DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > German

German

Why study German?

German is a major world language that is spoken in Austria, Germany, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. In the European Union, it is the principal business language, second only to English. Knowledge of the German language and German-speaking cultures gives students access to positions in international business, government and communications, as well as careers in education, music, theater and the arts.


The need for Business German knowledge has only become more dominant over the last decade. A global mindset for Americans is essential for keeping our role as a major player in the international market. A study of 1,250 businesses and industries in the Atlanta and the Southeast indicated they want access to a supply of college graduates with international business skills. Among the most desired skills of future employees were:

  • 56% knowledge of the business customs of other countries
  • 53% knowledge of the management practices of other countries
  • 48% knowledge of a foreign language.

Source: Goethe-Institut​

Why study German at DePaul?

The German program at DePaul University provides students with a strong linguistic and cultural background, develops their creative and critical thinking skills and prepares them for life in a multicultural, global world.  Drawing on the interdisciplinary interests of its faculty, the program offers courses in German language and culture, cinema, translations, and German intellectual history, literature, and civilization. Students learn through innovative pedagogical techniques including, films, video interviews, interactive CD-ROM and Internet applications. Class projects include a poetry contest and the translation of a Reader of Contemporary Culture. In-class learning is complemented by campus cultural events, such as symposia and visiting guest speakers sponsored by the German faculty. 


The German faculty sponsor cultural events and lectures by visiting scholars and writers in the fields of literature, cinema, and political sciences. Recent speakers include: a contemporary novelist; an Afro-German activist and poet;the Austrian General Consul, who spoke on the European Union; the German consul, an expert translator himself, who lectured on the art of translating; a concert of poetry and music (in cooperation with the School of Music), in honor of Goethe; and a staged reading of a drama (in cooperation with the Theatre School). Students are also able to participate in citywide events (forums, readings, round tables) at other universities and institutions such as the Chicago Cultural Center, the Goethe Institute and the Chicago International Film Festival.

Who are our German major/minor students?

German majors and minors pursue many different careers after graduation. Students have been successful in getting funding for graduate work in German and International Studies at Yale, Georgetown, Northwestern and other prestigious universities. Others have gone on to law schools or internships with the U.S. government in departments such as NASA, or secured jobs with German businesses in Chicago and other U.S. locations.  You can read more about our students through our German success stories.

What can I do with German?

Practically anything!  One of the many benefits of a language major is the flexibility afforded to you. You can work in whatever areas you've gained experiences in while in college through part-time jobs, internships, and student organizations.  If you are interested in working in hospitality, for example, you can major in German and complete hospitality courses for your open electives while also working a part-time job in the hospitality industry.  If you are interested in working for the government, you can begin as a volunteer in a government office, apply for City of Chicago internships, and work part-time as an office assistant or desk receptionist for an alderman's office.  Working on campus in an administrative capacity can also provide you with excellent experiences in an office setting.

For more information about what you can do with a language major, please click here.

Language Proficiency Development

Reading

  • Deutsche Welle ~ reading and listening. Tons or resources for students learning German at ALL levels here, including current events, online learning courses, listening and reading comprehension, interactive activities, etc.
  • The Local ~ Germany's News in English - while not in German, this online newspaper in English focuses on current events in the German-speaking world.

Writing

Student learning in action - As a “real life” project for students taking French Translation and German Translation, faculty secured the exclusive rights to the English translation of the Elysee Treaty website (currently only available in French and German).  Students worked on individual translations, worked together to come up with the best English version, and presented the translation to Paris and Berlin.  Student translator names are listed onlin​e.  This is one example of the “real world” experience students in advanced language classes can access to boost their resumes. 

Listening

  • ​​Slow German (iPad app) ~ reading and listening.  Features articles that are read slowly for students of German while reading text on-screen, so that they can increase listening comprehension.
  • listenlive.eu ~ Students can stream German-language radio online.

