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2 August 2000

University of Heidelberg International Vacation Course 2000: "Images of Germany"

The University cordially invites the media to the opening ceremony on 6 August 2000, 10 a.m., Great Hall of the New University (Am Universitätsplatz, 69117 Heidelberg)—4 to 30 August: Biggest international university vacation course—Central theme: "Images of Germany: Myths—Realities—Perspectives"

The University of Heidelberg's International Vacation Course on German language and culture takes place this year from 4 to 30 August. The central theme is "Images of Germany: Myths—Realities—Perspectives". The University cordially invites the media to attend the opening ceremony on Sunday, 6 August 2000, 10 a.m. at the Great Hall of the New University (Am Universitätsplatz, 69117 Heidelberg).

In the course prospectus, rector Prof. Dr. Jürgen Siebke welcomes the participants to "what will hopefully be four weeks crammed with new insights and new experiences", going on to opine that the exchange of ideas with others frequently leads to a correction of one's own prejudgments, "which we often don't know we have and which it takes interpersonal experiences to flush out of hiding." Siebke sees this process of opinion formation as being of major relevance for "the image you have of Germany and the Germans", and goes on to express his conviction that none of the participants will leave the course with exactly the same image of Germany as they came here with. The process is a reciprocal one. "In debate and discussion we Germans are dependent on you and your view from the outside looking in." What were the historical events determining the image of Germany in earlier periods? How lasting are the features of it that go back to Germany's role in sparking off the Second World War? How have images of Germany changed after reunification and in the course of European integration and globalisation?

600 participants from all over the world

The Heidelberg Vacation Course is known all over the world and its reputation for quality has once again attracted some 600 participants from a wide variety of nations. A far larger number of applications were received both from within Germany and abroad. 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. Alongside the language-teaching programme there are a wide range of classes and lectures on literature, history, current affairs and area studies.

New Business German course

Foreign teachers and advanced students are catered for with a specialised course centring around didactic issues and area studies. In response to growing demand there will also be a new course on Business German. Lectures by Heidelberg scholars, excursions, cultural events and informal get-togethers round off the programme. As every year, the participants from 54 different countries include students attending on grants from Heidelberg's partner universities Montpellier, Cambridge, Cracow, Budapest, Prague, St Petersburg and New Delhi as well as 123 students with awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Please address any inquiries to:
Gisela Plock
International Relations Office of the University of Heidelberg
International Vacation Course
phone: 06221/542338, fax: 542332

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 07.08.2000


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