About us

The Humboldt-Institut was founded in 1977 by Mr. Norbert Güthling. While he studied at university, he sent German students abroad to England and France. Because he was unhappy with how the stays were planned and organized in the host countries, he decided to do it better himself and, with partners, founded the Humboldt-Institut.

Since then the aspiration of the Humboldt-Institut has always been to offer the best German courses and to guarantee fast and effective learning for all students. We have been pursuing this approach for more than 40 years and have had the privilege to welcome more than 80,000 students from over 160 countries to our schools. This makes the Humboldt-Institut one of the largest and most experienced language schools in Germany for German courses.

Ratzenried castle in the wintertime

From a single program center at Ratzenried Castle, which nowadays serves as the administrative headquarters, the Humboldt-Institut has grown to a network of 16 schools, of which four — Berlin-Mitte, Constance, Lindenberg and Bad Schussenried — are open year-round.

The Humboldt-Institut is named after Wilhelm von Humboldt, the Prussian reformer for education, a linguist and brother of the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. Like Humboldt, we follow a holistic concept: students learn German, use the language daily in their interactions with each other, and are completely immersed in German life and culture.

Therefore, we offer our German courses almost always as packages which include everything: accommodation, full board and leisure program. This way our guests don’t have to worry about anything and can fully concentrate on their German language acquisition.

What is special about the German language courses at the Humboldt-Institut?

Small classes, active use of the language, transparent performance checks, a carefully coordinated system of classes, homework and exams, as well as the environment of consistently German-speaking, German-learning and German-living — these all, combined with a varied program of cultural and leisure activities, are the cornerstones for our successful language training!

As opposed to other language schools, the Humboldt-Institut works with its own curriculum and can draw on more than 40 years of experience. This offers many advantages:

  • Fast and effective learning success
  • Appropriate learning content for each age group
  • Holistic training in all areas of the German language
  • Above-average success rates at standardized exams like the TestDaF
  • High degree of student satisfaction

The Humboldt-Institut offers German courses for all age groups and language levels. Our students include individuals, families, groups and executives.


Business references

Companies and organizations from a variety of fields have chosen the Humboldt-Institut to provide intensive German courses for their employees. Below you will find some examples. We are happy to provide you with an individual offer for German courses that suit the needs of your employees.

Parfümerie DouglasRefratechnikDeutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbHGlossyboxUniversität Freiburg - Université de FribourgEuropean ParliamentT-Systems


What our students have to say about Humboldt

Here you can read what our happy customers have to say about the German courses of the Humboldt-Institut:

„ My time in Berlin opened many doors for me.
Laura, 23
„ The atmosphere and the intensive course are very good.
Tair, 15
„ You can learn German quite easily here.
Pavel, 12
„ Thanks to this course I have improved my German.
Chiara, 18


Related blog posts

In this non-exhaustive list you find relevant posts from the Humboldt blog about our German language courses and of course the students of the Humboldt-Institut. We hope you enjoy reading!


Memberships & cooperations

The Humboldt-Institut is a member of the FaDaF (Fachverband für Deutsch als Fremd- und Zweitsprache), the umbrella organization for German as a foreign or second language. In Berlin and Constance we have recognized test centers for the TestDaF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache), which serves as a linguistic requirement for foreign applicants who wish to study at a German University.

In Berlin we also offer the TestAS (Test für ausländische Studierende, i.e. the standardized scholastic aptitude test for foreign university students).

In our course centers in Berlin, Constance and Bad Schussenried the German language exams of telc (The European Language Certificates) on different levels from telc Deutsch A1 Junior to telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule are offered. The Berlin and Constance schools are both certified as competence centers for the telc exam.

The Humboldt Institute is a member of the FDSV (Association of German Language-Tour Operators), a consortium of the leading German language-tour operators and language schools who commit themselves to the strict quality guidelines of the FDSV – based on the European Language Travel Standard DIN EN 14804. The German courses and course locations of the Humboldt-Institut have been examined according to detailed criteria and fulfill all the requirements and guidelines of the FDSV.


Our staff

Norbert Güthling

Lennart Güthling
Managing Director

Kim Kluckhohn
Academic Director

Karin Hartmann
Assistant to the Academic Director

Björn Rosebrock
Head of Personnel Department

Margit Höß
Organization and personnel

Daniel Wenz
Head of Extracurricular Education

Zsolt Toth
Head of Education DaF

Bernadette Nagel
Payroll Accounting

Zsuzsa Patonay
Payroll Accounting

Tobias Langenstein
Marketing Director

Peter Eitelhuber
Web Design and Graphic Design

Małgorzata Güthling
Head of Booking Office

Julia Güthling
Deputy Head of Administration

Katja Kluckhohn
Deputy Head of Booking Office

Volker von Gossler
Youth Guest Houses

Monika Hermann
Secondary and Higher Education Counseling

Laura Hitzler
Booking Office

Mia Holzmann
Higher Education Counseling

Carina Maier
Booking Office and Sales

Janine Löffler
Booking Office

Michaela Nobis
Booking Office

Leonie Ostrowski
Booking Office

Gitta Fröhler
Booking Office and Dunning

Jens Faber
Property Manager

Galina Huft

Christian Beuschel
Head of IT

Robin Wiedenmann
Network and system administrator

Eduard Herdt
Software Developer

Your contact

For all questions concerning our course offerings or for booking a German course our staff at the booking office will gladly assist you:

Humboldt-Institut e.V.
Schloss Ratzenried
88260 Argenbühl
Phone +49 7522 9880

We can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm CET. Apart from German and English, our staff members also speak French, Polish, Spanish and Russian.

Questions in writing will be answered in German or English.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

If you have more questions:

For further information and answers please see our FAQ.
For your personal offer please contact us.