Speaking

  • ​Participate in the German Club ~ The German Club organizes film series, visits to exhibits, dinners at German restaurants and German tables where students meet in local cafes for relaxed discussions in German.  Contact Professor Eugene Sampson for details: esampso2@depaul.edu. Students are also encouraged to join the German Club facebook group.
  • Goethe Institut ~ reading, listening, writing AND speaking.  Offers a multitude of resources, including interactive games, opportunities to chat/write/communicate with German speakers online, practice vocabulary with the "Vokabeltrainer," watch German-language TV and other programs online, etc.  The Goethe Institut also has a Chicago location in the Loop at which monthly events (lectures, readings, film screenings, art exhibitions, etc.) are held
  • DANK Haus Chicago ~ speaking, listening.  Chicago's very own German-American congress offers monthly events that attract the German-speaking community in our city, such as movie screenings, concerts, cooking classes, and other German-related activities.

Employment Opportunities

Business

More than 750 American companies do business in German-speaking countries, including America Online (AOL), Citibank, Federal Express, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Starbucks, Merck, Merrill Lynch and United Parcel Service (UPS.)
  • Transatlantic Program (TAP) ~ Offered by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest in conjunction with the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Students (preference given to juniors and seniors) perform internships, usually paid, in renewable energy, engineering, and business. Proficiency equivalent to two years of college German required.
  • Volkswagen ​​~ You're on the lookout for an exciting internship? We offer you the opportunity to get a taste of Volkswagen and gain practical work experience. You can also write your final paper/dissertation at Volkswagen. And if you are particularly talented, you'll have the chance to be included in our student talent bank.

How to use this list

  • Consider this to be a list of possibilities ~ Bi/multilingual students have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. The key is to gain experiences relevant to your future career so that employers don't have to spend more time and money to train you.  
  • Find additional internship/job options through DePaul Experience. Once you log in, click on jobs/internships and review the jobs/internships that have been posted.
  • Gather additional information about the types of internships that are available with the companies you're interested in, research intern applicant requirements, and gain perspective on what employers are looking for in job applicants so that you may work to gain those skills. 
The posting of an internship or job does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the internship or job.  Students should understand that DePaul University does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding internships and jobs included here.  Students are responsible for requesting additional information from a potential internship site or employer as necessary to make internship or employment decisions.

Education

  • ​​The U.S. Teaching Assistantship Program in Austria (USTA) searches for U.S. college and university graduates to work at secondary schools throughout Austria as teaching assistants. The purpose of this program is to bring talented and enthusiastic young people from abroad into the classrooms of secondary schools in communities large and small all over Austria. Ultimately the job of these native speakers as teaching assistants is to make learning a foreign language a lively cross-cultural encounter for their students. U.S. teaching assistants are assigned to one or two Austrian secondary schools and required to assist teachers of English in classroom instruction for 13 hours per week. Applicants should have at least an undergraduate degree, a working knowledge of German and should be interested in careers in education. Prospective teachers of German or TESOL and/or graduates with a documented interest in Austrian studies are particularly encouraged to apply.  To find more information about the program, including how to apply, visit USTA online. The application deadline is typically in January.

Job Search Sites

  •  Going Global ~ provides country-specific career and employment information. Search for jobs and internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 USA metropolitan areas. View country career guides, get news on H-1B Visa employers and more. Campus Connection login and password required.
  • ​AIESEC ~ a youth-driven organization that helps students locate internship opportunities abroad. Talk to Dr. Souchuk (asouchuk@depaul.edu) for more information; we have an AIESEC student representative on campus.

Non-profit

  • DANK Haus German American Cultural Center ~ Internships for grads and undergrads, most unpaid, at this German cultural center in Chicago. Students can work in various departments, including design, cinema, cultural programs and museum operations.
  • World Chicago ~ WorldChicago facilitates professional and personal interactions for international leaders during official visits to Chicago through U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange programs; enhances respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances; and promotes the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as important centers of business and culture.

Government

  • ​​Émigré Memo​rial German Internship Program​​ ~ Internships with the German state parliament for undergrads and graduate students studying international relations, public administration, political science, law, economics, European studies with an emphasis on Germany, German or German studies or related fields. “High-intermediate” German skills required.
  • United Nations - Office at Vienna ~The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) accept unpaid interns on an ad hoc basis. The purpose of our Programme is to offer students from diverse academic backgrounds an educational experience through practical work assignments within the international environment of the UN, while offering the United Nations the assistance of qualified students specializing in various professional fields.

