. . . German is spoken by more than 124 million people worldwide?
. . . people of German descent constitute one of the largest heritage groups in the U.S. with many intact German-speaking communities?
. . . more than 1,100 companies from German-speaking countries have U.S. subsidiaries?
. . . more than 700 American companies do business in Germany and have created 800,000 related jobs?
. . . German is the most commonly used language on the Internet after English?
. . . German is an official language at many international conferences?
. . . almost two out of every ten books published in the world are published in German?
. . . despite its reputation as a difficult language, the proximity of German and English as Germanic languages makes German in many regards easier for English speakers?
. . . German has traditionally been at the core of liberal arts environments such as Colby’s because of the interdisciplinary connections between literature, arts, and philosophy, as well as the social and natural sciences?
German at Colby offers language instruction from the beginning to the advanced level and a variety of courses in German literature and culture. In light of Germany’s increasingly important economic and political role in Europe and the world, we encourage students to choose German to fulfill Colby’s three-semester language requirement and, subsequently, to become a German studies major or a German minor.
The German Program offers a major in German studies and a minor in German. Students frequently combine their studies in German with a major in global studies, economics, government, music, the arts, philosophy, or a major in the sciences. As such, the major is by definition interdisciplinary: it requires ten courses above the level of third-semester German but it encourages students to take advantage of courses in English outside the department in subjects related to German studies. The German minor requires five courses above the level of second-semester German.
Most German studies majors study abroad for a semester or a full year in a German-speaking country during the junior year. The German Program has established long-standing relationships with a variety of programs in Berlin, Munich, Regensburg, Freiburg, Tübingen, and Vienna. Other students have studied in programs of their choice in German-speaking countries. Once approved by the German faculty, students can seek out a variety of study-abroad options for semester studies or for the four-week Jan Plan.
Study abroad opens new perspectives and unknown opportunities for our students. Language skills, cultural awareness, and documented experience with foreign cultures have proven to be invaluable assets when it comes to life after Colby. The recent addition of a WiDaF Testcenter (a Franco-German Chamber of Commerce certified center for Business German) has added a valuable element for students pursuing internships or nonacademic employment opportunities. German majors have found employment in many different fields, including international business, banking, consulting, publishing and public relations, as well as nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Many of our German majors have received prestigious awards and fellowships, including Fulbrights and DAADs (German Academic Exchange Service) for study and research in Germany, and the coveted Congress-Bundestag Internship as well as fellowships for graduate study at Ivy League universities. Others have gone on to graduate school in German or international studies or to teaching German at the secondary level. Our budding internship program in Germany allows students to gain invaluable expertise in the target culture. Proficiency in German and a documented knowledge of German and European cultures have helped provide access for our students to many professional environments.
Most important, German at Colby is a lively academic community with a great deal of interaction among faculty and students. Classes are small, approximately 15 students per class at the beginning and intermediate level, and 5–10 students at the upper-level literature and culture courses. Outside of class a range of activities enhances the program including guest lectures, film screening, and the bi-weekly German Table. Our language assistant from Germany meets with students for informal conversation and is available for tutoring along with a group of trained peer tutors who accompany individual classes. Our language assistant is also involved in German Club activities and helps with organizing events such as Spieleabend (evening of German board games), the annual Worldvision Song Contest (a friendly singing competition involving all language departments), our Kabarett Maulesel (a cabaret with student and faculty performances), and our semester-long German Studies Film Series.
Students of German enjoy the department’s location on the fourth floor of the Lovejoy building. Open doors of faculty offices, a beautiful seminar room, and a state-of-the-art Language Resource Center provide an ideal environment for studying German and socializing with fellow students and German faculty.