BERLIN: Language School

Time to read:

2 minutes

The GLS Language 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.

GLS on Kastanienalle

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.

Where the action takes place. Classrooms, labs and administration offices occupy two floors in Building 2.

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.

One of many near identical classrooms. 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 — a language lab lab with audio booths. Photo taken through the window of a locked door.

The book store was a pleasant, always helpful resource.

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.

One of the school’s two hotels, looking from the quad.

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

The noontime lunch line extends along the front of the kitchen window. One day I placed my student ID on my tray, and breakfast dropped from $10 to $4.

The photo shows about half of the eating area in the student cafe. There was always enough room that you could decide whether you just wanted to eat and go or whether it was time to join classmates in a social setting.

We took our initial written placement exams in the interior of the school’s restaurant. For the oral ones, we went out to the patio.

The school restaurant’s outdoor seating along Kastanienallee.


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