Financial Support

Fellowships

  • German Chancellor Fellowship ~ We promote academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany.  Our research fellowships and research awards allow you to come to Germany to work on a research project you have chosen yourself together with a host and collaborative partner. If you are a scientist or scholar from Germany you can profit from our support and carry out a research project abroad as a guest of one of more than 26,000 Humboldt Foundation alumni worldwide - the Humboldtians. As an intermediary organisation for German foreign cultural and educational policy we promote international cultural dialogue and academic exchange.
  • Leo Baeck Institute (New York/Berlin) ~ List of fellowship opportunities.  (LBI) is devoted to the history of German-speaking Jews. Its 80,000-volume library and extensive archival and art collections represent the most significant repository of primary source material and scholarship on the Jewish communities of Central Europe over the past five centuries.

Grants

​​ Students in the program are successful in obtaining grants and fellowships at DePaul. In recent years, students have received Fulbright Scholarships to pursue research in their fields and/or teach English in Germany or Austria.

Scholarships

  • Students may review and apply for scholarships available to DePaul students through the Academic Works scholarship application site.
  • Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange ~ Competitive program that offers full scholarships to study abroad in Germany for a year (one of our German students at DePaul was the recipient of this award in 2012).
  • DAAD ~ The German Academic Exchange Service offers opportunities (advice, resources and financial support) to students and faculty looking to study or research in Germany.
  • The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) ~ Accepts applications for students who are seeking to study abroad.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as undergraduates in US universities/colleges who plan to study abroad for at least four weeks between June and May. Fund for Education Abroad will award up to $10,000 to support students planning to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs during the academic year or summer. In order to apply, visit FEA online and register for an account to access their online application. The deadline to apply is typically Jan. 
  • The Killam Fellowships Program ~ Accepts applications from full-time undergraduate students in good academic standing who are U.S students and seeking to study abroad. The Killam Fellowships Program will provide a cash award of $5,000 per semester ($10,000 for a full academic year) to a host institution that the student has been accepted to for study abroad. Click hereto learn more and download the application. For application inquiries and submissions, email the Killam Fellowships Program at info{at}killamfellowships.com. The deadline for the open competition is typically in Jan. 
  • List of grants & scholarships to study in Austria 
  • Germany Scholarship ~ Provides financial and non-material support to high-achieving and committed students from all over the world. Modelled after the principle of public-private partnership, businesses, foundations or private individuals sponsor young talent with a pledge of 150 euros per month. The Federal Government matches this amount with another 150 euros. But there is even more: Many universities and private sponsors also support Germany Scholarship holders through concurrent mentoring programmes, networking events and internships. 
  • Scholarships for Development ~ Updated listing of international scholarships specifically for people from developing countries, people who would like to pursue development-related fields, and people who seek global and national development through further education. 
  • Study in Germany ~ Nutze unsere Suchmaschine: studieren.de ist schon seit 17 Jahren Deutschlands führendes, unabhängiges Portal zur Studienwahl. Mit unserer Datenbank findest Du Dein Bachelor und passende Master Studiengänge an allen Hochschulen.

Study Abroad

DePaul Programs

Bonn ~ Academic year or fall quarter
For more information regarding how to apply study abroad credit toward degree progress, please visit our advising FAQ webpage.

Non-DePaul Programs

  • ​​Master of European Studies Program at ZEI (Center for European Integration Studies) at the University of Bonn ~ Good for students pursuing a career in European Politics, Political Science, or International Relations.  For students who already have earned their BA (or are close to graduation).
  • Study in Austria
  • OeAD ~ Information about studying in Austria.  The OeAD advises, promotes and supports international cooperation in education, science and research. We support strategic development and accompany implementation measures. We analyse international developments and work out appropriate recommendations and measures.
  • Salzburg College, Austria
  • DAAD ~ Information about studying in Germany.  Schon ein kurzer Blick auf die Geschichte zeigt: Der DAAD verbindet Menschen und Wissenschaft. Gegründet 1925 in Heidelberg auf Initiative eines einzelnen Studenten, gehört er heute zu den bedeutendsten Förderorganisationen für den internationalen Austausch von Studierenden und Wissenschaftlern. Auf den folgenden Seiten erfahren Sie mehr über unsere Förderprogramme und die Ziele unserer Arbeit
  • DW ~ Information about studying in Germany.  Whether you're just beginning to study or interested in postgraduate research, Germany has much to offer international students.  DW has compiled a bank of background information on studying in Germany - including everything from university life and funding options.
  • Guide to studying in Germany for free.