfurt am Main or to Berlin; there are good train connections from both. For the more adventurous (and patient), there is also the option of travelling by train from St Pancras International (although sadly, the promised direct services to Germany by Deutsche Bahn seem to have been delayed for several years). Both hotel and university are conventiently situated in the centre of town, at Ernst Abbe Platz, where there is a tram stop. However, they are also a reasonable walk from Jena Westbahnhof, if you are not too weighed down by luggage. There are also taxis available from the station. If your train comes into Jena Paradies, that's a little further, although still possible to walk (if you study the map and don't get lost!). Tram and taxi are also possible from there.

If you have any questions about travel, Eddie will be happy to try to help (contact details in the linked flyers), and if you wish, could put you in touch with fellow course members travelling travelling by the same route, in case you wish to join forces for sharing taxis, etc.


I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone, especially if you don't know this part of Germany. I should add that I have no commercial or professional connection with the course, and write only as an enthusiastic former (and hopefully future!) "Kursteilnehmer". The tutors are usually native speaking teachers at the university. In addition, Eddie usually teaches a class on grammar, and another on essay-writing (the latter aimed mostly at OU students).

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Mike Ellwood
May 2013