How to Convince Your Employer to Reimburse for Your German Lessons
Posted: Dec 21, 2014
Why pay for your lessons, when your employer benefits from improvements in your German language skills?
You may be able to save a lot of money by asking your employer to pay for your German lessons through a reimbursement program.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why your employer wants to pay for your education by improving your German while working for either a German company and / or living/working in a German-speaking country, you can become a better employee. Additionally, employees are more likely to stick with a company when they are relying on their employer to fund their education. There is often less turn-around and more loyalty when they offer to pay for education.
Thousands of companies offer tuition assistance programs as they are aware, that education is the key to success on the job. Even if your employer does not have a tuition program in place, you may be able to convince him or her to pay for your lessons if you can present a compelling case. By providing your PIN to your employer, your company can check if you are taking your lessons regularly (which you can offer them in order to make your case).
Full-time jobs offering tuition reimbursement
Many larger companies offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees that take courses related to their work. Often, these companies have strict policies and require that employees stay with the company for at least a year – but for language tuition this may not necessarily be true as especially new starts need German tuition and the financial help of their company in order to thrive at their new job.
Part-time jobs offering tuition reimbursement
If you are working part-time, there may be the option of limited tuition assistance. The employers offer a smaller amount to help but are often less-strict about the type of courses you can take, such as German language tuition.
How to discuss tuition reimbursement with your boss
If there already is a tuition reimbursement program in place, visit the HR department. If there is none yet in place, convincing them to design a personal program sounds harder than it is:
1. Create a list of ways your German lessons will benefit the company.
For example: Increased productivity, able to take on additional assignments, able to integrate better / communicate effectively, improve the company’s professional image when e.g. work with clients in German-speaking countries
2. Be prepared to erase employer’s possible concerns.
Make a list of problems your employer may raise, and think of solutions to each. For example: Problem: Your studies will take time away from work. Solution: Online classes can be completed in your free time and will give you skills to help you do better work. Problem: Paying your German lessons will be expensive for the company. Solution: GOI is great value for money. Paying for German lessons cost less than hiring a new employee with the language skills you are working on and training the new recruit. Your German improvements will make the company money. In the long run, your employer will save by funding your education.
3. Plan a meeting to present your case.
Practice beforehand and do not forget your list. Do not worry, if your request is denied, just re-apply in a few months. Good luck!
German Online Institute offers Skype classes, online tutoring, German for travel courses and support to pass language certificates for all levels: A1-C2.