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German Studies at Bard College Berlin

At Bard College Berlin, German Studies is an integral component of the college’s academic, student life and professional preparation programs. Our courses provide students with indispensable language skills and cultural competences for gaining work experience during their studies and for entering the European labor market or post-graduate programs.

Students in our program become fully proficient in German, and we are committed to making German a keystone of our students’ college experience. With its genuine multicultural atmosphere, Berlin is one of the most vibrant and inspiring places to learn the language. We believe it is important for all degree-seeking students to learn German to an intermediate level or higher during their studies. Being proficient in German enables students to complete internships, work off-campus, and navigate the capital of Europe’s largest economy with ease and confidence. Language skills are essential to access career opportunities in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in Germany, as well as European institutions and organizations.

All our language classes are structured around topics of daily life, culture, work, and professional and academic life in Germany. In addition, we offer content courses focused on specialized linguistic skill building and topics from the fields of German literature, culture and philosophy or current debates in the public sphere. Through partnership and cooperation, we promote exchange with other cultural and political 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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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

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.
German A1-C2

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.”

Curriculum 

Language learning, professional communication competence, and immersion in cultural, literary and political discourse: Our German Studies curriculum fosters a steady progression from beginning to advanced levels, in which grammar and conversation are embedded in a wide range of subjects relevant to a liberal arts education and employability. Textbook-based learning and teaching is complemented by individual course syllabi and resources developed for our program, such as our German Studies Word Pool. The overall content focus for each curricular level enables students to expand their German proficiency along with their academic reading and writing skills.
Curriculum Visualization



Resources
An overview of useful links and online resources on German language, literature and media. Expand for Curriculum  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

Graduate of the "Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought" BA program (2019)
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

4th-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

Graduate of the “Economics, Politics, and Social Thought” BA program (2019)
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

4th-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

3rd-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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