8 July 1999

University of Heidelberg International Vacation Course 1999

25 July to 20 August 1999: over 600 participants from 54 countries attending the course on German language and culture Prof. Siebke: "The central theme of this year's course could hardly be more topical"

The University of Heidelberg's International Vacation Course on German language and culture takes place this year from 25 July to 20 August. Heidelberg's rector, Prof. Dr. Juergen Siebke comments: "This year's central theme 'Change and Continuity – Germany in the European Context' could hardly be more topical." 1999 is the 50th anniversary of Germany's Basic Law. "The Basic Law is the foundation for the most successful and stable democracy Germany has ever had," said Siebke. "It has become a stanchion of democracy, prosperity and peace. On the other hand 1999 is also the first time in 50 years that armed conflict has flared up in Europe. And Germany was involved." Siebke sees Germany's involvement and the sense of responsibility it stands for as a sign of a profound change in the complexion of Germany's collective identity, a change that can only be properly understood in terms of what is now a completely natural integration of Germany into the European context.

Course generates long-lasting attachments to the University

Siebke: "During the course this topic and others will be discussed from the perspective of a large number of different nations." Over 600 participants from more than 50 countries will ensure a multiplicity of ideas and opinions making discussion interesting not least because of the conflicting viewpoints to be anticipated. "For many of our students and visiting scholars the Vacation Course was the first encounter with the University and they've been coming back ever since," said the Rector.

Lots to do

The programme caters for foreign students and others seeking either to learn German from scratch or to improve their existing knowledge of the language and the country. The heart of the course is the language-teaching programme, which is deepened and enriched by a wide range of classes and lectures on literature, history, current affairs and area studies. For foreign teachers and advanced students of German there is a specialized course devoted to didactic issues and area studies.
Lectures by Heidelberg professors, excursions, cultural events and informal get-togethers round off the programme. As every year, the participants from 54 countries include students attending on grants from the partner universities Montpellier, Cambridge, Cracow, Budapest, Prague and St Petersburg as well as 81 students with grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

For further information please contact:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Universitaet Heidelberg
Pressesprecher/Public Information Officer
Postfach 105760
D-69047 Heidelberg

phone +49 6221 542310, fax +49 6221 542317
e-mail: michael.schwarz@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

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