Conference for German in the Profession
Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 9.30 am to 5 pm
German Section Description:
The German Section offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Modern Languages and in Language and International Trade. In the last ten years, the average annual number of majors (freshman through senior) has ranged between 15 to 25 students.
Enrollment in German at Clemson has been steadily about 200 students each semester. They are taught by a small but multi-faceted group of four professors, each firly believing in the humanistic, Alexander von Humboldt education model stressing the linkage of teaching and research.
Currently the German Section offers six courses on the third year level (one in intermediate composition and conversation, one in Language and International Trade, two on German culture and two on modern German literature). Several courses on the fourth year level are offered under the broad rubric "studies in" literature, language, or culture, enabling the faculty to vary its course offerings, to incorporate in its own courses new content-area trends in German on the national and international levels, and to ease the transfer of credits for students studying abroad. CLIP (Clemson Language Immersion Program) is offered annually during the second summer session. Since 1995, 59 students have participated in the German track of CLIP. In addition to enriching upper level German courses at Clemson, most have subsequently spent a semester or a year abroad.
Students in the German Section are strongly encouraged to study abroad. The German Section is committed to offering, once every semester, a general information session to all its students on study abroad, internship, and grant/ scholarship opportunities (the first session took place in the academic year 2001/02). All interested students are not only invited but strongly encouraged to meet individually with the German Section professor who can advise them most competently on the study/ work abroad program most attractive to them.
Though several students each year choose to pursue study in four-to-eight week language programs at a Goethe Institute in Germany or in a summer language/ culture program at a German university sponsored by the DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Program), most spend an entire year in Germany.
About 4 to 8 students from the German Section spend an entire year abroad on the ISEP program or other exchange programs. The German Section can also boast of a high number of Fulbright recipients: in the past, 30 of its graduating seniors (many combining German study with engineering, business, or the sciences) received one-year, all expenses paid Fulbright study/ research grants for Germany. Five others received one-year Fulbright Teaching Assistantships. This year’s recipient has been placed in a secondary school in the federal state of Thüringen. Last year’s recipient is extending her stay in Germany by means of a Fulbright Internship at Telekom in Bonn.
Five upper level students have been Rotary Scholarship recipients (the last recipient is a French major who has also pursued the study of German). More than fourteen students received one-year Congress/ Bundestag grants, which consist of two months of language study at a Carl Duisburg professional language institute, four months of study at a technical university, and a six-month internship. And, two Clemson German students are one of the few nationwide recipients of a one-year, all expenses paid work/ study program established two years ago by the German Academic Exchange Service for American students.
At Clemson too, students are officially rewarded for outstanding achievements in German. Alumni Distinguished Professor of German Helene Riley funds the Achim von Arnim Award, a cash award granted to a student on Honors Day for outstanding achievement in German Literature. We are currently establishing additional cash awards and scholarships for outstanding students in German.
The German Section firmly believes in involving students in as many extracurricular activities as possible. The German Club has consistently been an active cultural/ social organizations, enabling frequent student contact with many Germans, often in casual settings. Its annual Christmas party generally draws 80 to 100 people. At various times, the German Club has also sponsored cultural programs in English on contemporary Germany to the entire campus community, as well as German film series (these in addition to the German films shown in the departmental international film series). In the past, the annual German plays (devised, written and staged by the students) have also increased the sense of community and solidarity among students taking German.
In its dedication to help advance the vision of Clemson University, as expressed in the university’s mission statement and in the 10-year goals of the university adopted in April 2001, the German Section reaffirms its commitment to a quality humanities education. It aims to provide top quality instruction in the primary areas of German cultural life, including literature and civilization, in order to help students obtain the basic kind of knowledge needed to function successfully in a German environment. It intends to continue improving communication and cooperation with German firms in the Upstate in order to assure a well-prepared international work force. It hopes to meet business, engineering and science students’ growing demand for German study by increasing the number, quality and variety of its course offerings with practical application.
In the future too, the German Section wishes to focus on collaboration—collaboration with other departments on campus, with German-speaking faculty campus-wide, with German-speakers from abroad, with area German firms, with other universities, with international institutions in the U.S. and abroad, and—above all—with the students in its courses.