Why Study German Language and Cultures?
The German language in the world
German is your key to Europe. German is spoken not only in Germany, home to about 83 million people, but also in Austria, Switzerland and throughout the European Union as well as in Scandinavia. It is one of eleven national languages in Namibia (Africa), a country 57 times the size of Connecticut (with 20,000 inhabitants of German heritage). Namibia was colonized by the Germans from 1884 to 1914 and is today an independent democracy. Even more significantly, German is a lingua franca of Eastern Europe, thanks to Germany’s longstanding political and economic ties with the countries of the former Soviet block. All German-speaking countries or regions have unique cultures and histories that are part of what the UConn German Section has to offer: a well-designed and rewarding program of excellent quality with a B.A. in German Studies or in German Literature or a dual degree in German Studies and Engineering(EuroTech).
German at UConn
- we teach toward intercultural and linguistic competencies, with a focus on language AND culture in each one of our classes
- we support an integrated curriculum that prepares you for travel, for speaking, reading, listening, and writing, for study abroad, and for potential work in German-language contexts and cultures
- we update our classes to emphasize acquisition of intercultural abilities, critical thinking, and the study of history, culture, and everyday life, elements that have become pivotal in a trans-cultural world
- we pay attention to the social and cultural functions of language and communication: you speak German differently to your German friend’s mother or to the boss of your company than to your pal!
In an increasingly interconnected world, you can apply these abilities not just in your future career and not just in German-speaking countries; they will also assist you when exploring other countries, cultures, and languages, including the U.S.
What German is useful for
In Europe, knowing German opens many different doors. What kinds of doors? Whether you study language for personal satisfaction or professional purposes, German has a great deal to offer. German is one of the most commonly used languages on the Internet and for the publication of important research in both the natural sciences and the humanities.
- If your interest in language study is primarily career-oriented, consider the fact that the German-speaking countries represent the largest single market in Europe, and the German economy is the fourth largest in the world. The central bank for the European Union is located in Frankfurt. Germany is the most important European trading partner of the United States and Connecticut’s third largest trading partner. There are over 1,300 American firms with branches in German-speaking countries, and there are over 1,100 German firms with branches in the US. In fact, in Connecticut alone there are over 100.
- For more than a century, Germany has been a world leader in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and precision manufacturing.
- Some of the most important engineering projects emerge from German companies and universities, making Germany an exciting place to visit as a budding engineer (see also our EUROTECH program).
- Germany has become a world leader in environmental engineering, pollution prevention, sustainability, and other initiatives and inventions concerning climate control. The University of Freiburg, a member in our Connecticut-Baden-Württemberg exchange program, is a world leader in solar energy and other areas of alternative energies
- Through German, you gain access to centuries of accomplishments in literature, art, design, music, theater, history and philosophy. Knowledge of German can give you special insight when you study history, the development of cultures and societies, and the emergence of political or intellectual movements in Europe.
Whether you ultimately work in Europe, travel, or just enjoy an occasional German film, the study of the language and cultures of the German-speaking countries will provide intellectual stimulation and pleasure; a great deal of interdisciplinary and linguistic access to different kinds of knowledge and debate; and to international sources both for your career and other interests; it will also offer you a new vantage point from which to view U.S. American life and cultures and prepare you to live, work, and learn beyond a national framework
The German Program at the University of Connecticut is nationally known for offering:
The EUROTECH Program: Combine your study in Engineering and in German Studies for unique and excellent chances on the international job market!
Study Abroad Opportunities: study at 9 outstanding universities (4 of them are “Universities of Excellence”) in the state of Baden-Württemberg with UConn’s award-winning Baden-Württemberg Program (Freiburg, Heidelberg, Hohenheim, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Ulm); in Berlin; or in Salzburg/Austria.
Information about German-speaking Countries
These days, you can find a great many links for German-speaking TV, online radio, newspapers and magazines, hobbies, career information, and basic facts all over the web. If you are interested in specific information about a certain topic, just e-mail us!