Why Study German?

Communicate

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    Speaking German will allow you to communicate with over 100 million individuals worldwide.
  2. English is a Germanic language, which explains the rich number of cognates; these cognates make German relatively accessible, for example, apple and Apfel, water and Wasser, better and besser, salt and Salz.
  3. Students who know a second language display enhanced cognitive capacities, including pattern recognition, problem solving, flexibility, and creativity.
  4. Germany has extensive and attractive student and faculty exchanges with the U.S. and invests greatly in support of Americans studying in Germany.
  5. Notre Dame has unusually high levels of grant support for summer experiences in Germany.
  6. The German Department and the German Club offer a wide array of cultural and social activities, which allow you to get to know your fellow majors as well as faculty members in a relaxed and friendly environment. 

Earn

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    After English, German is the most prominent language of world business.
  2. In 2014, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth $285 billion, making it the biggest capital exporter globally.
  3. Germany is a leader in automobile production, and has - after China and Japan - the third highest automobile production in the world.
  4. The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide.
  5. More than 3,700 German companies do business in the United States. Moreover, Germany is the leading international trading partner for businesses in Indiana and ranks fifth for the U.S. overall.
  6. Germany leads the world in “green” renewable energy technology, including wind power and solar power.

Think

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    German is the second most commonly used scientific language.
  2. Germany represents one of the greatest literary traditions in all of world cultures. It is particularly known for its distinctive interweaving of literature and ideas.
  3. Many graduate programs recommend or require a knowledge of German. Fields range from physics, chemistry, and biology to art history, linguistics, and religious studies. At the University of California at Berkeley, for example, more disciplines recommend a knowledge of German as a valuable supplement than any other language.
  4. 37 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 38 in Chemistry, and 30 in Medicine have been awarded to scientists from German-speaking countries.
  5. Exposed to interdisciplinary methods, Notre Dame German majors develop the capacity to be receptive to new ideas, gather diverse kinds of materials, and organize information into a coherent whole. The capacity to synthesize a broad array of ideas and data is essential for good decision making on any issue.
  6. In a 2013 survey conducted by Hart Research Associates, 93 percent of employers said that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major. More than 9 in 10 of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate intercultural skills and the capacity for continued new learning.

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Last Updated: 8 February 2016