College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > 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 demand for knowledge of German for commercial purposes has only grown 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 indicated they want 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

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 a wide variety of topics, from German language and culture, cinema, translation, German intellectual history, literature, to German for the professions. Students learn through innovative pedagogical techniques from our award-winning faculty. In-class learning is complemented by campus cultural events, such as symposia and visiting guest speakers sponsored by the German Program. 

Students are also able to attend events elsewhere in Chicago, from film screenings to literary readings to concerts at venues like the Goethe-Institut Chicago, the DANK-Haus, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and Constellation.

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.

Graduates of our program have gone on to earn prestigious and highly competitive Fulbright fellowships from the U.S. government or spend a funded year in Germany as scholars in the German Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, find rewarding employment at the German Embassy in Washington D.C., hold leadership positions in local cultural institutions like the Deutsch-Amerikanisch Nationalkongress, gain experience in the commercial sector through work at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, and find out first hand what German cultural diplomacy looks like with internships at the Goethe-Institut Chicago, the Chicago location of the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural representative. Our graduates have also had success following more conventional paths as well, enrolling in graduate programs, attending law school, and finding long-term employment in Germany and Austria.

Often our students have distinguished themselves from competitors by combining their BA in German with another major of their interested, something that has been facilitated by recent updates to the German BA, with its three concentrations in German Language and Literature, Commercial German, and German Studies, and this flexibility allows students to double count coursework completed for another major or for Learning Domain credit.

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

Language Proficiency Development

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ~ Students can stream German-language radio online.
  • 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 Eugene Sampson for details: 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 cultural center 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

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).

  • AIESEC ~ AIESEC is a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. It is a non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management.
  • ALDI ~ As one of America’s favorite grocers, ALDI believes in providing the best value and quality in everything they do. For employees, that means industry-leading wages, a great work environment and terrific benefits.
  • Austrian Airlines ~ Students who are interested in internships at Austrian Airlines need only create a search profile for what they are looking for. Austrian Airlines will do the searching and keep prospective interns up to date.  Please note: A valid working permission for Austria and good knowledge in the German language are important requirements for us.
  • DAAD RISE ~ RISE stands for Research Internships in Science and Engineering. RISE Germany offers undergraduate students from North American, British and Irish universities the opportunity to complete a summer research internship at top German universities and research institutions. RISE Germany is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. 
  • Reinhausen ~ Student who want to gain valuable practical experience during their studies should complete an internship at MR. Depending on major and the length of the placement, students will gain in-depth insights into daily operations in a short period of time. In most cases, students will get the chance to work on specific projects.
  • Volkswagen ~ Students on the lookout for an exciting internship check out Volkswagen and gain practical work experience. Students can also finish their written coursework for their degrees at Volkswagen. And particularly talented students have the chance to be included in the VW talent bank.

  • 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 Handshake. 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.
  • German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. ~ The GHI Internship Program gives German and American students of history, political science, and library studies an opportunity to gain experience at a scholarly research institute. Interns assist individual research projects, work for the library, take part in the preparation and hosting of conferences, and help with publications and digital projects. The program is very flexible: the GHI tries to accommodate the interns' interests, abilities, and goals. A two-month minimum stay is required; a three months stay is preferred.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • International Rescue Committee ~ The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
  • Steuben-Schurz-Gesellschaft e.V. ~ Established in 1999 - as the only non-profit initiative of its kind - participating students as well as companies providing this unique opportunity profit profoundly from on-the-job experience and the building of international leadership skills. Nothing may change a life's path like early experience. This program, furthermore, assists the development of future global leaders by encouraging the students to do an internship (8 weeks to 6 months) with an American or a German host employer, respectively.
  • 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.  It 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.
  • Going Global provides country-specific career and employment information. Jobs and internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 USA metropolitan areas can be sought out. Country career guides guides, as well as news on H-1B Visa employers and more. Campus Connection login and password required.

Additional job sites and recommendations for finding an internship can be found posted on this How Germany Ticks website.

  • Émigré Memorial 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 this Program 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

  • German Chancellor Fellowship ~ This fellowship promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany.  These research fellowships and research awards allow recipients to come to Germany to work on a research project have chosen along with a host and collaborative partner. Scientists or scholars from Germany can profit from this 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 organization for German foreign cultural and educational policy, it promotes international cultural dialogue and academic exchange.
  • Leo Baeck Institute ~ The Leo Baeck Institute 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. This link also contains a list of fellowship opportunities.
  • Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program ~ Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.
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.
  • Students may review and apply for scholarships available to DePaul students through the Academic Works scholarship application site.
  • Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange ~ This is a competitive program that offers full scholarships to study abroad in Germany for a year. 
  • DAAD ~ The German Academic Exchange Service offers advice, resources and financial support to students and faculty looking to study or research in Germany.
  • The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) ~ The FEA accepts applications from 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 January. 
  • The Killam Fellowships Program ~ The Killam Fellowships Prohram 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. This link will access the application. Inquiries and submissions should be emailed to the Killam Fellowships Program at info{at} The deadline for the open competition is typically in January. 
  • A List of grants & scholarships to study in Austria can be found under the link. 
  • 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. Moreover, many universities and private sponsors also support Germany Scholarship holders through concurrent mentoring programs, networking events and internships. 
  • Scholarships for Development ~ This is a 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 ~ Use this German-language search engine (Suchmaschine) for all things related to studying at an institution of higher education in Germany. 

Study Abroad

  • Vienna - Illinois in Vienna (IiVP) - This program runs in the Autumn Quarter or for the full academic year. More information regarding how to apply study abroad credit toward degree progress can be found by visiting the advising FAQ webpage.
  • Berlin - Navigating the Refugee Experience in Berlin - This program fulfills credit for the Historical Inquiry and Arts and Literature Learning Domains, the Experiential Learning requirement, and counts towards coursework fulfilled in completion of German majors and minors.

Please note that the following list of websites is a list of ideas, not recommendations. Students should thoroughly research their options and consult the Study Abroad Office before making any study-abroad decisions. Please also note that the number of credits/classes students may complete in a winter/spring quarter versus a spring semester may not be the same. Please review information about study abroad and degree progress provided under advising FAQs and plan accordingly.

  • 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
  • Salzburg College, Austria
  • DAAD ~ Information about studying in Germany, collected by the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service). 
  • DW ~ Information about studying in Germany, for students in their first term as well as those considering postgraduate research. Germany has much to offer international students. Deutsche Welle, a German news and information service, has compiled background information on studying in Germany - including everything from university life to funding options.
  • Guide ~ to studying in Germany for free.