Germany today - language, society, state, culture

A group of people in front of Kiel City Hall
© Andreas Ritter, Uni Kiel

Hans-Werner Tovar, President of Kiel’s City Council (2nd row, centre) welcomed the participants on behalf of the city during a reception at Kiel City Hall on Wednesday 18 July, one of the social highlights of the visit.

71st International Summer Course at Kiel University

For over 70 years, Kiel University (CAU) has hosted an international summer course. Every year, students and graduates of foreign universities take part. The course programme is organised by the International Center at the CAU. The state capital Kiel has supported the courses for decades. President of the City Council, Hans-Werner Tovar, welcomed the participants on behalf of the city during a reception in the Council Chamber at Kiel City Hall on Wednesday 18 July, one of the social highlights of the visit.

82 participants from 27 nations, mostly from 20 to 35 years of age, have registered for this year's 71st International Summer Course from 16 July to 10 August. It consists of three parts: an intensive language course, scientific lectures and cultural excursions. These should enable the participants to improve their German language skills and to learn about the Germany of today. The patron of the summer course is the Vice President responsible for academic affairs, international affairs and diversity at the CAU, Professor Anja Pistor-Hatam.

The majority of the participants studied German language and literature, or work as German (university) teachers, and use the course to refresh their skills and further educate themselves. Russia is strongly represented this year (17 people, including six students from the CAU partner university in Irkutsk and a further three from the CAU partner university in Kaliningrad). Twelve people are from China, and eleven from Poland (eight of them from the CAU partner university in Poznań). Italy, the USA, Estonia, France, Ukraine and the Czech Republic are also represented. Thus the course is also always a meeting of young people from all over the world.

The language training is organised by the German as a Foreign Language Unit at the CAU. Director Dr Annedore Hänel offers the language course at various learner levels (middle and upper level). It comprises a total of 90 hours of training, and is completed with a language test. On successful completion, participants receive a language certificate with six ECTS credits. The scientific lectures are held predominantly by speakers from the CAU, and inform about the history, politics and economics of today's Germany. Additional events supplement the programme, such as a company tour of the Kieler Nachrichten printing centre, a visit to communal refugee accommodation, and film evenings. It is rounded off by day trips to Hamburg, Lübeck and the west coast, attending the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, and a barbecue evening at the International Meeting Centre (IBZ) of the CAU. Of course, sailing on the Kiel Fjord in the university boats is also on offer.

This year, the CAU has once again invited many scholarship holders from its partner universities (a total of 23, including from Poznań, Tartu, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk, Hangzhou and Penn State). The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funded 23 students to participate in the programme. On 9 August at 7pm, City Councillor Doris Grondke (City of Kiel) and Dr Martina Schmode (Head of the International Center at the CAU) will officially bid the international guests farewell in the Alter Speisesaal (old dining room) of Mensa I.

The summer course programme can be seen on the course website:


Andreas Ritter
Kiel University’s International Center
Westring 400
Tel.: +49 (0)431/880-1706
Fax: +49 (0)431 880-1666

(Kopie 4)

Jan Winters
Press, Digital and Science Communication