Department of German Studies

Department of German Studies

Department of German Studies

The Department of German Studies enhances students’ problem-finding and problem-solving abilities and their capacity for self-expression in order to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing society, while also helping them develop an international perspective.

AimsQuality German language education

Quality German language education

Classes are constructed according to the German proficiency levels of students, so that each student, beginner or prior learner, can learn the German language effectively. High quality language instruction is offered to students of all levels, from beginners to more fluent speakers aiming to become interpreters or translators.

Developing self-expression capabilities

Course seminars and exercises, including the Introductory Seminar for first and second year students, teach students how to retrieve materials and make presentations, while at the same time developing their ability to soundly convey their thoughts. These seminars and exercises aim to help students look at the German-speaking world from multiple viewpoints and develop the ability to identify and solve current problems in Japan and around the globe using their own thinking skills. Students also learn computer skills, which are indispensable for collecting information and preparing reports, and also learn how to analyze information critically.

Become an expert on the German-speaking world

The Department of German Studies has three courses, which cover the language, cultures, and contemporary social environments of German-speaking countries. With the aim of developing experts with a thorough knowledge of the German-speaking world, these courses not only teach language, literature, and culture in a narrow sense, but also provide students with an opportunity to learn the contemporary issues, youth cultures, and subcultures that exist in German-speaking countries.

FeaturesCourse system in which students choose freely according to their interests

Choose the Course that Fits Your Interests

Under the following three courses, students can create their own study plan from the 1st year through graduation based on their own interests.

Language and information course:
Students learn the characteristics of the German language, the relationship between the language and society, and communication in German.
Literature and culture course:
In addition to the traditional literary studies, students study German culture, including theater, movies, fine art, and music.
-Contemporary local environment:
Students systematically learn the social environment of local communities (environment, education, manners and customs, etc.), as well as deepen their understanding of the new multimedia society.
Students in the 1st and 2nd year will acquire basic knowledge through the Introductory Seminar and lectures of each course. Then, they choose one course from among the three courses in the third year. They may also take the specialized exercise classes of other courses. A graduation thesis or graduation research is a good opportunity for students to display their originality.
Special program: German Interpreter/Translator Training Program

In addition to the above three courses, there is a special German Interpreter/Translator Training Program for those students who have a certain degree of proficiency in the German language. Students can take this program from the 1st year in order to develop their proficiency in German to the level needed to pass the National Examination for Guide-Interpreters while at Gakushuin.

Internship recognition

Students may be able to earn the credits necessary for graduation through an internship by actually working in any German-speaking country while enrolled at Gakushuin. It is a prior condition for those who apply for internship recognition to have a certain degree of German ability and to have the internship approved by the Department.
Graduates of the Department of German Studies, with their language ability, self-expression capabilities, and knowledge of the German-speaking world developed over four years, have various career paths, including becoming teachers and researchers at universities, colleges, and junior and senior high schools nationwide; working at banks, manufacturers, airlines, and other private companies; working in the mass media; working at embassies; or working for German companies. More than a few students also go on to the graduate school to become scholars after graduation.

Order of study

Year 1
■Acquire basic language proficiency

Acquire the language proficiency needed for studying in the Department of German Studies.

■Learn about modern regional conditions in the German-speaking sphere.

Acquire fundamental societal and historical knowledge to enable an understanding of contemporary issues.

Year 2
■Acquire intermediate language proficiency

Enhance expressive abilities in German.

■Learn about the literature/culture and language/information of the German-speaking sphere.

Acquire fundamental knowledge of literature/culture. Learn the characteristics of the language and communication issues.

Year 3
■Cultivate comprehensive language proficiency

Practice reading and writing as well as speaking and listening abilities..

■Course Selection

Choose one from Language/Information,
Literature/Culture, and Modern Regional Conditions and increase one’s specialization. At the same time, a variety of content can be learned via specialized practice.

Year 4
■Write graduation thesis/ graduation research

Sum up the material learned over 4 years.