Easy language: Questions and answers
What is an integration course?
The integration course is an offer for foreign citizens. These are people who come to Germany from other countries.
The integration course helps foreign citizens to get along better in Germany.
This is important for people who want to live in Germany: They should learn the German language!
If you speak and understand the German language, it is often easier for you:
- You can find work in Germany.
- You can get to know people.
- You can fill out applications at the authorities yourself.
That is also important:
People from other countries should learn a lot about Germany. For example, about the history and culture of Germany.
What do you learn in the integration course?
- German language
- Laws in Germany
- Culture in Germany
- History of Germany
In the integration course you will receive instruction. The integration course has different parts. They are called modules. In each module you will learn new things. If you have any questions about the integration course: Contact an Integra staff member.
Who can take part in the integration course?
There are various rules for this. The rules are laid down in the Residence Act:
Foreigners with residence titles before 2005:
You have to fill out and submit an application. It is called: Application for entitlement to participate Our staff will be happy to help you with this.
Foreigners with residence titles after 2005:
You should already have received a letter. The letter is called: Entitlement to Participate. It will be sent to you by the Foreigners' Registration Office. You can register with the participation permit.
Where and when do you register? Please register with a course provider within 3 months.
Do you have German citizenship?
If you are an EU citizen or a late repatriate: You must fill out and submit an application. It is called: Application for Entitlement to Participate Our staff will be happy to help you with this.
Are you in the asylum procedure and have good prospects of staying?
(For example, you come from Eritrea, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Somalia)
Do you have a "Duldung/Toleration"?
You have filled out an application and handed it in. It is called: Application for Eligibility Our staff will be happy to help you with this.
What does an integration course cost?
1 lesson (45 min.) costs: 2 euros and 20 cents. You have to pay this money. If you meet certain requirements, you pay less.
For private payers (without eligibility), the lesson costs: 4 euros 40 cents per 1 lesson (45 minutes).
Late repatriates are allowed to take part in the integration course once free of charge.
You do not have to pay the fee if YOU
- are a recipient of SGB-II
- are a recipient of SGB-II
- have a Munich passport
- receive housing benefit
- receive a child supplement
- receive BAFöG
- receive benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Law
- are exempt from day-care fees
- are exempt from GEZ fees
You have to submit an application for this. This application is called: Application for exemption from costs ("Antrag auf Kostenbefreiung").
Make this application before the integration course starts. Only then will the costs be covered.
Your success will be rewarded!
You have to pass the integration course in 2 years. You have to take 2 exams. If you pass the exams, you can apply to the Federal Office. Then you will get half (50%) of the costs back.
What types of courses are there?
There are different integration courses. Normally, immigrants take a general integration course.
There are also integration courses for:
Immigrants who can't read or write very well. These courses are called literacy courses ("Alphabetisierungskurse").
Why do you have to take an exam at the end of the integration course?
If you pass the final test, you will receive an award. It is called: Integration Course Certificate. It helps you to find work, for example. It helps you if you want to get a settlement permit.
Who teaches in the integration course?
Trained teachers teach the integration course. The teachers are trained by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
Who offers the integration course?
German Institute Integra (Deutschinstitut Integra).
We offer over 50 integration courses at different levels. This means you can usually start very quickly. There are also other course providers.
What if you can't come to classes at Integra?
For every day you are absent, bring us a written apology.
If you still cannot come after three days: We need a medical certificate from you. You can get this from the doctor if you are ill.
If you cannot come for 1 to 2 working days: You do not have to call us. When you come back, give your instructor a written excuse.
If you cannot come for more than 2 days: Call us. Or write us an email. We need to know: How long you will be absent. When will you be back?
What do you have to do if you want to go on holiday?
Please take a holiday during the holiday periods. You can find the current holiday periods in our download centre. Should this not be possible: Please contact us in good time. It would not be good if you were absent for several days. It can have consequences: You might not be able to take part in your course. Maybe you will have to join another course.
How can you register for the final test?
If you are doing the last part of the course: You have to register 5 weeks before the exam. You will receive a registration form from your course instructor. If you are doing other parts of the course or none at all: Please make an appointment at the Integra office. You can register for the final test. The registration must be at least 5 weeks before the exam.
If you have passed the final test, you have learned a lot.
