BERLIN: Language School

Time to read:

2 minutes

The GLS Languages Center in suburban Prenzlauer Berg covers four acres. Building 2 has more than 60 classrooms, and Administration occupies half the second floor. The campus includes two hotels, a restaurant, a student cafeteria and a restored neo-Renaissance bath house now used as an event location.

That’s the restaurant under the red awning, running along prestigious Kastanienallee.

View from the reception desk. Students are mostly in their 20s. But maybe 10% appear to be in their 30s or 40s. In class, they say they want to work in Germany, the economic engine of the Continent.

This is where the action takes place: Building 2, the classrooms.

A couple of colleagues in classroom 212. The morning sun burns into the classroom through a wall of windows. The red and yellow curtains reduce the glare but also block air circulation.

A wider view of our classroom, one of many near identical ones. That whiteboard is electronic. One minute the instructors are writing (and erasing with a swipe or a tap); the next we’re watching and listening to a video there.

You language students will recognize this lab with audio booths. Photo taken  through the window of a locked door.

The book store.

Looking out a stairwell window onto the “quad,” around which the buildings are centered. The building on the right is the restored bathhouse. I’ve not gotten in, but on the web there’s a photo ( of the interior decked out apparently for a piano concert. Chairs and tables with white tablecloths are in what was the pool.

Out on the quad, looking at one of the hotels.

The kitchen opens onto the student cafeteria. Every day there are two main dishes — one meat, one vegetable — for about $6.50.

Lunch line in front of the kitchen window. One day I placed my student ID on my tray, and breakfast dropped from $10 to $4.

Half of the student cafeteria indoor eating area.

I never ate in the school’s restaurant, preferring the student cafeteria. But I was introduced to the restaurant on the first day when we took our initial written placement exams in here. For the oral ones, we went out to the patio.

Under the red awning. The restaurant’s outdoor seating along Kastanienallee.


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