Why Study German?
Speaking German will allow you to communicate with over 100 million individuals worldwide.
- 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.
- Students who know a second language display enhanced cognitive capacities, including pattern recognition, problem solving, flexibility, and creativity.
- Germany has extensive and attractive student and faculty exchanges with the U.S. and invests greatly in support of Americans studying in Germany.
- Notre Dame has unusually high levels of grant support for summer experiences in Germany.
- 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.
After English, German is the most prominent language of world business.
- In 2014, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth $285 billion, making it the biggest capital exporter globally.
- Germany is a leader in automobile production, and has - after China and Japan - the third highest automobile production in the world.
- The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide.
- 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.
- Germany leads the world in “green” renewable energy technology, including wind power and solar power.
German is the second most commonly used scientific language.
- 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.
- 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.
- 37 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 38 in Chemistry, and 30 in Medicine have been awarded to scientists from German-speaking countries.
- 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.
- 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.
Last Updated: 8 February 2016