General information
What are the lessons like at IH Cologne?
  • All teachers have a great methodology training and work with our communicative teaching approach.
  • We speak a lot during the lessons and often work in pairs / small groups.
  • Pronunciation is an important part of our lessons right from the start.
  • We organise small excursions to cafés or a  market place to practice your German knowledge in a "real life situation".
  • Our students have lost of fun and leave our courses feeling confident.
Can I join a course for a trial lesson?
  • Of course you are welcome to join for a trial lesson before you register!

How does that work?

  • You first talk to our office staff and sort out all questions. You'll then take our placement test and, based on the result, we'll offer different course options, which you can then join for a trial lesson.
  • We will talk to you and your teacher to receive some feedback after the trial lesson and if everything fits, you can register. 
  • Your trial lesson will count as your first course day once you're registered.
Do I have to buy a course book?

No, at IH Cologne we work with our own teaching material. You will receive all material from your teacher during the course. Additionally, you will receive a list of course topics with your course confirmation, which will give you an overview. For your first course, you receive an IH Cologne folder, to sort your material into. You can buy further folders in the office.

What happens if there are not enough participants for a course?

We will inform you as soon as we can see, that a course won't be able to start because we don't have enough participants. Especially in our intensive courses this can be on quite short notice, however, as the enrolment situation often changes significantly during the last few days before course start. 

Before we cancel a course completely, we will first postpone the start date by 1 to 3 weeks and recruit further students during that time.

Of course we can never guarantee that a course will start, sometimes we have to cancel a course. In case that does happen, we give a full refund. 


Are all teachers at IH Cologne native speakers?

Yes, but sometimes this isn't an advantage. German teachers, who had to learn the language themselves, have experienced the difficulties in learning German grammar, which can be very helpful when planning a lesson. 

We would, therefore, also employ teachers who are not native speakers as long as they are fluent in the level they are teaching.

Which qualifications do the teachers at IH Cologne have?
  • All teachers have taken a course in our communicative methodology and are, for the main part, full time teachers, which is not common in Germany. 
  • All teachers regularly participate in further trainings and undergo course inspections.
  • IH schools regularly undergo inspections and coachings by IH World, to make sure they meet all quality expectations.
How long does it take for me to reach B1 or B2?
  • This is difficult to say as it is different for each student. 
  • According to the Goethe institute, you need  350 to 650 lessons to reach a stable B1 level and 600 to 800 lessons for B2
  • At IH Cologne it takes a minimum of 23 weeks to finish B1 and a minimum of 32 weeks to finish B2. This can, however, vary for each student. We give regular feedback on where you are at and what we would recommend for you as a next step. 
What do I need to know BEFORE I apply for a visa?
  • A tourism visa (Schengen Visa, Travel Visa) can't be changed to a study visa once you're in Germany. It is easier and quicker to apply for / receive a tourism visa but you have to be aware that you have to leave Germany after the 3 months are up, even if your personal circumstances may have changed during that time.
  • In order to apply for a study visa, you have to fulfill certain requirements, which you can find out about at the German embassy in your country. These requirements are different for each country - sometimes you need to show that you already know some German. 

You can find further information here:


How does IH Cologne help me with my visa application?
  • If you want to apply for a language course visa, you mostly need to book a German language course with at least 20 lessons (of 45 minutes each) per week. Furthermore you need to show that you’ve made a down payment for the course. In some cases you actually have to have paid the entire course to qualify for a visa.

  • If you want to apply for a language course visa with us, it works like this:
    1) After having taken our placement test (http://www.insulakoeln.com/en/einstufungstest), you sign up for the recommended course(s) and provide us with a copy of your passport.
    2) You will receive an invoice (down payment of at least 2 courses).
    3) Once we have received your payment, we will send a letter of invitation, which you need for your appointment with the embassy.
    4) In case your visa application is rejected, we refund the down payment less 50,00 € processing fee, in accordance with our terms and conditons.

  • We do not have any influence on whether you receive your visa or not.

  • Next to the letter of invitation, you also need to show proof of an overseas health insurance. We recommend the following insurance, it's affordable and reliable: http://www.care-concept.de/sprachschueler.php?vmnr=002899000S&mail=info@insulakoeln.com