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German

Why Learn German

Did you know that knowledge of German gives you an average annual salary boost of four percent in the United States and in Europe even more? About 3,500 German majority-owned business operations are present in the United States. Germany is a significant U.S. trading partner, and German investment in the United States is associated with efficient technologies, a high degree of value added, and well-paid jobs. German companies such as Adidas, BASF, Bayer, Bosch, Lufthansa, SAP, Siemens, T-Mobile, or Volkswagen employ over 640,000 workers in the United States, making them the third-largest group of foreign employers in the United States. German will take you anywhere! Knowing German enhances your employment opportunities not only in business but also in government, medicine and health care, education, technology, the travel and tourism industry, translation and interpreting, journalism, and publishing.

Facts and Figures

  • German businesses accounted for 10.5 percent of the 6.1 million insourced jobs in the United States in 2013.
  • With about $255 billion as of year-end 2015, Germany is the seventh-largest foreign investor in the United States. More than 4,700 companies in the United States benefited from German direct investment in 2013.
  • Almost half of the jobs created by German companies are in manufacturing. Among foreign affiliates in the United States, German companies provide the second-highest number of jobs in this sector. German businesses therefore play a key role in U.S. efforts to strengthen their industrial base.
  • Most surveyed companies in the United States would choose someone with German literacy over an equally qualified candidate.

So, if that’s not enough to convince you, consider our Top Ten Reasons to Learn German:

Business

Knowing the language of your German business partners improves your relations and therefore your chances for effective communication and success.

The Global Career

Knowledge of German increases your job opportunities with German and foreign companies in your own country and abroad. Proficiency in German helps you to function productively for an employer with global business connections.

For a closer look, visit the website of the Germany-USA Career Center, the leading recruiting source for U.S.-German and German-American markets. It provides employment, career and search services for companies and individuals in the US and in Germany.

Tourism & Hospitality Industry

Tourists from German-speaking countries travel wide and far, and are the world’s biggest spenders when on holiday. They appreciate being looked after by German-speaking staff and tour guides.

Science & Research

German is the second most commonly used scientific language. Germany is the third-largest contributor to research and development and offers research fellowships to scientists from abroad.

Communication

Developments in media, information and communication technology require multilingual communicators. A wide range of important websites are in German and worldwide, Germany is ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books. Knowledge of German therefore offers you extended access to information.

Munich, Germany

Cultural Understanding

Learning German provides you with an insight into the way of life, and the hopes and dreams of people in German speaking countries, broadening your horizon.

Travel

Make the most of your travels not only in German-speaking countries, but in many other European countries where German is widely spoken, especially in Eastern Europe.

Enjoyment of Literature, Music, Art & Philosophy

German is the language of Goethe, Kafka, Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. Indulge in reading and/or listening to their works in their original language.

Opportunities to Study or Work in Germany

Germany awards a generous number of scholarships and other support to study in Germany. Working holiday visas are available for young foreigners from a range of countries, and special visas are offered to skilled workers and professionals.

Opportunities for Exchange

A wide range of exchange programs exists for both school and university students between Germany and many countries in the world.

Adapted from the Goethe-Institut and Just Add German, a Goethe-Institut campaign

How Will You Lead with German?

Scholarships and Grants

Annette Kade Scholarships

Provided by study abroad membership organization ISEP, the Scholarship helps to fund study abroad programs in French or German for undergraduates at member universities.

Heidelberg, Germany

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) (high school)

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, CBYX allows high-school students to complete immersion programs in German secondary schools while living with host families.

DAAD Scholarships and Opportunities

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers multiple options for international students seeking financial support – all to be found in their extensive Scholarship Database. Undergraduate possibilities include financial assistance for programs in German studies, intensive language training, summer language study taught exclusively in German (such as the Hochschulsommerkurse), and parliamentary experience, to name a few! Applicants can review the complete list here.

Delta Phi Alpha Scholarships

The National German Honor Society awards multiple scholarships – including study abroad and future teacher – to members from active chapters.

Deutschlandstipendium Scholarships

The German Government matches contributions from private individuals, businesses, and foundations to provide students at participating German universities with a monthly stipend to support their studies. Scholars also receive non-financial support in the form of mentoring, networking events, and internships.

German American Partnership Program (GAPP) (high school)

An initiative of the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, GAPP supports student group exchanges between U.S. and German secondary schools. There are nearly 750 school partnerships to date!

Scholarships from Various German Foundations, a list compiled by Studentenwerk Berlin

Studentenwerk Berlin provides a comprehensive list of foundations which offer scholarships to German and international students studying in Germany.

Programs

Looking for a German college program? While initially developed to report language enrollment figures, the MLA database provides a comprehensive listing of postsecondary language programs, allowing you to refine your results by language, geographic area, and/or type of institution. The data is based on MLA’s most recent survey of 2013.

To Get Started:   

  1. Select your language(s), up to eight
  2. Narrow your search, as desired, and click “search now”
  3. Expand your findings to reveal specific schools offering programs in your language by clicking on the small triangles on your results page

Search the Database

Search the Database

Videos

Interested in finding out about other companies that value German skills? See the rest of the Just Add German career videos series!

Student Blogs

Wondering where you can put your German skills to the test while meeting new friends? See how these study abroad bloggers made it happen.

Over There to Claire: A Travel Blog

Claire traveled to numerous cities—including Amsterdam, Salzburg, and Nuremberg—while studying abroad in Vienna, Austria.

Jill’s in Germany

Jill blogged her semester-long study abroad experience in Bonn, Germany.

A Year in Freiburg

UW-Madison German major Anastasia chronicled her year abroad in Freiburg, Germany.

Finding Gemütlichkeit

Nicole’s study abroad journey to Vienna, Austria, was her first time in Europe!

A Semester in Salzburg

Peter, an Iowa State University sociology major with German relatives, studied abroad in Salzburg.