With Participants From all Over the World: International Summer School has Started

4 August 2023

Language courses and cultural programme on the theme “Germany in a new Europe”

“Make yourself at home at Heidelberg University”. Dr Alexander Au, director of the International Relations Division, addressed the auditorium with warm words of welcome: Around 340 young people have come to spend four weeks at Ruperto Carola attending the International Summer School of German Language and Culture until 30 August 2023. The course programme is meant for students and other interested persons from abroad who want to learn German or deepen their existing language skills. The overall programme theme this year is “Germany in a new Europe”. Participants have enrolled from nearly 40 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, Peru, Romania and Vietnam. They gathered in the Great Hall of the New University for a welcome session to open the summer school.

In his short welcoming speech, Dr Au underlined that Heidelberg University was just as international as the participants on the course, since a large share of the students, doctoral candidates and academics come from abroad. He stressed the importance of this international character, noting that talking to one another, sharing ideas and experiences is crucial in an age of great conflicts and challenges. He called on the summer school participants to take advantage not only of the language classes but also of the many and varied events on the cultural programme, and to explore the city together in order to get to know life in Germany. The visitors from all over the world include many scholarship-holders from partner universities in, for example the Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. Heidelberg students are in attendance to help them with questions about everyday life and how to spend their leisure time.

The summer school consists of three different sections – language classes for elementary, intermediate and advanced levels; a continuing education course for international German teachers, university lecturers and German Studies graduates; and a special course in Business German. Apart from the core classes in the mornings, the participants can attend an additional programme in the afternoons, for instance seminars presenting works of contemporary German literature or Germany’s development since the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949. Furthermore, there are workshops, including on journalism, theatre and dance. Besides sporting events, films and concerts, various excursions are planned, such as city tours to Cologne, Nuremberg and Strasbourg (France), a trip down the Rhine or a cycling tour to Ladenburg. “Time to make friends” is the theme of the Global Village fair that gives participants the opportunity to present their countries of origin.

Also on offer is a lecture to which not only course participants are invited but also Heidelberg residents. On 17 August, Dr Max Graff from the Institute for German as a Foreign Language Philology will speak on “Heidelberg as an intellectual centre around 1900”, under the heading “The spirit of the world village”. The talk will take place in Hall 13 in the New University, beginning at 5.15 pm. Three concerts are also open to the public. To start off, on 10 August the ensemble “Die Nachtigallen” (The Nightingales) will play “glamourous, capricious, wonderful pop music”. Then flautist Barbara Rosnitschek will perform on two occasions. On 17 August she will present “summery delicatessen”, accompanied by Florian Stricker at the piano. Finally, on the theme “souvenirs”, she will give a concert with guitarist Peter Ernst on 24 August. All three concerts will take place in the Great Hall of the Old University, starting at 8 pm.

Dr Alexander Au, Head of the International Relations Department, welcomes the participants of the International Summer School.