Language Classes FAQ

Are you only offering classes on Zoom now?

We offer both in-person and online classes. We are excited to welcome students back in the building and hope to continue growing our onsite offerings. We don’t foresee moving to “online only” or “onsite only”. Class descriptions include the location of the class, either onsite at the GAI or virtually via Zoom.


When do classes start?

Our 12-week long classes are offered 3 times a year:

  • Fall Session begins in September and ends in December
  • Winter Session begins early January and ends late March / early April
  • Spring Session begins early April and ends in June (except Monday classes, which end two weeks later due to Memorial Day and 4th of July)

Additionally, a shorter Summer Session (July and August) is offered. Summer classes typically focus on conversation, grammar or literature (no textbooks are required for summer classes).

How much are your classes?

Our 12-week long classes are $365 ($350 for GAI members). We also offer shorter classes on special topics of interest and the tuition varies based on length and topic.
Class tuition does not include textbooks.

Do GAI members get a discount on classes?

Yes. Members receive a discount on all language classes. You can become a member here.
With a membership you also support the GAI as a non-profit cultural and educational institution.

What happens if my class doesn’t meet minimum enrollment?

If your class does not meet minimum enrollment (5 students), the GAI Director of Language Education  will contact you to discuss other options (e.g. tutor sharing with another student, shorter class). A full refund (or credit, if preferred) will be issued for any classes cancelled due to low enrollment.

I have taken German in high school/college X years ago—which class should I take?

If you are unsure of your current level, please take a placement test and contact GAI language services to discuss which class will be the best fit for you. Oftentimes, we recommend starting with the beginner level if you have not received any formal German instruction or if it was many years ago.

What is the minimum age to enroll in an adult class?

Participants need to be at least 16 years old to enroll in an adult class.

How many students are in each class?

Most classes will have 5 to 10 students.

How long will it take me to move from one level to the next one?

GAI follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that outlines the proficiency an individual can attain at each level. There are 6 proficiency levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

It will take about a year to move from one level to the next as each level is divided into 3 classes (e.g. A1.1, A1.2 and A1.3, followed by A2.1). However, at higher levels, especially between B1 and B2, participants tend to benefit from review classes (such as B1+).

What is the B1+ level and do I have to take it?

B1+ is a review level and we highly recommend taking at least 1 or 2 classes at this level after finishing B1.3 and before progressing to B2.1.

What methodology is used?

Our method of instruction uses a communicative approach, meaning that we focus on production (speaking) and use German as much as possible, without being a full immersion program. For example, some instructors choose to use English during grammar instruction as needed. The textbook we use teaches important language skills for everyday life and also focuses on many useful and contemporary professional aspects.

Are all classes exclusively in German?

While German is the main language of instruction, a limited amount of English will occasionally be spoken at the beginner levels. An instructor may choose to clarify grammar topics in English and make references to English grammar. Nonetheless, students should expect to hear and speak German most of the time.

What happens if I have to miss a class?

If you miss a class, please contact your instructor. They will be able to let you know what material was covered in class and help you with homework questions. Consider coming to the instructor’s “office hour” to review any missed material.

What other German language services does the GAI offer?

Apart from classes, the GAI can assist with translation projects and tutoring. We also offer corporate language classes and intercultural training for businesses. The GAI may be able to assist with other related services—please send your inquiries to

What books do I need and how much are they?

At the GAI you can purchase any workbook/textbook packet for $65. If you need to purchase a book separately, please contact

A1 level:
Schritte International neu 1+2 A1 Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-101082-9
Schritte International neu 1+2 A1 Arbeitsbuch ISBN  978-3-19-111082-6

A2 level:
Schritte International neu 3+4 A2 Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-101084-3
Schritte International neu 3+4 A2 Arbeitsbuch ISBN 978-3-19-111084-0

B1 level:
Schritte International neu 5+6 B1 Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-101086-7
Schritte International neu 5+6 B1 Arbeitsbuch ISBN 978-3-19-111086-4

B1+ level:

Sicher! B1+ Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-001206-0
Sicher! B1+ Arbeitsbuch ISBN 978-3-19-011206-7

B2 level:

Sicher! B2 Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-001207-7
Sicher!  B2 Arbeitsbuch 978-3-19-011207-4

C1 level:
Sicher! C1 Kursbuch ISBN 978-3-19-001208-4
Sicher! C1 Arbeitsbuch ISBN 978-3-19-011208-1 

Where can I get my books?

You can purchase your books through the GAI. The easiest way to do so is by adding them to your cart at registration.

Books can be picked up at the GAI (301 Summit Ave) starting the week before classes begin or be shipped to you for a $10 surcharge.

Are there scholarships?

Yes! Thanks to a generous donation from the Rick and Susan Taylor Spielman Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, the GAI is offering the Ted Taylor Lifetime Learner Scholarship Program.

Several students are selected each session to receive scholarships. Scholarships may cover the entire tuition for the course or part of it. This award is based on financial need and the student’s interest and goals in continuing to learn the German language. The student may be required to purchase the textbook for the course. For more information visit our scholarship page.

More Questions?

Please contact us at with any other questions. We are happy to help!