Reasons to Study German

Speaking German will enable you to communicate with over 100 million people worldwide.

German is the official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. One quarter of Europeans speak German and German ranks among the top 10 most frequently spoken languages in the world.   More...

 Enhance your employment opportunities in the global economy

Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the third largest in the world. It is the world's leading exporter and importer.   More...

 Get to know one of the great European cultures

German is a leading language of science, literature, philosophy, theology, history, music, film and art. Becoming acquainted with artists, composers, scientists, great thinkers and their contributions is very rewarding if done in their language.   More...

 Have a chance to study or research in Germany

The German education system has a long tradition (the oldest German university, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, was founded in 1386) and a good international reputation. Foreigners like coming to Germany to study.   More...

 Travel in Germany and other German-speaking countries

Millions of foreign tourists visit German-speaking countries every year. They want to see and experience King Ludwig's castles in Bavaria, the Austrian and Swiss Alps, German beer at the Oktoberfest or the stunning Rhine river.   More...

 Surf the internet

Of course, the internet speaks English - but German ranks as the second most frequently used language on the internet. According to "Netz-Tipp-Studie", 56.4% of web pages were in English, in the second place were 7.7% web pages in German.   More...

 Start learning German!

Please keep in mind that German is as easy to learn as any other language. You already know much more German vocabulary than you think: Professor, Kindergarten, Angst, etc.   More...

 Knowledge of German improves your chances of employment. German companies abroad and foreign companies in Germany seek experts with a knowledge of German. Staff in international companies also enjoy an advantage if they know German. In the European Union there are interesting training, study and employment opportunities for specialists with this knowledge.

 

Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

 

 

By YUDHIJIT BHATTACHARJEE
New York Times

SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

This view of bilingualism is remarkably different from the understanding of bilingualism through much of the 20th century. Researchers, educators and policy makers long considered a second language to be an interference, cognitively speaking, that hindered a child's academic and intellectual development.

They were not wrong about the interference: there is ample evidence that in a bilingual's brain both language systems are active even when he is using only one language, thus creating situations in which one system obstructs the other. But this interference, researchers are finding out, isn't so much a handicap as a blessing in disguise. It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict, giving the mind a workout that strengthens its cognitive muscles.

Bilinguals, for instance, seem to be more adept than monolinguals at solving certain kinds of mental puzzles. In a 2004 study by the psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee, bilingual and monolingual preschoolers were asked to sort blue circles and red squares presented on a computer screen into two digital bins - one marked with a blue square and the other marked with a red circle. Read more.

 

Bill George: What Minnesota can learn from Germany

 

In this article, Bill George, professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and former CEO of Medtronic Inc. explains Germany's unusual success in world business.

From StarTribune|business

MUNICH, GERMANY - The United States seems in awe of China's economic miracle, but rather disdainful of Europe, especially Germany. To the contrary, there is great wisdom in the German economic model from which Minnesotans can learn.

Germany is a jobs machine. Its unemployment is just over 5 percent vs. 8.5 percent in the United States. In Munich unemployment is only 2.2 percent. Germany exports four times as much as the United States with only 30 percent of the population. It has a positive $200 billion trade balance, compared with negative $700 billion for America, and favorable trade balances with China, India and Japan, as well all European countries.

Germans are well-paid, have excellent health care and pension benefits, and save 11 percent of their income. Yet German health care costs only 9 percent of GDP compared with 17 percent in the U.S. Politically, the country operates like a grand coalition, with narrow differences between moderates on both sides.

Politicians put the country's interests ahead of their parties. A decade ago the government went through a restructuring that moderated the cost of wages and benefits to be competitive with Asian countries. Germany is fiscally responsible: inflation is just over 1 percent, and deficits are 3.3 percent of GDP compared with 11 percent for the U.S.  Read more.

 

Top 10 Cities in the World Rated for Quality of Life

 

CNN - The city of Freud, Klimt and the famed Spanish riding school is top of the pops when it comes to the world's best cities to live in, according to a new survey. For the third successive year, Vienna was ranked number one as European cities claimed more than half of the top 25 positions in Mercer's 2011 Quality of Living index, which awards points for a range of criteria, including political and economic stability, culture, health and sanitation, quality of schools, public services and housing. Zurich in neighboring Switzerland came in second, while New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, was third in the list of 221 cities worldwide.

Top 10 Cities in the World Rated for Quality of Life

Vienna (Austria)

Zurich (Switzerland)

Auckland (New Zealand)

Munich (Germany)

Dusseldorf (Germany)

Vancouver (Canada)

Frankfurt (Germany)

Geneva (Switzerland)

Bern (Switzerland)

Copenhagen (Denmark)