Learning German is more than learning a language; it's also the study of a culture and its history. The German Studies program offers a wide range of courses so that the student of German can become proficient in understanding German literature, history, culture, and politics in the context of modern society. At all levels, we encourage a partnership between the study of language and culture.
Courses are offered at all levels, from beginning to advanced, for majors and non-majors. We encourage all of our students, and require majors, to study abroad in either Berlin or Heidelberg, Germany. FU-BEST, the Berlin European Studies Program of the Freie Universität, is open to students with no language training in German, as well as to intermediate or advanced speakers. While partaking in a cutting-edge curriculum on European Studies in Germany's cultural and political capital, students live with families who give them personal insights into the cultural diversity of this great city. Advanced language students may choose to study abroad in the Gettysburg College-affiliated American Junior Year immersion program in Heidelberg. There, qualified students can take courses either within the Heidelberg College program or enroll directly in classes at the University of Heidelberg.
A resident German assistant, sponsored through the Fulbright Program, assists students in grammar and arranges various co-curricular activities such as films, Stammtisch, and Kaffeeklatsch. The German Club, German House, and excursions to cultural centers in Washington and Baltimore all foster a close working relationship between students and faculty. The Gettysburg library holds an impressive collection of contemporary literary texts, films, journals, and newspapers, and critical work in German Studies.
Many German Studies majors and minors choose to double major in fields as diverse as Anthropology, Biology, Globalization Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, or Religion, to name just a few. The German Studies Department has a strong record of sending graduating majors and minors as Fulbright Teaching Assistants to Germany and Austria. Recent German Studies graduates are in graduate school for law, public health, German Studies, and student affairs; they pursue careers ranging from teaching to working for the U.S. Government in Washington.