What's it like to study in Germany in the summertime?

During the summer, almost every German university offers summer courses ("Sommerkurse") for students wishing to learn German. These programs are generally excellent and very good value for money. They range in length from 2 to 6 weeks, though most are 3 or 4 weeks. Some programs focus on particular areas such as the sciences, music, politics or art.

What makes them so appealing, besides the high level of instruction, is the inclusion of an extensive cultural program, or "Rahmenprogramm." Your mornings will be filled with classes, but on many afternoons and some evenings you can enjoy scheduled as trips to local sites and museums as well as concerts and festivals, barbecues and other such festivities. Longer day trips are often reserved for the weekends. The other charming feature of these courses is that you find yourself in a crowd of young people from all over the world, giving you the chance not just to learn about Germany but also to learn about, and possibly visit, other countries too.

Where and when are these summer programs?

The German Academic Exchange (the DAAD) has a database on its Web site for summer courses. Because of the difference in the German and American academic calendars, you will find that most of the courses relevant to you begin in late July or early August.

Is there funding for summer study away in Germany?

1. The BW Exchange provides another option for summer study. The University of Stuttgart offers a program specifically designed for Americans. It starts at the end of the American academic year in late May and runs for four weeks. The BW Exchange has a limited number of spacse and scholarships in this program.

2. For juniors, the DAAD provides an additional source of funding with its University Summer Course Grant.

3. The German studies department also supports summer study through the John S. King Scholarship. John King was a beloved colleague and teacher of German at Connecticut College for many years. In honor of his memory, his many friends and former students established an endowed fund to support students in their study of German and its culture and society through study abroad by providing travel scholarships for this purpose. This is a fitting tribute to John King, who in his years at the College encouraged countless students to immerse themselves in another language and culture.

The scholarships are intended primarily to enable those at the early stages of their language learning, especially freshmen and sophomores intending to major or minor in German, to enhance the fluency and ease with the language that comes with immersion in a native-speaking environment. In exceptional cases, however, juniors or more advanced students may receive an award.

Awards can be made only in conjunction with enrollment in a summer language/cultural program in a German-speaking country.

Download the John S. King Scholarship application form