Ask Our Students

New Ulm Trip with FKK, the German Club 2018 

Why German?

"Why not? Learning a language is an incredible experience, but learning German specifically is unique. German is an increasingly important language on the world stage — in politics, in sciences, and (of course) in soccer. German at Carleton specifically is also rad!" (Morgan Ross '19, Cognitive Science major, German minor)

"German is a fun language with a bunch of cute quirks that make it charming to learn."

"There are lots of important books and theories written in German; it's a beautiful, logical and philosophical language." (Yue Wendy Wu '19, History major, German minor) 

Why German at Carleton?

"The professors are great and there are lots of German events." (Johnny '19, Math/CS major) 

"German and Carleton has a truly excellent community spearheaded by awesome professors and students. The courses, the German study table, the conversations at lunch table, the IM Soccer championships, and the trips to New Ulm are all fantastic, but ultimately, German at Carleton is special because of the people." (Morgan Ross '19, Cognitive Science major, German minor)

"The environment is very helpful for immersion; I particularly love Juliane's style of teaching, which is always energetic and useful." (Yue Wendy Wu '19, History major, German minor) 

But isn't German really hard?

"Every language is hard and easy in its own way; what we really need is the hard work to make it easier. And German is pretty similar to English, so it will not be that hard for native English speakers." (Yue Wendy Wu '19, History major, German minor)

"Yes and no. It's the same alphabet as English and there are a lot of cognates - words which look like English words - which is very helpful. A lot of the grammar is similar as well. As with any languages, there are difficult components. German articles, adjective endings, and word order can be fickle to master. But at the end of the day, if you put in the effort, the language is understandable enough and our professors are excellent enough that you'll be speaking solid German in no time!" (Morgan Ross '19, Cognitive Science major, German minor)

"Not really, it's a very structured language with strong rules." (Johnny '19, Math/CS major) 

"Kinda, but not any harder than any other European language." 

What is the program like?

"Really great! I met a lot of good friends in German class!"

"If you're like me and had never taken German before, you'll begin with German 101 and work from there. The first few weeks will be the toughest, but also the most rewarding as you realize that you are suddenly beginning to understand a completely different language. You take it daily for the first three trimesters, and then can take German 204 the following Fall OR go to Berlin instead! Then there are a wide variety of awesome courses that are based in the professor's interests and skill-sets. To do a German major or minor you "have" to take some of these courses, but it doesn't pigeonhole you to one discipline - it's simply courses in everything from music to religion to history to literature that happen to be in German. Plus, there are a bunch of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom! Every year we have an excellent language associate who plans a bunch of cool events, our lunch table is one of the best attended, and we take trips off campus to see soccer games, visit German cities, and eat German cuisine." (Morgan Ross '19, Cognitive Science major, German minor) 

What about the Carleton Berlin program?

"Fantastic!!! I definitely recommend it. It provides us a good environment to immerse into German language, culture and history." (Yue Wendy Wu '19, History major, German minor) 

Can I combine the study of German with a major/minor in another field?

"Definitely. I combined German with my History major: I did archival research during the Berlin Program and developed it into my senior comps." (Yue Wendy Wu '19, History major, German minor)

"Yeah, easily! Plus it's always good to know a second language." 

"Of course! The minor — and even the major — is definitely doable with another major. After the language sequence, German courses feel like religion, history, literature, music, and other courses - they just happen to be in German! That makes it super easy to double major or to add a German minor; you're not confining yourself to one field. In the process, you will become more and more adept at a foreign language, which is a) a lot of fun and b) a big positive for future endeavors." (Morgan Ross '19, Cognitive Science major, German minor)