The sites in Germany are closed – but the Program is Alive and Kicking!

Dear students and friends of the School in Germany –

Corona blew away our plans for a fun spring semester in Germany. But as long as it doesn’t do more to us and our loved ones, we’re determined to not let it spoil our dedication to learning and living in German. So yes – we’re going for full virtual immersion this semester.

But we’ll also find ways of getting together across the distance — and we’ll engage in activities that will keep everybody as much in the German Groove as possible each day no matter where they’ll be at that time.

Once the program starts, all our conversations including this newsletter, will switch to German. And while we’re preparing for the adventure of a virtual immersion experience in German all over the world, here are a couple of suggestions that should help you auf Deutsch zu ‘gruven’:

  1. Choose two German podcasts or more from our webspace or find another one you like. Listen to them regularly – share with us what you like or not via our Kaffeeklatsch communication space.
  2. Plan to cook at least one German dish a week. (Recipes will be provided!) Include your family – Prepare the food, eat it – enjoy (that would be the plan). Take pictures! Share with us! Let’s have a contest whose ‘Deutscher Käsekuchen’ looked the best! (Prices to be determined!)
  3. Plan to read one or two German books a month – pick what you like from our webspace. If you have another one that’s missing on our list, share with us! And when picking your books for that relaxed activity, remember that German children learn German by reading children’s books up until they are 14. No need to read Thomas Mann, Goethe or Wittgenstein at the age of three in order to learn German in a fun relaxed way. I cannot stress the last point enough! Pick what looks and feels like fun. And yes: (re-)reading your favorite book in German would also work.
  4. Spend an hour a day with listening to a German Audiobook or radio play (Hörspiel) of your choice.
  5. Watch two (or more) German movies and/or TV-shows a week. (We’re in the process of figuring out how we could help with that. You find a ton of choices on our webspace – some of these links will make it possible for you to watch the entire movie or show online.
  6. Listen to Deutschland Radio Kultur or othe German Radio Stations as much as possible: great in-depth investigative journalism, music of all genres – try it. You find a list of German radio stations you can listen to on the internet on our webspace. There’s a big German music selection on our webspace as well – enjoy our lists, create your own – share with us!
  7. Join us for a Kaffeeklatsch to talk about the movies / podcasts etc.
  8. When homesickness for Germany hits, research the city you would have wanted to visit. Write a story that’s set in this real city. (The story itself can be a fairy tale, science fiction, drama, comedy, thriller….whatever pleases you. Just the setting must be as accurate as a real streetmap, so you and we learn about that city while we’re going to enjoy your story. We can have reading-events, you know?! And we’ll explore certain sites with the heros of your story as they begin their journey through…Mainz…Berlin…Potsdam…Dresden….Hamburg…..München….?
    Remember: the famous writer Karl May, who is responsible for Germans loving ‘Cowboys und Indianer’, never travelled to the States. He wrote all novels based on what he had read in travel-accounts of other people. 

So come on: your mind can boldly go anywhere…..even where nobody has gone before. 😉

Heike Fahrenberg

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