Extracurricular classes on your year abroad in Germany

Beer-making by Anamedia

If you’re heading out to Germany for your year away, whether you’re Erasmus studying, working a cool internship or going down a volunteering route, you should look into practicing skills, passions and random activities in your spare time. Why? Because you’ll have way more spare time now then you will come 4th year, or, shudder, upon graduating when CVs, interviews and grown-up jobs will take over your life. Here’s our definitive list of the cool and quirky, from hip Berlin to dreamy Dortmund, happening Frankfurt and more...

1. General Courses and Classes

Your first stop to find a short course or workshop should be the DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service. With over 300 courses advertised and the option to pick by city, department and language, it’s the one-stop-shop for all your fancies and fun. Kunstfinder has an extensive list of places you could study art, music and theatre across Germany and in other German-speaking countries. Efors is a brilliant site with information about schools and universities across Deutschland  to study film, art, music, design and more. Learn4good has a complete list of the best arts schools in Germany, with some offering cinematography, jazz and hip hop classes and more. 

2. Berlin

If you’re heading out to Berlin, you know you’ll be in for a treat when it comes to finding a school or workshop to hone your artistic or business skills. Berlinclasses offers you the chance to scroll through lists of extra-curricular classes, from Zumba to Public Speaking, across the capital city. Anglo-info tends to have a list of ads aimed at people looking for smaller, private classes, but with choices like ‘Dance in a Musical’ and ‘The Planet Drum’, for avid drummers out there, it’s a good place to look for the unusual.

3. Hamburg

The HAW university has a lot of design and art courses available, for students who attend a home uni with links to this one. Similar to Berlinclasses, there is a Hamburg sister site giving you much the same fare as mentioned above, with some differences in terms of classes available (Woodwork, DJ and Ceramics classes and workshops, to name but a few). Now, if you wanted to go for something just that little bit different, you could - just might - want to book yourself a belly dancing course just for jokes, like. They’ve got some across Germany, but the Hamburg one has got rave reviews...

4. Frankfurt

Frankfurt has a few schools and workshops to suit artists, photographers, thespians and more. For English-speaking theatre classes, you could head to the ETF, offering a whole host of workshops and classes to express yourself. If you fancy a stretch, book yourself in for a healthy dose of yoga at the Yoga Studio in Frankfurt. Alternatively, if you’re looking to shake your booty to hip-hop tunage, you could check out Groove Dance Classes,  whereas die-hard salsa fans can get their sway their feet to the many classes offered by Miriam and Dante. Film buffs will enjoy the cinema course offered on the KulturPortal website

5. Munich

Munich has a lot of courses on offer, from cooking schools to pilates, with a lot of drawing and painting classes in between. The Münchner Volkshochschule has an array of courses and workshops to tend to your needs; as an adult-learning centre, you can take your pick from a huge variety fo courses, from languages, to art, to economics and then some. If you fancy donning your chef’s hat and getting those pots and pans rustling up some tasty grub, book yourself into Harald Kochschule to show off some real treats when you get back home. Take a look at the swanky Braren website to find videos and more info about cooking at this school, with all sorts of courses and classes on offer. Dancing feet may well want to take a look at El Duende for sensual tango classes. If you’re artistically inclined and are looking for drawing or painting classes, you’re in luck - the AKTHOF is your one-stop-shop to visit. With weekend courses, evening and daytime timetables, you’ll be sure to not only find something up your street in terms of subject, but also make the best use of your spare time. 

6. Cologne

The VHS in Cologne offers students the chance to study a wide range of courses within the adult-learning centre. Photography and languages are just some of the classes on offer here, with particularly good choices for those looking into evening classes, too. Dance classes are quite varied at La Danza, with zouk, salsa and tango to name but a few of the styles available. Lindig-art has courses in the shape of ballet, painting and gymnastics so make sure you take a peep at their website. For linguists amongst you, why not try out a new language class? We recommend this Spanish one for example, just because the age range goes from 4 to 104. For reals. There are many more to choose from, just take a look at the VHS mentioned above or take a gander at Berlitz

7. Düsseldorf

Study art at the Kunst Academy, with its wide range of course and timetables to suit your busy lifestyle. Amazingdusseldorf aims to please, with its listings across departments, hobbies and interests, with a section on clubs, associations and more. Flex your muscles with a few yoga classes thanks to Rundum Yoga, worth going to for the name alone. Tanzhaus is brilliant if you’re looking for dance classes, with classic dance straight through to more contemporary moves. Dusseldorf also have many cooking schools available to students, at relatively good prices. Our favourite was the Kochschule Düsseldorf.

8. Dortmund

If you’re planning to study or work in Dortmund, fear not as there are quite a few extra-curricular courses for you to try. If you are artistically minded, be it a potential painter, have a penchant for theatre or would like to stretch your limbs out with some bespoke choreography, you should have a look at Folkwang Universität der Künste for more info. If you fancy learning a new language or perfecting your German, you can do just that at the Language Centre at the TU.

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