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Plenty of courses are offered throughout Germany, including hands-on sessions that don’t require fluency in German. Options are literally endless. How about learning rock climbing in Saxon Switzerland, taking a workshop in porcelain painting in Meissen, joining a wine seminar in a Mosel village, getting a tutorial in woodcarving in the Black Forest or taking cooking lessons in Berlin? Tourist offices are usually the best sources for what’s on offer locally, although the classifieds in listings magazines and local newspapers may also yield some leads.

If learning German is your aim, you could hire a private tutor or join a language school. Among the most respected are those run by the Goethe Institut (www.goethe.de), a government-subsidised nonprofit organisation promoting German language and culture abroad. Programmes cater for all levels of proficiency, usually last a few weeks and are offered in 16 German cities, including Berlin, Dresden and Munich.

Many universities offer summer courses, which are sometimes held in English. The website of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service; www.daad.de) has a searchable database of available programmes. For the complete lowdown on study and research at German universities, see www.campus-germany.de.

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