The History of Our Institute

Today’s Sprachinstitut SIT was the first one to be established by the Internationaler Bund e.V., which was founded in 1949.

From the very beginning, this Institute was dedicated to education: starting in 1951, it focused initially on the education and training of young people in the postwar era and then on refugees from the former GDR. The first German language courses for young French people began in the mid-sixties. The French students were soon followed by young Turks, Greeks and Italians who also wanted to learn German in order to work or to study here.

Over the years students from more and more countries started coming to our Institute. In addition, we started exchange programs with American universities, language courses for special purposes, in this case for hotel and restaurant staff, and starting in 1977 we increased courses for ethnic German repatriates and persons eligible for asylum.

In addition, starting in 1988 we expanded our range of courses to include language courses as well as language courses for specific purposes for executives of the Deutsche Stiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (German Foundation for International Development). These brought a great many scholarship holders to the SIT, students who came to us from all over the world (from South America to Africa, the Arab countries, Nepal to Indonesia) in order to acquire further linguistic and professional qualifications.

The courses which we adapt especially to meet the needs of groups of students from Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Russia, Ireland and Greece (approximately 30 groups per year) complete the SIT’s range of language courses.

Due to the latest developments in the economic and political situation in Europe, we have recently begun to hold language courses with a professional orientation for various target groups, for example from southern Europe, as well as integration courses for asylum applicants on behalf of the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees).

The SIT has also become a recognized testing center for TestDaF (language test for foreign students who wish to study in Germany) and for telc, European Language Certificates on all language levels.

Today, students from up to 70 countries are learning German at the SIT at the same time.