German is one of the world’s major languages and is the most widely spoken language in the European Union after English. It is an official language of five European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein) and serves as the lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe. It is a commonly spoken language in many other areas and has growing numbers of learners worldwide, notably in Brazil, China, and India.
German is at the center
Germany has Europe’s strongest economy and plays a central role in current issues such as the environment, politics, migration, and 21st-century globalization. Germany is a leader in innovation and creativity and a major force in international business, engineering, and science. German speakers have played a prominent role in literature, art, music, and philosophy. Learning German introduces you to the lands of ideas and diversity.
Where German can take you
Your possibilities are unlimited when you study German. “Made in” Germany, Austria, or Switzerland are labels that signal quality of products, design, and lifestyle. That reputation translates into business and career opportunities, intellectual achievements, and vibrant cultural exchanges. Learning German unlocks the door to many career paths.
- Germany is one of the most important trading partners of the United States. German-American relations for the past 65 years have been, and will continue to be, the bedrock of transatlantic relations.
- Germany is the third largest investor in the US, the fourth largest national economy worldwide and the largest in the European Union.
- German companies, such as Adidas, BASF, Bayer, Bosch, Lufthansa, SAP, Siemens, T-Mobile or Volkswagen account for 800,000 jobs in the US (making them the third largest group of foreign employers in the country), and US companies have created approximately the same number of jobs in Germany.
- The competitiveness and desirability of “Made in Germany” products are indicated by Germany’s substantial trade surplus—162 Billion Euros ($209 Billion).
- Knowing German can boost your annual salary in the US by 4%, in Europe by even more.
Study in Germany
- 233,000 foreign students are currently enrolled in 350 German Universities, about 12% of the entire student population. After the US and Great Britain this makes Germany the most attractive country for foreign students.
- 2,000 grants are awarded to US students and professors annually to study and research in Germany. Go to DAAD and Fulbright for scholarships.
- Tuition is free at Germany’s excellent universities.
- A wide range of exchange programs exists for between the University of Utah and Germany. See Learning Abroad
Announcing the following changes to the German major and minor to help you graduate sooner and make it easier for you to double-major!
If you want to understand the modern world, you need to understand German-speaking culture.
Did you know:
- Modern physics – the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics – began in Germany (Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg)?
- The discipline of modern psychology has its roots in German-speaking Austria and Switzerland (Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung)?
- The philosophical movements of Existentialism and Postmodernism can be traced back to the German thinker Friedrich Nietzsche?
- The name of the Austrian writer Franz Kafka has become an international adjective for the bureaucratic absurdities of the modern world (“Kafkaesque”)?
- German innovations in publishing (the printing press), religion (the Protestant Reformation), and economics (the theories of Karl Marx) still influence millions of lives worldwide?
- German-speaking cultures are green? They are in the forefront of green technologies supporting fuel and food production, biomedical engineering, and innovative small industry.