From 14-27 September 1997, I was enrolled at the Schwäbisch Hall branch of the Goethe-Institut in Germany. The Goethe-Institut is dedicated to the teaching of German language and culture, and maintains nearly 160 schools throughout the world.
I chose to attend the Schwäbisch Hall branch because they were offering a special class which was not available anywhere else: " German for Seniors."
While most of the many other courses taught at Goethe-Institut are up to 8 weeks long—and very intense—this class lasted only two weeks.
Our class had sixteen members. We were divided into two groups, based on the German skills we brought with us, and those abilities varied widely. There were two students who had never studied any German. There were also a few who were already quite proficient in the language, and the majority of the rest fit somewhere in between the extremes. Although each group had its own teacher, and met separately in different classrooms, we joined together for the cultural excursions and social events.
Most of us were 60 years and older, and many were retired. Several countries were represented: Japan, 3; Israel, 1; France, 1; Iceland, 1; U.K., 3; Norway, 1; America, 6.