Departmental and KU Programs

The University of Kansas and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offer two summer language institutes and several semester- or year-long study abroad programs in German-speaking Europe. All KU study abroad programs are designed to expose students to German, Austrian, or Swiss culture while maintaining accordance with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements. This helps ensure the transfer of credits while keeping a genuine study abroad experience. The summer language institutes, which are directed by faculty in the German Department, offer courses from the KU undergraduate German curriculum. Students receive University of Kansas credit upon completing their coursework.

Undergraduate credits earned during a KU-approved semester- or year-long study abroad program also transfer as KU resident credits. Students should meet with the Undergraduate Advisor, Dr. Lorie Vanchena, and with Jenna Hunter-Skidmore, Office of Study Abroad, prior to their departure and after their return to ensure that the credits earned will count toward College and/or German major or minor requirements.

The many study abroad programs offered at KU are further described at the links below.

Summer Language Institutes

We offer two summer programs in Germany that are directed by faculty in the department. Participants in both programs earn 9 credits, in Eutin at the 200 level and in Holzkirchen at the 300 and 400 level. More information is available at the following OSA links:

Eutin, Germany (KU Office of Study Abroad)

Emily Wallace, Lecturer, Academic Program Associate, and German Language Proficiency Sequence Coordinator, directed the Summer Language Institute in Eutin, Lawrence's Sister City, in 2018. She writes of the group's experience:

"The sister city partnership was a great resource to us this summer, as I'm sure it has always been. In Eutin, the representatives from the Friends of Lawrence organization made us feel very welcome. They helped arrange the host family placements and helped make arrangements with the school where we held classes. They also organized a dinner in our honor and held a welcome reception in the town hall followed by a boat tour on the lake in Eutin. They also organized activities for the excursions we took to other cities (Lübeck, Kiel, and Hamburg), and they generously provided some train tickets and entrance fees. In Lübeck, Martin Vollertsen,  former president of Friends of Lawrence, gave us a tour around the city. Overall, I felt very fortunate that we had the Friends of Lawrence organization as a resource."


Holzkirchen, Germany (KU Office of Study Abroad)

Professor William Keel directed the advanced Summer Language Institute in Holzkirchen, located near Munich in southern Germany. KU has conducted a summer  program there since 1961. He writes of the group's experience:

“The students’ academic program in Holzkirchen was conducted in cooperation with the Volkshochschule Holzkirchen (adult continuing education). Each student was placed with a host family organized by the Friends of the University of Kansas in Holzkirchen. The Friends also organized an extracurricular program of visits to the local Folklore Club, the Sharpshooters’ Club, an overnight in an Alpine cabin with mountain hiking, an orientation scavenger hunt to the town of Holzkirchen as well as a welcome and farewell event for all students and host families. The stay in Holzkirchen was enhanced by a travel program with multi-day visits to Cologne, Bonn, and Berlin and day-long excursions to the castles of King Ludwig and Berchtesgaden. The students visited Munich on several occasions, with one tour focusing on the student protests at the university there during the Nazi dictatorship. Overall, we cannot thank our long-time friends and educational leaders in Holzkirchen enough for making the summer in Bavaria so memorable.”

Semester and Year Programs

The Office of Study Abroad  offers several options for semester- or year-long study in German-speaking countries. Recent German Studies majors and minors have studied in Bonn, Regensburg, Marburg, Freiburg, and Dresden.

All KU study abroad programs are designed to expose students to the host country’s culture while maintaining accordance with requirements in the students’ major and/or minor, whether in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences or in the professional schools This helps ensure a genuine study abroad experience that allows students to earn KU credit hours toward their degree.  In other words, all undergraduate credits earned in a KU-approved study abroad program transfer as KU resident credits.

Interested in study abroad for a semester or year? Follow these steps:

1. Contact Undergraduate Advisor Professor Vanchena (vanchena@ku.edu) and meet for an initial conversation about options that would work well with your course of study.

2. Contact OSA to set up a meeting with Program Coordinator Jenna Hunter-Skidmore, who can provide more detailed information about specific programs (application procedure and deadlines, fees, financial aid and scholarships, etc.). In general, applications for spring semester abroad are in mid-October, applications for an entire academic year are in mid-March.

3. Be sure to ask Professor Vanchena about the department’s competitive Engel Scholarships for semester- or year-long study abroad. OSA also offers scholarships for such programs.

4. Once you have been accepted to a program, OSA will give you a form that Professor Vanchena must complete to pre-approve German Studies courses you expect to take. (If you plan to take a Linguistics course, you will need a signature from the Linguistics department.)

5. Keep in touch with Professor Vanchena while you are studying abroad, so that she is informed about your coursework and can advise you on the German Studies courses in which you should enroll the following semester.

6. Once the transcripts of your completed coursework are sent to OSA, Professor Vanchena provides final approval of transfer credits.


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