Information about the course programme

Calendar 2023
Calendar 2023

Core elements of the International Summer School are not only the german classes, but also the academic lectures and seminars, a seminar for german teachers (DAF Fortbildung) and the varied cultural programme around the course.

All programme points are coordinated in terms of content and are included in the total price. The course motto "Germany and its Neighbors" indicates that in the context of this course, European understanding plays a central role in the linguistic as well as in the scientific and regional aspects - this is part of the self-image of Trier University as a university in the Euroregion SaarLorLux.

The course is not only about language proficiency, but also about strengthening your oral communication skills and immersing into german academic fields, german communication and culture.


Further information

Course days: 18 days

Total hours: incl. afternoon programme approx. 85-90 hours (45 minutes each)

Hours per week: incl. afternoon programme approx. 22-24 hours (à 45 minutes)

Times: Morning: 09:15-12:30: German courses, Afternoon: 14:15-15:45: Scientific programme or conversation, Evening: from approx. 19:00: Social programme

Number of participants: 90-100 participants in total, approx. 15 per group (online course 2021: approx. 9-12 participants per group)

Participant group: students and graduates of all disciplines, especially German studies; teachers of German; friends of the German language and culture

Course offerings:

  • German courses at basic level (A1 and A2), at intermediate level (B 1 and B 2) and at advanced level (C 1 and C 2) (usually in the morning 9:00-12:30) (5 ECTS)
  • Introduction seminar "Didactics and Methodology of German as a Foreign Language" (for C-level; 3 ECTS)
  • Conversation course for lower and intermediate levels (on approx. 8 afternoons 14:00-16:00)
  • Scientific lectures and seminars for the higher levels (on approx. 8 afternoons 14:00-16:00)
  • Supervised projects on various topics, e.g. creative writing, city history of Trier, favorite places.

Course completion/certificate:

  • Final examinations in the last week.
  • A certificate with language level (CEFR), grade and 5 ECTS will be issued upon successful participation in the language courses and the final exam.
  • Upon successful completion of the certificate "Didactics and Methodology of German as a Foreign Language" (for C-level), an additional 3 ECTS will be awarded.


The Placement Test

The placement test on the first day of the course (Tuesday) serves to determine your language skills. It covers the parts writing and linguistic structures, as well as reading comprehension and listening comprehension. Based on the results of the placement test, you will be placed in a course group.

Brochure 2023 (presence course)

Broschüre 2023

Here you find our course brochure of 2023.

Language Levels – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR/GER)

The different levels of the CEFR:

The basic levels are:

  • A: Basic user
  • B: Independent user
  • C: Proficient user

These are then broken down into six language levels.

A: Basic user

A1 – Breakthrough: Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

A2 – Waystage: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

B: Independent user

B1 – Threshold: Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

B2 – Vantage: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

C: Proficient user

C1 – Effective Operational Proficiency: Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

C2 – Mastery: Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.

German course (mornings)

[Translate to Englisch:] .

Contens of the german classes:

  • The main course goal is to deepen and expand practical language skills in the areas of reading and listening comprehension as well as speaking and writing
  • The courses focus on improving grammatical, lexical, and idiomatic skills
  • Authentic texts from common media, literature and science are used

Conversation classes (up to level B1)


For the lower levels we offer conversation courses on 6 afternoons. The participants mainly practice listening and speaking.
Contents are, for example, getting to know and using common means of speech, pronunciation as well as speaking in everyday situations.

Academic lecture and seminar programme (level B2 and C)

wissenschaftlicher Vortrag

To complement and deepen, lectures and seminars are offered as separate events in which various issues are dealt with in depth. The seminars comprise two sessions of two hours each and are offered in the fields of Language and Literature, Economics and Social Sciences, among others. These courses serve to develop subject-related competencies as well as language training in a scientific context.

While the seminars require active participation, e.g. in the form of presentations, and focus on oral communication and writing skills at a high scientific level, the lectures serve the corresponding training of listening comprehension skills. All seminars are self-contained and can be taken individually. The seminars and lectures are supervised by professors and lecturers from Trier University, so that in addition to the professional development and language training, there is also the opportunity to establish contact with teachers from the university.

Additional certificate for teachers: German as a foreign language

If you participate in one of the upper level courses (C1/C2), you have the possibility to acquire the additional "Certificate Didactics and Methodology of German as a Foreign Language" (3 ECTS points).

Contents are the review and discussion of current didactic-methodical concepts of teaching and learning German as a foreign language such as concepts of grammar teaching and vocabulary work, understanding and comprehensibility of texts, media didactics, specialized language didactics, intercultural regional studies as well as teaching and learning procedures.

Time frame:

  • Seminar didactics/methodology: approx. 28 hours
  • Lectures and seminars: approx. 12 hours

Final examination and certificate

Final exam
Participants of the course have the opportunity to take a final examination corresponding to the course level. Participation in the final examination and thus the acquisition of the qualified certificate of achievement is free of charge.

A certificate is issued on the result of the examination. The certificate shows the course level, number of hours and grade. In addition to the grade, which corresponds to the grading system of German universities, 5 ECTS points are awarded for successful participation in the language courses. The ECTS crediting corresponds to the Common European Framework of Reference for Higher Education (CEFR).

An additional certificate for 3 ECTS points is awarded for successful participation in the seminar Didactics and Methodology of German as a Foreign Language and the accompanying academic programme.

Cultural programme

Three full-day excursions to the Mosel River/Benkastel-Kues (distance from Trier: 50 km), to Luxembourg (distance from Trier: approx. 45 km) and to France (e.g. Metz or Nancy).

Trier and its Roman heritage: guided city tours, museum visits

Hiking tours (e.g. to Trier Mariensäule or Bernkastel Castle), concert visits (e.g. organ music in the "Constantine Basilica" ).

In addition, the IFK tutors offer numerous activities in the evenings (sports, pub, barbecues, beach volleyball, karaoke, game nights, international food etc.).

The excursions, the guided tours and the visit to the organ concert are already included in the course fee. For individual further offers small additional costs can arise under certain circumstances. This will be communicated in time during the course.

On all these events, you will be accompanied by our tutors.

Information about the city of Trier:

Links about Luxembourg & Euroregion SaarLorLux: 


subject to changes and possible errors