At B1 level, you can communicate in a simple way using the German language in everyday life. You can:
- report on experiences,
- describe things and express your opinion
- describe the most important contexts of the German language
- describe the most important contexts of the German language in general.
You are familiar with the following topics:
- Offices and authorities
- Work and the media
- Shopping and living
- Health and children
Did you not understand something in the text?
Please ask our staff. We speak German, English, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Turkish and Afghan.
We will be happy to advise you!
If you can't pay for the course, what then?
Then you are not allowed to join the course. You are not allowed to join the class. You must pay the cost of 2 euros and 20 cents by a certain date.
Are the travel costs to the integration course paid?
If you receive social benefits, you pay nothing for the integration course. You have the possibility to apply for a grant. Then the travel costs will be paid. The application is called: Application for reimbursement of travel costs ("Antrag auf Fahrtkostenerstattung"). You can get the application from us.
Travel costs will not be paid if: The distance between your place of residence and the course location is 3 kilometres. Beyond that, only the travel costs to the next place where the course takes place will be paid.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees approves your application for reimbursement of travel costs. You must be there more than 70% of the time of the course. Then you will get the money for the travel costs transferred to your account. When will you receive the money: 4 months after the start of the course.
What is the best preparation for the final test?
It is very important that you take the practice tests in class. There is an exercise CD. You can use the CD to practise at home on the computer.
Speak a lot of German. Whether at home or with friends. This helps you to remember new words or sentences in German.
What happens if you don't pass the integration course? Can I take another integration course? If so, who pays for the course?
You have always taken part in the course, but did not reach language level B1 in the final test?
Then you can apply for 300 teaching hours from the language course. If you are not exempt from the cost contribution: 1 lesson hour costs 2 euros and 20 cents again.
Always come to the integration course. Then you can repeat the integration course. If you have to do the whole course again: You have to pay for it yourself. We will be happy to advise you in a personal conversation.
Is there childcare during the integration course?
Unfortunately, there is no childcare available. Please contact the City of Munich:http://www.muenchen.de/themen/familie/kinderbetreuung.html
Is it possible to change to another course provider? Is that possible if you are currently attending a course?
Yes, that is possible. But only after the end of the module. A course section has 100 teaching units.
What if you find a job and no longer have time for the integration course?
Please speak to the office! There is the possibility to change to a part-time course. For example, in the evening or at the weekend. You can interrupt the course at the end of any part of the course. If you are obliged to attend the course (e.g. by the Job Centre) you should inform the office.
How can you register for an integration course at Integra?
The fees for the first 100 lessons.
Normally 220 euros.
You pay 15 euros once for material.
If you have a cost exemption: 0 Euro.
A valid German bank account
Register at the reception desk. Take the placement test with you.
For the placement test, please register with us in advance by telephone. After the test: a responsible member of staff will talk to you about your knowledge. For example: What do you still need to learn, what can you already write and speak in German? Together with you, the staff member will choose the right course. You are registered for the course that suits you. After the interview, you pay for the 100 lessons (220 €) and the money for the materials (15 €).
How can you pay?
Bring the money with you. Afterwards you will receive your registration confirmation. You are then registered for the course.
Take your time for the appointment with us. You may have to wait. All fees due after registration will be debited from your account.
This option is still available: you can pay in advance when you register for the course. If you withdraw from the course early: You will get the money back for the modules you did not attend.
What can you do if the course at Integra is too easy or too difficult for you?
Talk about it with your course instructor. In a conversation with you and the course instructor, discuss: What happens next?
You have registered with Integra but you cannot come! What do you have to do?
You must give notice in writing. You can find a cancellation form in our download centre. You must send us the written cancellation or hand it in at the Integra office. You must do this at least 10 days before the course starts. If you hand in your notice at the Integra office: Have it confirmed by the staff there. By post: Send the cancellation by registered post. This is a bit more expensive than a letter, but serves as proof.
What do you do if you have not passed the final test at Integra?
Then we will be happy to advise you in a personal meeting.
Would you like to continue learning at Integra?
There are subsidised courses up to level C1. It is important that you speak German very well. Then it will be easier for you to find a good job. Visit our category "Job-oriented courses". We will be happy to advise you in a personal meeting.
Do you have any questions? We are here for you!
Take the first step!
For more than 30 years, Integra has been supporting people who are new to Germany in their integration.