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German Studies at Bard College Berlin

At Bard College Berlin, the German Studies Program is fully immersed in the liberal arts life of the university. All students in our program acquire a comprehensive proficiency in German. Outside and beyond the classroom, the German capital makes for an authentic language learning environment. With its genuine multicultural atmosphere, Berlin is one of the most vibrant and inspiring places to learn German.

We are committed to making German a keystone of our students’ college experience: German language proficiency at any level helps to navigate the city with ease and confidence and to make new connections. It is a skill for gaining transcultural competence, for becoming a better writer and more articulate speaker, and for doing internships and accessing the German job market. Through partnership and cooperation, we promote exchange with other cultural institutions in Berlin, as well as with the German Studies Program at Bard College, New York. Various courses and activities in our German Studies Program are funded by the DAAD (Integra and STIBET).

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Courses

Language Courses
Students at Bard College Berlin are required to achieve German proficiency up to B1 level. All German language courses in our program are designed to foster skills in the core areas of language acquisition: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Language course levels correspond to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), starting at A1 and leading up to C2. Beginners to advanced level courses encourage students to reflect upon linguistic structures and situate literature, films and music within Germany's rich intellectual tradition and complex political history. We teach in small groups of usually up to a dozen students, which allows for intensive communicative interaction.

Content Courses / German Studies Courses
Each semester we offer additional courses dedicated to German cultural and literary history, critical theory and public debates, or reading, translation, and communicative competence. Content courses in our program reflect the various routes of European integration and global affiliation that Germany has followed in the recent past. Subjects are explored through seminar-style discussions in German, as well as in guest lectures and field trips. Recent courses include “Art and Culture in Weimar Berlin,” “Jewish Berlin from the Enlightenment to the Present” and “Menschen-Tiere and Tier-Menschen: Creaturely Perspectives in German Literature and Culture.” Current additions to our program are the DAAD-funded course “The German Public Sphere,” “German Conversation,” and “German for Reading Knowledge.”

About Us

Our team has a combined background of teaching and research experience on several continents. All instructors teaching in the German Studies Program have earned degrees at high ranking universities. Areas of special expertise include language acquisition methodology, literary theory and history, and translation, as well as academic and creative writing. Our shared teaching philosophies promote a communicative approach emphasizing in-class interaction, while our ever-evolving curriculum fosters individual course design and the development of learning resources specific to our German Studies Program.



Current Faculty

Resources

Resources
An overview of useful links and online resources on German language, literature and media. Expand for Resources Click here for a list of resources

What our students say


„Die Grenzen meiner Sprache sind die Grenzen meiner Welt.“ (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Borders are meant to be constantly crossed, questioned, abandoned or pushed. Studying German is one way of doing this. Learn more about our students’ experiences – in their own words.
Bono Siebelink

Bono Siebelink

4th-year student in the "Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought" BA program
When I came to Berlin four years ago I was immediately set on learning German to become part of the city through speaking the language. Not knowing a lot of German, I started off taking German classes at BCB, from which point I could notice my progress going really fast.
Hanna Bargheer

Hanna Bargheer

3rd-year student in the “Humanities, Arts and Social Thought” BA program
The German professors at Bard College Berlin place an emphasis on furthering your German in all respects – whether this is learning how to order a coffee in basic introductory German, or dissecting and being able to interpret a German theater piece.
Ibrahim Bozdemir

Ibrahim Bozdemir

4th-year student in the “Economics, Politics, and Social Thought” BA program
Learning German at Bard College Berlin was a wise decision I made. I had already learned German for some years in high school, therefore I wanted to carry on with what I started.
 
Nato Gonashvili

Nato Gonashvili

3rd-year student in the “Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought” BA program
I believe that the key to the culture, history and peculiarities of the people is the language, the place where it all is buried. When I first came to Berlin three years ago, I could barely speak German. Once I heard people talking, I was immediately obsessed with the way it sounded.
Sarah Nassabieh

Sarah Nassabieh

2nd-year student in the “Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought” BA program
Über mich selbst und die Welt kritisch nachdenken — dazu haben mich die Deutschkurse angeregt. Ich wurde in Berlin geboren und bin hier aufgewachsen. Deshalb war ich sehr froh über die Möglichkeit, in deutscher Sprache über deutsche Literatur, Geschichte und Politik an einer englischsprachigen Universität zu lernen.
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